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On March 18, 2021, Mintel, the world’s leading market intelligence agency, launched 2021 Consumer Trends in Shanghai today. The theme of this press conference is “Intelligent Life”. At the conference, Ms. Victoria Li, Senior Trend Analyst at Mintel, shared Mintel’s 7 Trend Drivers. Ms. Laurel Gu, director of Mintel’s Travel and Health category, and Mr. Samuel Yi, Director of Retail, Tech and Media Category, jointly brought an interpretation of the 2021 Mintel Consumer Trends report, with in-depth analysis of trends, health and leisure, and technology, and focused on the consumption trends in the Chinese market and the underlying reasons behind them. The post-pandemic era will help companies explore future business opportunities and grasp the pulse of innovation.

At this press conference, Mr. Elvis Pang, Head of Tmall International Brand Marketing – New product, Ms. Una Xu, Head of Unilever External Incubator – Big Data Insights, Mr. David Chen, Director of Brand Strategy Research for Vitasoy China, and Ms. Lydia Lee, President of Weber Shandwick China, together with Ms. Keiyou Wang, director of Auto and Lifestyle category at Mintel, shared unique views and insights from multiple perspectives, and discussed the development of consumer trends with identities such as “China Chic”, “Community” and other future directions of the Chinese consumer market.

In fact, many events in 2020 have led to fundamental adjustments in consumer behavior. Over time, consumers’ definitions and needs for health will continue to evolve. How they feel inside is becoming as important as how they feel in their bodies. Consumer health upgrades will be integrated into all industries, driven by new technology, in a more thoughtful, scientific and intelligent direction.

Based on the trends in 2021 Mintel Consumer Trends report, and with regard to the development performance of the Chinese market, Mintel also has the following findings:

Chinese consumers’ demand for positive energy for body and mind is rising

According to Mintel research, when reviewing their biggest changes in 2020, Chinese consumers often mention that they are “worried about their future employment”, “willing to spend more time to improve themselves”, “feel more emotionally stable and not easily panicked,” and “I have a better mindset.”

At the same time, in the post-pandemic period, Chinese consumers are working, studying, exercising and entertaining at home, which diversifies the functions of their homes. Mintel pandemic tracking data shows that, as in February 2021, the proportion of household goods consumption expenditure (38%) is higher than the average of all categories (25%).

China’s health technology consumption is booming

According to Mintel data, 89% of Chinese consumers agree that wearable devices make it easier to understand their physical condition through data, and 56% of smartwatch/band purchasers want to track the safety or health of family members (e.g., location, sleep, etc.).

Moreover, in pursuit of high quality of life, 82% of Chinese consumers are willing to share personal data to wearable devices to get better services.

Ms. Victoria Li, Senior Trend Analyst at Mintel, said, “The latest forecast for 2021 still includes the Mintel’s 7 Trend Drivers and its supporting system. It also considers COVID-19 for consumers’ thinking and attempts to provide an overview of what global consumers want to see in the marketplace of the future and how consumers and brands can plan from there to achieve their strategic vision.”

Ms. Laurel Gu, director of Mintel’s Travel ,leisure and Health category, said, “In the post-pandemic era, Chinese consumers have reached a consensus on a healthy and balanced life attitude. At the same time, the concept of ‘home’ is not only limited to every house, but is also expanding to communities, cities and countries. The concept of harmony between people and nature has strengthened consumers’ concern for the environment they are in.”

Mr. Samuel Yi, Director of Retail, Tech and Media Category, said, “Technology continues to transform consumers’ perceptions of themselves, both physically and mentally, and will enable them to achieve a better quality of modern life through a variety of ways. At the same time, as data becomes a key means to drive the application of technology, the trend of the Internet is unstoppable and consumers expect brands to use this data wisely and provide better product and service experiences.”

Ms. Keiyou Wang, director of Auto and Lifestyle category at Mintel, said, “The phenomenon of China Chic and the upsurge of community culture have once again proved the rise of Chinese consumers’ national confidence and collective consciousness. The changes brought about by the pandemic are not only reflected in the change of consumption or living habits, but also in people’s reflection on the meaning of consumption and attitude towards life. Consumers began to pay more attention to the spiritual dimension of the messages delivered by brands and expect to find values and ideas resonating with them.”

Mr. Ciliang Chen, General Manager of Tmall International Brand Marketing, said, “The global pandemic has caused a meltdown in international travel and accelerated online import consumption. The changes in import consumption scenes after the pandemic and the emergence of new demands have also led to the rise of related imported products, such as health and home-related products. In fact, the pandemic has not stopped overseas brands from entering China in the past year. The Chinese market that has recovered from the pandemic has become the main position for them to actively seek new growth. Tmall International will continue to import new products. Measures such as trend building, content ecosystem upgrading, global authenticity traceability, etc., and continue to incubate new imported goods categories, introduce new brands, and launch new products to better enable Chinese consumers to buy products from around the world and achieve a higher quality of life.”

Ms. Una Xu, head of Unilever External Incubator’s – Big Data Insight, said, “Unilever External Incubator’s Big Data has been paying close attention to the two-way analysis of the market and consumers, utilizing all digital tools and professional analysis and services to propose multi-dimensional innovative ideas and suggestions for R&D, channels, marketing, etc., and support the growth of incubated brands with all-round digital drive. “

Mr.David Chen, Director of Brand Strategy Research of Vitasoy China, said, “Consumers’ demand for health in the post-pandemic period has greatly increased. Under the trend of general health, the concept of healthy and green consumption continues to strengthen. For example, the growth potential of the plant-based market is high. It goes without saying that at the same time, the younger generation of China has gradually become the main consumer. I believe that Chinese consumers will pay more attention to sustainable and healthy food and beverages.”

Ms. Lydia Lee, President of Weber Shandwick China, said, “The market is changing rapidly, and for the public communications industry, it is always our mission to help brands communicate more comprehensively and accurately. In the post-pandemic era, the health industry and the smart industry are on the rise, and consumers are paying more attention to the core value of products and services, and the general trend of industrial change. However, no matter how the industry evolves online or offline, innovation will always be the driving force for the development of each industry.”