Melanie Nambiar
Melanie is Mintel's Southeast Asia Trends Analyst based in the Kuala Lumpur office, focusing on capturing consumer behaviour in the Southeast Asian market.

During the recent Top Trends in APAC webinar, we discussed the emergence of a new type of consumption behaviour in Asia Pacific, where time-saving, labour-saving, and convenient products and services are increasingly in demand—in fact, now more than ever before.

With lifestyles becoming a lot busier and fast-paced, consumers have grown more reluctant to do things that require them to expend extra time or energy. Mintel has coined four terms to identify the different consumer groups that have emerged in light of this lazy economy: the ‘Aspiring Environmentalist’; the ‘Sleeping Beauty Queen’; the ‘Reluctant Cook’; and the ‘Fast & Furious’.

In the first of this two-part blog series, we shine the spotlight on the ‘Aspiring Environmentalist’ and ‘Sleeping Beauty Queen’ groups, as well as discuss how companies and brands are catering to them.

The Aspiring Environmentalist

This consumer cares about the environment but does not have the time or is too lazy to do anything about it. The Aspiring Environmentalist is aware of the ongoing damage to the environment caused by our throwaway culture, but doesn’t necessarily take action.

Asia, as a society, is picking up on being eco-conscious and gradually taking on more accountability when it comes to sustainability. To cater to the Aspiring Environmentalist, the onus is on brands to bridge the gap and provide this consumer with the solutions and options to effortlessly move away from this throwaway culture.


Source: Mandy T

In beauty, Mandy T, Singapore’s ‘first all-natural and eco-friendly bodycare brand’, runs with the philosophy of living as simply and naturally as possible. The origins of Mandy T started with the simple idea of using fewer, better quality ingredients in a smarter way. Their products, all of which are free from chemicals and not tested on animals, are handcrafted in small batches at their workshops. Furthermore, the brand eliminates unnecessary packaging by opting for eco-friendly, recyclable glass jars.


Source: designboom.com

In food and drink, while consumers are environmentally aware, brands are leading the way and providing them with the platforms to be more conscious of their behaviours. Ijen is said to be Indonesia’s first restaurant to follow a zero-waste philosophy, which is reflected in every aspect, from the decor and utensils to the menu and ingredients used. In Thailand, a supermarket has received worldwide attention for wrapping its produce in banana leaves, replacing plastic packaging.

The Sleeping Beauty Queen

Shaving time off essential steps in a beauty regime, without compromising on efficacy, is the Sleeping Beauty Queen’s sole mission. This consumer is always on the lookout for products or services that align with this agenda. Mintel research reveals that a fifth of Indian women aged 18-34 complain that they never have enough time at home to groom themselves.

The fact that the Sleeping Beauty Queen is looking for quick solutions, brings our attention to the popularity of beauty services. Beauty services are life savers as much as they are time savers for this consumer group. Some of these include brow microblading and eyelash extensions. They bring convenience to the consumer and have also contributed to the popular hashtag, #iwokeuplikethis, on social media.

BCL Saborino Quick Hair Dry Spray from Japan is said to contain a variety of moisturising ingredients including botanical oils to leave the hair smooth and shiny. It is designed to help wet hair dry faster.

Dreamworks Fiona Bangs Volume Sheet from South Korea is a sheet that’s designed to be applied directly onto velcro hair rollers before putting them on bangs for l ong-lasting volume. It is said to quickly set bangs in three to five minutes, lasting all day long thanks to fixing polymer.

Services aside, companies and brands are also launching product innovations to cater to the Sleeping Beauty Queen. We are seeing the release of travel-friendly, on-the-go products that serve beauty needs while allowing consumers to quickly prepare themselves for the day. Saborino’s Quick Hair Dry Spray from Japan, for instance, is designed to be applied onto wet hair, making it dry faster.