NEWS28 January 2022

European consumers want brands to help extend product life cycles

Europe News Trends

BELGIUM – New research has found that European consumers recognise that buying new, even when marketed as a greener alternative, cannot be sustainable.

Abstract icon representing the ecological call to recycle and reuse in the form of a pond with a recycling symbol in the middle of a beautiful untouched jungle.

Eco-conscious Europeans take pride in creatively extending the lifecycle of things in the best possible way. The trend, coined ‘Extending Life’, comes from a new report launched by consumer insight agency InSites Consulting. Data from the report finds that almost 8 in 10 Europeans have a positive affiliation (based on attitude and/or behaviour) toward this trend and it is even more prevalent amongst nextgen consumers.

The Consumer Trends Report 2022: Rebound + Rebalance summarises data from a two-part proprietary study conducted with more than 15,000 consumers in 17 markets in November 2021. Key highlights from the report include the fact that self-optimisation culture is slowing down but cultural expectations to succeed still exist.

European consumers want brands to help them overcome this tension and support self-improvement journeys, with almost 9 in 10 showing a desire to create positive yet realistic rituals.

The survey also found that age no longer defines the path we’re expected to take in life: consumers in Europe want to rip up the life-stage rule book, with more than 8 in 10 positively identifying with this trend.

In addition, the poll indicates that things society has always presented to us as ‘normal’ are being questioned; 7 in 10 nextgen consumers in Europe want products and services that represent reality, a score higher on average than their global peers.  

Joeri Van den Bergh, nextgen expert at InSites Consulting, commented: “We know from previous studies that Europeans look to brands for help in taking care of the planet; and the ‘Extending Life’ trend is further evidence of this. Brands should look to help European consumers extend life cycles and minimise waste in creative but sustainable ways.”

The company’s Culture + Trends Director, Lily Charnock, added: Amidst the ongoing [pandemic-related] uncertainty, people have prioritised small moments of joy and living for today. Yet, as we enter a new year unsure of what’s to come, we search for stability by setting long-term goals.

It is this duality – balancing pleasure against purpose – that we all seek to fulfil to achieve happiness in 2022. The trends identified in this report are driven by a collective desire to satisfy this tension.”