Consumer Trends 2024: Opportunities in Asia Pacific

See how the current consumer trends are developing within the Asia Pacific region

May 17, 2024 – Through our extensive 360 research, we have identified key drivers and trends shaping the Asia Pacific region. Macro level megatrends, consumer lifestyle and attitude tracking, and consumer trend research has been utilized to provide valuable insights for marketers, innovators, and businesses looking to stay ahead in the dynamic consumer landscape.

Macro Trends Context

The Asia Pacific (APAC) region is influenced by wide-reaching macro trends. APAC consumers see the world as a fast-moving, dynamic, and challenging environment, in which the macro trends of environmental anxieties, health related issues such as pollution, healthcare provision, food security, and nutrition are leading concerns. Advances in technology such as AI are creating a more unsettled yet innovative environment, one in which personal data security and cybercrime is a real concern. Personal finances are also in focus with the cost-of-living crisis likely leading to heightened concerns about food security and nutrition.

Consumer Behavior: Healthier Lives

94% of APAC consumers say that they are changing their lifestyles due to global issues of concern. One such way is through partaking in healthier living.  Health and wellbeing is the top spending priority beyond living essentials for consumers. Aging well is especially important for older generations, while younger generations care more about looking good and mental health. Diet and nutrition is seen as the most important way to live healthier, followed by physical exercise and looking after mental health. Consumer trend research indicates that over half of consumers say that they are eating more whole plant foods, and slightly less than half are eating food and beverages that support body functions, such as immunity and gut health.

Consumer Behavior: Conscious Living

Consumers are taking conscious actions to support environmental and ethical causes. These include minimizing food waste, choosing products with environmentally friendly packaging, and reducing car travel or using cleaner forms of transport to reduce pollution. Health and environmental reasons are cited as the top drivers for many of these actions. Consumers also expect companies to engage in environmental and social efforts, with nature protection and raising health and nutrition standards chosen as the most important.

Consumer Trends 2024 Opportunities in Asia Pacific

Consumer Behavior: Changing Occasions

Home-based social gatherings, food, and entertainment is growing in popularity in the region. Social media is the top social occasion/outlet for the 18-44 age range, followed by family mealtimes. Consumers above 45 value family mealtimes and activities in the home the most. Eating at home is additionally a growing trend, with a 24% increase in the past twelve months. Dining out is chosen more for special social occasions, such as celebrations and meals with friends, family or a partner. Many consumers also say that they order take out often because they are too busy to cook.

Consumer Behavior: Evolving Nature of Treat and Reward

Simple, everyday sources of pleasure are preferred for consumers, with 56% choosing to treat themselves to everyday moments of happiness. The top-ranking sources of pleasure and reward include time with family or partner, and entertainment, and enjoying healthy food and drink. Consumers also plan to treat themselves more with products or services in the categories of travel/holidays, clothes/shoes/accessories, and restaurants/dining out/bars.

Consumer Trends: The Value of Connection

Consumers value close connections with family, friends, and community as a key source of pleasure and a way to manage stress. A substantial portion of consumers have spent time with family or friends to manage stress around multiple crises in the world. Many also say that social gatherings with family and friends are a spending priority.

Multiple consumer trends of social gatherings are apparent in the region. The virtual world is being utilized to connect with others, through socializing within games, as well as digital spaces like the Metaverse. A new “phygital” way of socializing is emerging as well, where physical spaces are implementing digital elements to engage consumers at multiple levels.

However, the digital world has also increased the prevalence of loneliness, leading consumers to seek out more “real” connections to others, and the physical world. Some are returning to spirituality through attending temple services, and camping and glamping have grown in popularity alongside outdoor hiking. Consumers also want more local and real experiences, as well as nostalgia and connection to the past, helping them foster connections with local traditions, culture, and heritage from both the past and present.

Consumer Trends: Home-Centric Living

Over 30% of consumers spent more time or did more from home due to anxiety around multiple crises in the world. Additionally, there has been a consumer trend towards eating and snacking at home, with many working from home at least two days a week.

With this increased time at home, consumers (especially young ones) are considering their space as a place worthy of investing in. Some are following new design philosophy trends to revitalize their space, such as “Japandi,” fusing Japanese and Scandanavian influences, while others are turning their kitchens into a multi-format coffee bar, dining, and working space. Consumers are also cooking at home more, but oftentimes through premade convenience meals. Innovation in cooking aids, such as AI supported cooking assistants and upgraded rice cookers can incentivize consumers to cook from scratch more often.

Consumer Trends: Healthcare to Self-Care

Consumers are invested in feeling well, looking good, and protecting their health for the future, with a focus on prevention. Actions taken to achieve these goals include focusing on hydration and sleep patterns, engaging in regular exercise, and eating more nutritious diets with a focus on whole plant foods.

Some consumers are turning to technology to help improve their health. VR meditation, AI personal trainers, and health-scanning bathmats are just some of the developments seen in the region. Many are also engaging with more functional food and drink, to improve sleep, boost immunity, improve digestive health, and support heart and bone health. Others are finding benefits in targeted health solutions, such as menopause retreats and personalized supplements.

Consumer Trends: Savy Shopping

Digitally smart consumers are taking more control, with an increasing number of ways to save money, often with benefits for planet and pocket. In times of economic uncertainty, a substantial portion of consumers are shopping online because it is cheaper, are shopping closer to home to reduce fuel costs, and are cooking from scratch to cut down on prices.

Consumers trends research also indicates individuals are cutting down on food waste, both for the environment and to save money. Many are selling their unwanted items on popular platforms such as Vinted. DIY and self-sufficiency is also growing, as is engaging in more direct to consumer services to find better deals.

What’s Next in Consumer Trends?

With consumers valuing connection to family, friends, partners, and communities, companies can explore ways to facilitate enhancements of shared moments, focusing on allowing consumers to foster real connections. These can include developing more ways consumers can engage in nostalgic and local experiences, as well as creating more opportunities for “phygital” spaces that consumers can enjoy.

There is also an increased focus on home-centric living, which brands can leverage through offering snacking opportunities, and enablers for scratch cooking tailored for the home. Consumers’ interest in health and self-care will likely continue to drive purchases of functional foods and beverages, plant-based choices, and fresh, whole ingredients. Finally, brands should look to finding new ways to offer consumers cost effective products, that also benefit the planet.

 

This article is based on our report, “Asia-Pacific Consumer Trends – Opportunities for 2024.” If you are interested in reading this report, feel free to request a demo.
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