Originally published in the January 20, 2020 edition of Agri-News
Consumer Corner’s look at what is driving the demand for convenience is now online.
“The demand for convenience has never been greater,” says Jeewani Fernando, provincial consumer market analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “Around the globe, consumers need and look for convenience in all forms – whether it be simplicity, time saving or suitability.”
She adds that in today’s world, convenience goes beyond products, services and store channels. Consumers will continue to seek new ways to streamline their lives to cope with urban lifestyle challenges.
“Packaging, preparation, storage, portability, disposal, ordering, replenishment and fulfilment, as well as device, payment and application technologies are all key considerations when providing an overall convenience experience.”
Many factors are influencing the growing global demand for convenience. Fernando notes that 6 key drivers of change are shaping the need for convenience solutions, and they can be used to forecast future needs:
- Rapid urbanization – living in urban environments means a faster pace of life with more demands on consumers’ time.
- Smaller households – many consumers are downsizing their physical living area. They need to rationalize, for example, meal preparation, storage, disposal and eating areas a smaller dwelling. Consumers are reconsidering their product choices, usage patterns and shopping dynamics to do so.
- Longer commuting hours and traffic congestion – with more time spent on the road, consumers have less time at home for cooking and cleaning, often eating meals on the go. Consumption and shopping choices are evolving to match their busier lives.
- Evolving gender roles – with the increase in dual working couples, convenience is factoring more importantly in their choices.
- Generational needs – shifting age demographics also drive changes in consumer behaviour. Technology adoption, spending ability and spending focus varies considerably between generations and their convenience needs differ, too.
- Uptake of technology – in this increasingly on-demand environment, consumers will have more control to customize, personalize and demand products and services where and when they are needed.
“A comprehensive understanding of consumers’ circumstances and trouble spots or inconvenient areas gives companies a clear connection to the different opportunities and solutions that consumers seek,” she explains.
“Solutions that create ease, utility and simplicity in consumers’ busy lifestyles are the ones that will succeed. These solutions can be offered in areas such as food and beverage consumption, food shopping and engagement.”
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