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Mintel: The Big Conversation Europe Consumer Trends 2018

Mintel: The Big Conversation Europe Consumer Trends 2018

Yesterday I attended a Mintel session where trends expert Richard Cope unveiled the four consumer trends set to impact the European market throughout 2018 and how brands can convert environmental, technological and sociological challenges into business opportunities.

The fours trends were:

Sea change

Maritime conservation is at the heart of many campaigns and new product launches. From ocean plastic fashion to packaging, recycling and ingredient bans, various brands and governments work towards a sustainable and environmentally friendly solution.

Examples of trend in action: Reformation, Ganamos Reciclando (BR), Bulk Market (UK), Adidas UltraBoost, Head & Shoulders 25% recycled plastic bottles, M&S recycled wool suits.

What this means for us: Whilst product innovation may not necessarily be relevant to our clients, this is reflective of an increasing desire for transparency and accountability amongst brands


Recent high-profile hacks of accounts and malware crisis have increased consumers’ concern around data share and protection. The upcoming legislation change might be a game changer for many businesses which will need to rethink their strategy, particularly in digital.

Examples of trend in action: Bulagari Vault, Thero, Bud

What this means for us: Whilst there is still a lot of uncertainty around GDPR, it will undoubtedly result in the loss of access (at least in the short-term) to the volume of data currently available. This may, in turn, create newly empowered consumers who will seek to benefit as brands solicit them for data by giving them something in return (e.g. personalised offers and discounts).


The younger generation is facing increasing pressure and anxiety around image, health and work often leading to stress and mental illness. Institutions and brands are tackling this emerging issue in different ways through legislative enforcement (S. Korea Cinderella Law, Italy’s Culture Bonus) or by simply giving an alternative point of view/ option.

Trend in action: ASOS no longer airbrushing their models, Sarahah, tbh app (USA), Diesel Go with the Flaw, Covergirl I Am What I Make Up

What this means for us: Young consumers are looking for support around all aspects of their lives and any brand that can help them do that will resonate. Brands which aim at changing the narrative and creating discussion around pertinent issues will build equity amongst consumers, not just young.


In a world of post-truth politics and unsubstantiated media, consumers are looking for brands to court them with transparency and evidence. The increased ability for consumers to find information and communicate means that they will hold brands accountable in a very public way. This is in line with the Glass box trend which identifies the shift perception of what constitutes a brand: your internal culture is your brand; businesses were once black boxes but are now glass boxes.

Trends in action: SC Johnson, Claimbuster, Lush Ingredient Finder, Everlane

What this means for us: In terms of marketing, there will be an increasing desire for brands to be more authentic through their behaviour and their comms.

Suzana Lay
Media Account Director

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