Consumers are shaken by the global economic crisis. But many Americans are cautiously optimistic about potential for better times. Consumer and product researcher Mintel predicts five consumer attitudes to expect in the coming year.
Customer in control: Consumers will seek products that give them exactly what they want, when they want it, especially as budgets tighten.
Simplify and purify: People will demand that companies communicate openly. From understandable ingredients to clear businesses practices, consumers will demand transparency in the products they buy.
Rebuilding trust: Feeling swindled by Wall Street, Americans will seek trusting relationships with those with whom they do even casual business.
Trading down (but sometimes up): Shoppers will generally trade down to more budget-friendly products. But bakeries should make note that occasionally, people also will need to indulge in small, affordable luxuries.
Playfulness lightens the mood: Small, playful distractions like fun-to-eat baked products become increasingly popular as people try to have a little fun.