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JUST HOW IMPORTANT IS BRANDING IN THE BEER MARKET?

With the surging popularity of craft beer, taste has become of high importance in the beer market. While 34% of beer drinkers are prepared to pay more for craft beers, 59% are only willing to pay more for beer if they can easily taste the difference from cheaper equivalents. With this in mind, Mintel explored the influence of branding on taste. Some 11 different beers – a mixture of mainstream, craft and ‘global’ brands – were blind-tasted by a panel of eight sector specialist analysts in Mintel’s London HQ for what was an ad hoc, but insightful, taste test.


FUNCTIONAL PET FOOD ENTERS THE MARKET IN GERMANY

In a world where pets are increasingly treated like children, it seems unsurprising that the diets of pampered pooches are being adjusted to match their lifestyles. Indeed, German pet owners continue to demonstrate year after year that they are willing to open their wallets to pamper their pets. With an estimated 28 million pets taking residency in German households and pets playing such a key role in the lives of many consumers, there is a strong trend appearing towards humanisation of pets in Germany.


MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL, WHO IS THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL?

The newest entrant into the Malaysian skin whitening segment is Qu Puteh which promises to whiten skin by 45% in just 7 days – making quite an impact with consumers. Could this be the Holy Grail of all skin whitening products? What is it about this product that has garnered so much attention? Skin care and vitamins and supplement products are well sought after by a growing number of middle class Malaysians who are increasingly investing in their personal beauty and health.


THE 5 WAYS TECHNOLOGY WILL IMPACT THE UK HOMEWARES MARKET

When it comes to shopping for homewares, many consumers are reaching for their gadgets over the car keys. Indeed, high levels of smartphone ownership, together with confidence about the security of shopping online have led to spectacular growth in the online channel. With Mintel’s Homewares UK 2015 report revealing that nearly three in five consumers bought something online last year, we look ahead at the trends that will affect the way people buy homewares.


IN FLAVOUR: KIMCHI

A traditional Korean side dish consisting of fermented cabbage. Mintel has identified kimchi as a flavour trend opportunity, which looks set to grow in importance in the UK. Whilst fermented foods are not common in the UK, the hot and sour flavours of kimchi should appeal to UK consumers given wider market trends for spicy food. There are also indications that mainstream operators are beginning to leverage kimchi to create standout dishes in the wider eating out market.


WORLD’S FIRST SMART COMPANION ROBOT BRINGS FAMILIES CLOSER TOGETHER

A Chinese start-up, A.I. Nemo, claims to be the world’s first smart companion robot; it helps people communicate with family members more easily and brings families closer together. Working-age consumers in China have shown a strong desire to spend more time with their family but appear to be just too busy to do so. According to Mintel’s Chinese Consumers – Embracing the Change China 2014 report, 72% of respondents say that their personal goal for the year is to spend more time with their family, while 26% say they would like this to be a goal, but are not sure they’ll manage it.


THE HEALTHY LIFESTYLE EFFECT: WILL IT IMPACT THE SKINCARE MARKET

2014 saw the trend for healthy eating and healthy lifestyles boom, driven by the success of social media stars such as Hemsley and Deliciously Ella, who was signed as a columnist for the Daily Telegraph due to the popularity of her recipes. Health and wellness enthusiasts took to social media in their droves to share their recipe ideas, fitness routines and lifestyle tips, inspiring others and driving an interest in a holistic approach to health and beauty.


UNBLOCKING THE DRAIN CARE MARKET IN THE UK

A blocked drain is something that is pretty difficult to ignore and it seems consumers in Britain are increasingly fighting back against dirty drains. Indeed, sales of drain care products increased by 16% year on year to 2014, providing a £5 million boost to the UK household cleaning market. The big increase that we have seen in sales of drain care products, including plughole unblockers and sanitisers, still offers a significant opportunity for further growth in the household cleaning market.


MILLENNIALS GREEN UP AMERICAN CONSUMERISM

Previously a trend among celebrities and environmentalists, “buying green” has officially spread to the masses and settled with the average consumer. Mintel research shows that more and more US consumers are prioritising eco-friendly consumer goods, including more than half of Millennials who say they feel better about themselves when they purchase organic products. In line with this growth is the emergence of more nuanced consumer segmentation, where different consumer groups value green products for different reasons.


FRANCE LEADS THE WAY IN GOAT, EWE AND SHEEP’S MILK PRODUCT INNOVATION

While many brands across Europe rely on cows for their dairy produce; France is turning to other farmyard favourites and is consequently leading the way in dairy innovation. Indeed, France is one of the most prolific countries when it comes to goat/ewe/ sheep’s milk yogurt and chilled desserts, accounting for just over a fifth of all launches in 2013-14.

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