How will the economic climate affect consumers in 2010, and how can brands best use the market opportunities that have been created by the downturn?
New research, unveiled by the Futures Company at a briefing in London this morning, went some way towards answering these two key questions. The data suggests that, although few consumers are currently "panicking" about their finances, the recession has made people shop "smarter" than before, reflecting a general uncertainty about the way the economy is going.
Ahead of my full report, up on Warc.com soon, here are a pair of Futures Company insights from the briefing that stood out for me.
Walton pointed out that higher oil prices also impact on shipping costs, making foods more costly to transport. Therefore, the weekly supermarket shop, a crucial part of many household budgets, could become that bit more expensive this year. People recognise the price of oil both "in their daily behaviours" and "the way they feel", Walton summarised.
The Futures Company also released some pointers about what its researchers would be looking at during 2010. Over Q2, the focus will be on sustainability, including how consumer behaviour is affected by green concerns, sentiment in the wake of the football World Cup and the UK general election will be looked at during Q3, and consumer health management strategies will be targeted in Q4.
Watch this space to stay updated on insights from this research, as they're released.