5 Social Media News Stories You Need to Read Right Now
By Yasmin PierreFeb 8
Published November 16th 2023
What are the consumer trends that marketers should be aware of? We analyzed millions of online consumer conversations to identify the latest trends.
Consumer behavior is constantly changing, and with inflation still influencing consumer purchasing decisions, it's more important than ever for CPG brands to understand their customers and stay on top of the latest trends. With insights from online consumer conversations obtained through platforms like Brandwatch, brands can make smarter business decisions, drive sales, and ultimately create more loyal customers.
In this blog, we'll explore the five biggest consumer trends in the consumer packaged goods industry right now.
There’s no doubt 2023 has been a tough year for just about everyone. With the high cost of living and surging inflation, it's no wonder that consumers are less enthusiastic about their purchases online.
Mentions of shopping in online consumer conversations are down 10% from August 2022 to August 2023 compared to the previous twelve months. Not only are consumers talking less about their shopping experience, but when they do engage in conversation, it focuses more on the negative aspects. Money is consistently referenced in a negative light, with consumers frequently expressing concerns about the rising product prices.
This is also reflected in online discussions around holiday shopping. Sentiment-categorized mentions in conversations between January and August 2023 reflect a 56% negativity rate, which marks a notable increase from the 46% negativity rate during the same period in 2022 — where inflation was also raging, mind you. Money is one of the main topics in these negative mentions.
Consumers are more cautious about how they spend their money. This will continue to impact their purchasing decisions during the holiday season. Brands can target price-conscious consumers with special offers and deals to increase sales and attract new customers.
The quiet luxury trend, fueled by TV shows like Succession and celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, was big in 2023 as conversations exploded online. Surely this trend will continue to influence the fashion world in 2024.
Quiet luxury can be described as a minimalist way of dressing in luxury clothing, usually toned down and combining classic basics without the designer logo being visible.
What are consumers saying about the quiet luxury trend? In quiet luxury conversations, the most popular fashion items are bags, dresses, and watches. The most frequently mentioned fashion brands are Chanel, Gucci, and Zara. Overall, the conversation is very positive. Joy is the most expressed emotion, with 66% of all emotion-categorized mentions being joyful.
But online conversations also include critical views from consumers who don't see the appeal in quiet luxury. They find the style boring and don't understand why people spend money on luxury items that don't have obvious designer logos on them.
Here is an opportunity for fashion brands to inspire customers on how to combine quiet luxury items for an elegant and not-at-all-boring look.
Rising prices have led to a shift in consumer behavior and increased sales of off-brand products. Off-brand products are usually cheaper than their branded counterparts, making them an affordable alternative for price-conscious consumers. As the cost of living crisis forced consumers to tighten their belts, off-brand products became more popular.
But this popularity comes with a flip side. When we look at online conversations about off-brand products over time and break them down into negative and positive sentiments, we see that the gap between positive and negative mentions is widening.
Positive mentions decreased by 14% from January to August 2023 compared to the previous period. Anger and disgust are now the dominant emotions in off-brand conversations, indicating that consumers are becoming increasingly frustrated with off-brand products.
One reason for this frustration is not the off-brand products themselves but the fact that rising prices force consumers to switch from their favorite brands to cheaper alternatives.
Some aren't satisfied with the quality of off-brand products, while others are complaining that they're out of stock or that the prices of off-brand products have also increased over time.
Taste is also an issue. Consumers who switch to non-branded alternatives expect a similar taste and are disappointed when their expectations are not met.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, as gyms were forced to close, people had to change their daily routines and start working out at home. Consumers bought exercise equipment to keep them moving at home and watched online workout videos to keep them motivated.
Now, in 2023, with life back to normal and gyms opened up again, many consumers were sticking with the home gym routines they'd built up over the past few years. And online conversations didn’t slow down either. From August 2022 to August 2023, mentions of home gyms increased by 7% compared to the previous twelve months.
Consumers say they love working out at home because they can do it anytime, the equipment is always available, and they don't have to deal with other people.
Dumbbells, treadmills, and workout mats are the most popular equipment for consumers' home gyms. Weight benches have become more popular, with online conversations increasing by 5% from August 2022 to August 2023 compared to the previous twelve months. And when it comes to the most popular home workouts, strength training ranks third behind yoga and cardio.
Consumers are looking for equipment and workouts to build muscle and strength. Mentions of Pilates, for example, saw a 31% increase in online conversations about home gyms from August 2022 to August 2023 compared to the previous twelve months.
Fitness brands can leverage these insights and meet consumer needs by offering home equipment that focuses on building muscle. They can motivate customers with online classes focused on strength training or Pilates and partner with fitness influencers to reach a wider audience.
Sun care products are in demand. Consumer conversations about these products from August 2022 to August 2023 increased by 11% compared to the previous twelve months, and sunscreen products are the most mentioned product in the skincare consumer conversations.
It’s clear that there is a growing demand for sun care products. This is also reflected in search data. According to Google Trends, search interest for "sunscreen" reached a 5-year high in May 2023.
Not only are online conversations increasing, but the themes of the conversation are shifting. Mentions of sunscreens with a high SPF of 50 or higher increased by more than 30%, while conversations about lower SPF products decreased.
In sun care conversations, consumers mention sunscreen as part of their daily skincare routine and ask online for recommendations on products for their skin type.
Here's an opportunity for beauty brands to build loyal consumers by offering sun care products that can be incorporated into their daily skincare routines, such as SPF day creams, or by offering products that target different skin types and conditions.
Read more about the latest consumer trends in our industry report on the CPG industry, including: