Despite the search for a balanced life becoming a global trend, when exploring specific markets in Asia-Pacific (APAC), it is clear that several are leading from the front; namely Japan, South Korea and China.
“That said, each market has clear examples of this trend—from Australia to India,” enthused Angelia Teo, Beauty and Personal Care Research Manager, Asia Pacific, at Mintel.
Consumers increasingly understand the balance between their own health and that of the environment and are demanding greener, healthier life solutions from brands.
Clean on the inside and the outside
In China, the ancient philosophy of Daoism teaches life balance, and this is coming through in product launches. There is more information and education surrounding consumers’ own health and wellbeing, along with that of the environment.
In turn, consumers want to find solutions to prevent the damage caused by urban congestion and environmental pollution and live a healthier, happier and more balanced life.
Brands are now at the forefront of these launches, as it is not only the products themselves that consumers explore but the nature of the environmentally-safe and responsible operators.
Brands should consider positioning and promoting themselves as “champions of consumer wellness” as the green era moves into an age where consumers actively understand their responsibility to society and equally to themselves.
A study on air quality conducted by Berkeley Earth found that 1.6 million people are dying every year due to the air pollution in China. With this staggering statistic at the forefront of consumers’ minds, buyers are increasingly aware of the damage caused by pollution and are seeking protective goods.
To overcome this toll and improve air quality, Liuzhou in southern China is masterminding a totally energy self-sufficient neighbourhood. All the buildings and entities are covered in trees and plants to achieve this.
Shanghai is also developing a 100-hectare urban agriculture complex in a bid to create a self-sustainable city.
On an individual level, this negative environmental picture is causing some consumers to modify their behaviour to achieve a balanced future. Ultimately, shoppers then seek out brands that share these values.
Chinese ecommerce giant JD.com, for example, aims to cut waste by introducing a recycling programme for its cardboard shipping boxes.
Wider pollution support
Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD) reveals that 45% of all products launched in China between January 2012 and August 2017 that include an environmentally-friendly packaging claim were launched between January 2016 and August 2017.
One specific demographic identified by Mintel is ’Mintropolitans’, a segment who are broadly defined those who represent a “significant, sophisticated consuming group who pursue quality of life rather than just wealth, are well educated and are the potential trendsetters”.
In March 2017, Mintel found that Mintropolitans are more likely to purchase ethical brands at a premium price, in part because buying ethical products makes them feel good.
In its Marketing to Mintropolitans China 2017 report, based on a survey of 3,000 internet users aged 20-49, Mintel found that 58% agree they are willing to pay more for ethical brands, while 58% agree that buying ethical products makes them happy.
Mintel reveals in its China Consumer Trends 2018 report that brands that offer products with “health-promoting benefits, as well as display social responsibility and benefits to humanity, will prosper”.
In particular, those that explore “traditional native Chinese philosophy, remedies and forms of exercise in product formulation and marketing message” will reap the benefits.