Consumer Trends to Watch in 2024: Connecting, Quality, Sustainability, and Self-Improvement

Human connections, the balance between quality and cost, sustainability, and mental wellness are reshaping the market.

As we step into 2024, the consumer landscape is evolving rapidly, driven by changing preferences and global events. Understanding these shifts is crucial for businesses and brands looking to adapt and thrive in the coming year. Drawing insights from Mintel, a leading market research firm, we’ve identified key consumer trends to watch in 2024. From the resurgence of human connections to a growing emphasis on sustainability and self-improvement, let’s delve into the emerging trends that will shape consumer behavior in the near future.

The Resurgence of Human Connections

In a world increasingly dominated by technology, it’s heartening to see that consumers still value human connections. According to Mintel, 58 percent of US consumers believe that interacting with a real person enhances their experience with salespeople and customer service departments. This trend is giving rise to a new label – ‘human-as-premium,’ emphasizing the importance of artisans and their ability to infuse creativity beyond algorithms.

Brands are recognizing the emotional aspect of connectivity, and we can expect them to focus on how their products or services can improve various facets of consumers’ lives. In 2024, businesses that prioritize genuine human interactions and emotional connections are likely to gain a competitive edge.

Graphic reading "58% of US consumers believe that interacting with a real person enhances their experience with salespeople and customer service departments"

Quality vs. Cost: Striking the Right Balance

Consumers are becoming more pragmatic in their quest for value. As budget pressures mount, individuals are seeking a balance between the quality they receive and the cost they incur. For instance, 67 percent of UK consumers who purchased furniture in the last year preferred high-quality, long-lasting options over cheaper, disposable alternatives.

In 2024, brands should focus on delivering quality products that justify their price, aligning with consumers’ desire for lasting value. This trend emphasizes the importance of building trust and reputation in the eyes of the consumer.

Graphic reading "In 2024, brands should focus on delivering quality products that justify their price, aligning with consumers' desire for lasting value.
(Source: Mintel 2024 Global Consumer Trends)"

Sustainability and Responsibility

Sustainability is no longer a buzzword; it’s an expectation. Consumers worldwide are holding brands accountable for their environmental impact and looking for genuine commitment to sustainability. In China, 77% of consumers believe that beauty and personal care brands should bear the main responsibility for sustainability. On the flip side, 52% of German consumers distrust companies’ claims regarding their environmental impact.

Consumers in 2024 want brands to prioritize sustainability and back their words with concrete actions. This means reducing their carbon footprint, embracing eco-friendly practices, and being transparent about their efforts.

Graphic reading "Consumers in 2024 want brands to prioritize sustainability and back their words with concrete actions.(Source: Mintel 2024 Global Consumer Trends)"

Guiding Consumers toward Sustainable Choices

As consumers become more environmentally conscious, they also seek guidance from brands on making sustainable choices. In Thailand, 80% of consumers believe it’s important for brands to turn their missions into tangible actions. Labels with instructions on sustainable care practices, such as low-cycle washing or microfiber capture, are also gaining traction in the UK, with 39% of consumers expressing interest.

Brands can differentiate themselves by providing information and resources that empower consumers to make sustainable choices, from product care to eco-friendly alternatives.

Prioritizing Health and Mental Wellness

The events of the past few years have heightened awareness of the importance of health and mental wellness. In India, 49% of Gen Zs list education and upskilling courses among their top spending categories. In the US, 42% of consumers are focused on improving their spiritual wellness.

As we navigate an uncertain future, consumers seek products and services that support their physical and mental well-being. Brands that can offer solutions for personal growth, stress management, and overall well-being will resonate strongly in 2024.

Graphic reading: 42%
Source: Mintel 2024 Global Consumer Trends
In the US, 42% of consumers are focused on improving their spiritual wellness.

As we head into 2024, the way consumers behave is changing significantly. If you’re a Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) business, it’s time to act. Our experts are here to assist you in understanding and adapting to these trends. Get in touch with us today or explore our DTC expertise to stay ahead and ensure a bright future for your brand.

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