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Plastic, hacking, anxiety and fake news - 2018 Consumer Trends - Focus

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Earlier this week, research firm Mintel outlined four trends it believes will impact consumers in Europe next year.

Consumers will demand more transparency from brands in 2018, according to Mintel

Consumers will demand more transparency from brands in 2018, according to Mintel

- A new wave of marine conservation is expected to emerge, as consumers become more conscious of the impact of plastic

"Whilst plastics won't be wholly-demonised, intensified eco-lobbying will produce more recyclable products, as well as incentives and initiatives to encourage sustainable behaviour," says Mintel's senior trends consultant, Richard Cope. "We may well see social stigmatisation of plastic cups and cling film, more pioneering brands innovating with soluble pod packaging and more retailers dispensing with it completely."

- Digital disclosure legislation and hacks will see consumers safeguard their data

"From now on, brands will need to proffer economically- or personally-compelling incentives for consumers to resume sharing their information with them," says Cope.

- Teens will look to brands that build their confidence

"Pan-European studies reveal the economic, digital and emotional pressures facing today's youth, demanding a response from consumer-facing brands," notes Mintel's manager of trends, Catherine Cottney. "With a growing level of attention around the negative impact of social media, this generation will seek to take back greater control by being more mindful of their usage In 2018 and beyond, brands have an opportunity to step in and provide solutions to empower this cohort."

- The rise of fake news will fuel a need for greater transparency 

"Consumer distrust in governments and media is spreading to companies and so is the clamour for truth and transparency in ingredients and behind-the-scenes processes," says Cottney. "In terms of marketing, there will be a push for greater authenticity; consumers are set to see behind-the-scenes revealed through creative campaigns that put employees at the fore and capitalise on their years of expertise.

"With consumers more able to question and query the actions of brands, 'radical transparency' will be the watchword for 2018 as they try and show they can be relied upon and trustworthy."

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