Bord Bia has released the results of its new study ‘The Irish Consumer 2015’, undertaken in conjunction with The Futures Company, revealing that today’s consumer is empowered, self-reliant and seeking life balance.
Key findings in the report show that perceptions of the economy are improving with 51% of those surveyed believing that “things are going well financially in Ireland”, up from a low of 8% in 2011.
Consumers’ attitudes to their personal financial situation has also improved with 56% saying that things are going well for them at the moment, up from 46% in 2011 and comparing favourably on a global scale, where less than 40% feel good about their financial situation.
Alongside changed in attitudes to finance, the reports also highlights key developments in the consumer agenda, influenced by a range of factors.
Speaking at the event Helen King, Bord Bia’s Director of Consumer Insight, commented; “Ireland has experienced huge changes in the past decade at social, economic and technological levels which have impacted on consumer attitudes.
“Insight such as this assists companies to be future-focused and consumer-driven to anticipate changes in people’s lives, whilst allowing the business to make plans for change and act as a catalyst for innovation,” she added.
Consumers have become more critical and less trusting of brands and institutes, and this has created a desire for self-reliance and led shoppers to make more considered purchase choices, with 72% finding themselves more likely to spend time researching a product before buying it. Furthermore, 67% now consider price more important than brand names, compared to only 58% in 2010.
As people live increasingly time-pressured and complex lives, they realise the importance of disconnecting and finding balance. More than 40% say that it is hard to find space in their lives to think and reflect. Younger age groups are finding it the most difficult to switch off, with 55% of 16 to 24-year-olds struggling to do so.
The need for a high quality of life seems to be overtaking the value of material possessions for many consumers. Only 17% o Irish people think they would be happier if they had more material possession. Instead, 94% agree that good health is a sign of success, and that same amount feel that way about being debt-free, compared to only 54% globally.
What Bord Bia calls ‘the spirit of togetherness’ remains strong, with 95% of those surveyed reporting that they know someone that can rely on in a time of need, with 92% viewing being a dutiful member of the family as a sign of success.
Irish consumers also believe in the power of ‘us’ with 74% of people believing that groups of individuals making small changes can make a difference in the world, compared to 61% globally.
However, the concept of ‘global citizenship’ would not appear to be a priority for Irish consumers, with 60% saying we should prioritise the interests of our country over those of the wider world.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.