The following is an excerpt from the NEXT Forecast, an insider’s guide to where the natural products market is now—and where it’s headed. Drawing from proprietary data sets, expert interviews, in-market case studies and the Natural Products Expos, the NEXT Forecast is the industry’s leading source of forward-looking insights. Learn about this and many other in-market trends laddering up to dominant macro forces in this report.
In this age of conscious consumption, it’s important not just to identify your customer’s values, but to become aware of what we call a values cascade—an intricately connected network of philosophies and beliefs.
- Fringe groups of passionate consumers provoke re-evaluation and behavior change well beyond their own clans. For instance, fringe groups such as dumpster-diving "freegans" motivate more mainstream consumers to challenge habitual decisions, even without pushing them all the way into the dumpster. In a recent survey of 600 general population consumers, 34 percent said they are upset by the amount of food that is wasted.
- We see this in mainstream consumer attitudes toward issues beyond waste, such as food provenance, local production, eating at home, and overall dietary and lifestyle simplification. For example, in the same survey, 19 percent of mainstream consumers said they were concerned about the impact of what they buy on the planet.
NEXT Forecast 2017 opportunity
The classic definition of value—where quality and price optimally overlap—remains true today. But the simple shift is that quality now reaches well beyond what’s inside of the package to the far corners of the social and ecological universe impacted by companies and their products.