How is the pandemic influencing new consumer behaviors and choices?

Before understanding the impact of trends in consumer behavior, we need to understand what factors lead and drive changes around the world. The questions that have to be answered first are:

How consumers react to certain changes?

What motivations are behind their choices?

What kind of channels & brands they are loyal to?

It is an alive synergetic and interdependent system that evolves all the time. 

The fundamental elements of any trends

Global drivers are the first highly influential element. These are external forces which have great potential to change the dynamics of business. They involve long-term issues such as aging populations and urbanization, as well as immediate triggers such as political events, natural disasters and pandemics – like the one we are experiencing.

Intertwined with these events are those searching to address human needs or the so called basic needs that arise from these Global Drivers. In the case of COVID-19, for example, consumers are increasingly concerned about finding alternatives to completely protect their health.

Finally, we have innovations, which we could say are more of the same, such as face masks and hand sanitizers; novelties. These are normally related to new developments still in the embryonic stage, like possible vaccines. These two types of innovations do not completely solve our needs and we should continue looking for other solutions.

How to find the "Sweet Spot" in the situation we are living in?

Faced with so much unsubstantiated, unqualified and speculative information, how can we as the personal care industry differentiate the signal (a meaningful information which can lead into a trend) from the noise (random fluctuation that does not contain meaningful data)? At DSM, we consider a number of sources such as the most influential communication vehicles in the sector, academic content, research and forums, among others to have a broad perspective. For a trend to be part of the framework, it needs to also be seen emerging in other industries, e.g. Food & Beverage, Travel, and Fashion industry. Once this is the case, we then classify it as signal and not a noise. Innovations have a much higher chance to hit the sweet spot when they are inspired by selected trends observed in diverse situations.

We have a framework that’s dynamic and constantly updated, and it builds the fundament of our research to develop personal care ingredients that enable our customers to offer products of true value to their consumers.

With this framework in mind, we are able to anticipate new manifestations that help us to develop new ingredients, solutions, and concepts ahead of the market and hit the sweet spot!

And what trends stand out as a response to the pandemic?

According to the structure above and looking at the evolution of the pandemic globally, some trends and developments are affected more.

At any time, new consumer needs and expectations can arise. AT DSM Personal Care & Aroma Ingredients the focus is to provide the industry with personal care ingredients capable of accompanying these developments in a consistent and meaningful way.

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