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Consumerism From 2010 To Now

The History of Consumerism

Consumerism refers to an orientation of society, of ordinary people, to be defined by what they consume: not merely resources, goods, and services, but also brands, fashion, identity, and their rights as purchasers of those goods and services. According to ICSD, it is a culture that’s been defined by the spending choices and habits of its people, and by the identity traits consumerism creates. The Industrial Revolution played a major role in the spread of consumerism in the 1700s. It centred on the use of capitalist economic policies that led to the emergence of many different factories and mines. As a result of the economic freedom of the time period, these factories were able to produce countless inventions and products on a mass scale.

How Consumerism Took Over

According to History Crunch, In the 20th century, goods became much less expensive and some products were able to sell on a very large scale due to effective marketing campaigns. This caused an explosion in modern consumption rates, as marketing is still an important consumerist tool in the 21st century. Another important aspect of consumerism in recent years has been the concept of outsourcing. In general, outsourcing is when companies in western countries such as the United States and Canada send their manufacturing to other countries such as Mexico and China. In this manner, the overall cost of wages becomes lower when developing a product because workers in countries like China and Mexico will work for much smaller wages than similar workers in the United States and Canada.

How Consumerism Has Changed in the Last Decade

Shopmium outlines a few major changes in consumerism form 2010 to 2019.

Selective consumption

One of the most significant developments of the last decade is the rise of the conscious consumer. It is a consumer who is increasingly choosing to make conscious buying decisions by purchasing local, ethical and environmentally friendly products. Many shoppers are embracing a “buy less, buy better” philosophy. Consumers have become more responsible and more selective. They are no longer making decisions based solely on product selection or price. They’re assessing what a brand says, what it does and what it stands for.

Organic consumption

Organic has been building momentum and experiencing steady growth. Shoppers perceive organic to be healthy, tasty and are deciding that it is worth the money. The organic message is becoming better understood, and evidence shows it is increasing partly because of the young audience coming into the market. Beyond organic, there is strong demand for natural and clean label products in both the food and personal care space.

Hands-free consumption

In recent years, smartphones have become widely available and 85% of the population now owns a smartphone. 95% of smartphones are used every day, impacting many activities such as grocery shopping. Thus mobile use has redefined grocery shopping. 2 out of 3 modern grocery buyers use their mobile for cost savings and smart grocery shopping (modern grocery buyers are defined as mobile users who intend to purchase groceries within the next 90 days). Grocery buyers use their mobile to research prices (for 46%), promotions and discounts (for 35%), store locations (for 28%), product info or availability (for 17%) and loyalty programs (for 14%).

Final Note

In conclusion, the consumer of 2020 is more responsible for buying less but buying better. Consumers want more organic, natural and clean-label products, and expect sustainable packaging.

Article Author: Gurdial Gill

Article Editors: Victoria Huang, Sherilyn Wen


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