The Generation Game: Catering to Asia's Future Life Stages

May 9, 2017

Declining birth rates, aging demographics, urbanisation and the need for higher productivity in personal and professional spheres, are some of the key factors that are forcing change in Asian societies. As a result, generations are navigating their lives from childhood to seniority in a way that has never been done before.

In Mintel’s new thought piece, ‘The Generation Game: Catering to Asia’s Future Life Stages’, Matthew Crabbe, Director of Research, Asia Pacific, shines a spotlight on eight key future life stages that Asia’s consumers are transitioning through, with recommendations for how brands and companies can cater to these evolving consumer needs.

Matthew Crabbe, Director of Research, Asia-Pacific at Mintel said:

“Change is happening across Asia and the social shifts consumers experience today are fundamentally altering the consumption behaviours of tomorrow. The challenge will be for companies and brands to learn how to adapt quickly to the economic and social changes Asia is going through. The future of Asian families will provide huge potential for quick-adaptors and sector specialists.”

Four of the future life stages identified in ‘The Generation Game’ are:

Future-proofing education

Mintel research reveals that 86% of students in China say they are working hard to achieve the future they desire. However, with the rapid development of new technologies, the future of work, and, therefore, education, are still areas of speculation. Continued technological advances will mean education has to prepare Asia’s children for a job market where adaptable skills are the most important aim.

Home, harmony and hyper-connectivity

Young consumers are focused on having the freedom to move about and enjoy experiences, rather than being limited to purchasing a home and living in a single location. Indeed, over three in four (76%) students in China say that living happily in the moment is the most important thing for them. While in India, as many as eight in 10 (80%) consumers aged 18-34 have no plans to buy an apartment in the next three years. This movement will significantly change the consumption habits of younger consumers and how they invest their incomes. As a result, marketers will be expected to change the way they communicate and engage with these consumers in the future.

Staying single

More and more young consumers in Asia are challenging the traditional life or career path, and are finding the self-confidence to choose to go it alone. It seems staying single is perceived to be more of an option than a must among Asia’s consumers as Mintel research reveals 73% of single consumers in India have no plans to get married in the next three years. Meanwhile, 43% of singles in China aged 20-24 would like to live in an unconventional way, rising to 53% among single consumers aged 25-29. Companies and brands are now perfectly aligned to be part of that voyage of discovery.

Once the birds have flown

Older working Asians are having to adapt to the rapidly changing societies they live in as much as their younger peers and they are also actively exploring new lifestyles to suit their own tastes and interests. Mintel research reveals half (47%) of metro Thai consumers aged 55 years and above say they will definitely travel to new places or go on more vacations in 2016. Additionally, over half (55%) of metro Indonesians aged 55 and above say they will learn a new skill or get a new hobby in 2016. One of the best things brands can do is to stop ignoring older consumers as a potentially lucrative market across Asia.

Mintel’s The Generation Game: Catering to Asia’s Future Life Stages thought piece is available to download here.

Interviews with Matthew Crabbe, Director of Research, Asia-Pacific, are available on request from the press office.

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