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Top Three Consumer Trends for Germany in 2024

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Germany, as a market, has experienced a number of challenges in previous years. Many product and service industries are experiencing a rebalancing effect in the wake of the pandemic, navigating a new normal in supply and demand, while lingering inflation and a cost-of-living crisis continue to squeeze consumers and businesses alike. Despite the challenges, there is room for optimism.Chart showing Consumer Confidence and Growth in Retail Sales in Germany Jan 2022 - Mar 2024

Consumers are still willing to spend if the conditions are right, and a keen understanding of consumer trends can give businesses the tactical advantage to understand what makes a difference right now, as well as to help plan for the coming year.

On 16 May 2024, Euromonitor hosted an exclusive client event in Düsseldorf, called “German Perspectives on Global Opportunities”, that discussed this exact topic. Here is a recap of the top consumer trends shaping the German market that were explored at our event.

Connect, engage and innovate

Influencers, from social media stars to rappers, increasingly back or create drinks brands, and many have enjoyed nearly instantaneous success across Germany. Success is powered by the influence of social media and driven by tech-savvy younger consumers looking to identify with brands differently compared with their older generation cohorts.

In a presentation called “Delightful Distractions: The Influencer Hype Fuelling Drinks Sales”, Research Consultant and German drinks expert, Linda Lichtmess, explored the impact influencers have on the innovation process, leveraging new data to understand what works and what’s just hype.

37% of Gen Z and 48% of millennials in Germany want to engage with brands to influence product innovation

Source: Euromonitor Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyles Survey, fielded January to February 2024

Consumers seek out opportunities to spark joy while shopping, creating moments of delight to distract them from the broader challenges they face. But that process is so much easier when brands engage with their customers, innovating with consumer input. Remaining engaged is critical to remaining relevant, especially crucial in saturated and mature product categories.

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Simple, effective, fast

Younger generation consumers, empowered by tech savviness and more options across an array of emerging digital brands, are seeking out specific ingredients that enhance their beauty routines in new ways. This shift is driven by a broad consumer interest in simple, effective and quick solutions to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.

In a presentation called “Wellness Pragmatists: Ingredient-Led Beauty for a New Generation”, Magda Starula, Research Consultant and German beauty expert, explored how consumer perception of wellness is changing and how new brands are increasingly challenging more established players.

73% of German consumers would be willing to pay more for beauty products with proven efficacy or benefits

Source: Euromonitor Voice of the Consumer: Beauty Survey, fielded June to July 2023

Consumers need to be convinced of a product’s efficacy before making a purchase, especially for younger generation consumers who quickly leverage digital channels to inform their shopping decisions. Simplifying the messaging about a product’s efficacy to cut through the noise can help a brand stand out and reach consumers eager for quick but effective solutions.

E-commerce nearing a sustainability tipping point

The fast fashion boom, driven by e-commerce, has been highly successful in Germany but at a significant cost to the environment. Changing consumer perception about brands and their sustainability pledges is putting pressure on fashion companies to make significant changes.

In a presentation called “Greenwashed Out: Prepping Fashion for the German Circular Economy”, Research Consultant and German fashion expert, Ana Tique, explored how fashion brands need to adapt to remain competitive in Germany's more circular economy, moving forward.

54% of German consumers purchase second-hand products online

Source: Euromonitor Voice of the Consumer: Sustainability Survey, fielded January to February 2024

E-commerce sales in Germany are forecast to slow into a new lower rate of growth for the coming years, and while that has sounded the alarm for some companies, it has created an excuse to innovate around changing consumer preferences and coming regulation tied to the European Green Deal for more sustainable business practices. Fashion offers a bright spot here, as brands leverage strong consumer interest in things like repair and reuse, second-hand marketplaces and a “less is more” approach to create new business models that support a more sustainable level of growth in e-commerce, moving forward.

Read more about the Global Consumer Trends here, and please contact us for more information about the insights from the Consumer Trends Summit | Düsseldorf.

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