9 April 2020
Our Pandemic Lens series explores how lockdown will impact consumer behaviour and mindsets at home in the coming months. These forecasts are largely rooted in existing consumer insight and research but with a pandemic lens applied, meaning they have solid foundations and are likely to be enduring shifts rather than fleeting moments in time.
The Great Slow Down
From fast and convenient to slow and leisurely; householders are using their current ‘break from reality’ to reassess the pace at which they have been operating. But what’s more, once it is over, will they want to return?
In the last decade, we’ve seen the pace of life increase at an astonishing rate. The experience economy has driven us all to travel further and spend more and more time gathering valuable experiences. During this time, convenience has been king and the home has so often become a stop-off en route to the next event, activity or meeting. Pre-pandemic we were already tracking a new appreciation of the art of ‘staying in’ but for now, for many, there really is nowhere else to be. Householders are rediscovering the value in doing things more slowly, more deliberately and more thoroughly during lockdown and this is likely to endure for some time afterwards as well. Making birthday cards from scratch fills an afternoon and baking your own bread entertains the kids – so why seek more convenient options? Even washing the dishes or folding the laundry can provide stress relief.
This trend has major implications for industries like household care, food and beverage which until now have operated on a convenience-first model. These brands will need to think about the performance of their product in a new light; the enjoyment of the task, not simply how efficiently it works.
Design studio Manual believe that slowness is important, offering a line of home goods designed with daily rituals in mind; products that encourage you to slow down, think about what you’re doing and appreciate the moment, rather than rush through the task. Sales of jigsaws (@slowdownstudio) skyrocketed in the weeks since lockdown as house-bound folk have taken to slow entertainment.
The simple pleasures of everyday life are the things that will provide joy through these difficult times. For householders, it becomes increasingly important to practice gratitude for and find beauty in the small daily moments, whether that’s lighting a candle, brewing a ‘proper’ cup of coffee or enjoying the bird song outside the window.
As forecast in our SS20 home and interiors trend Meaningful Life, daily rituals will be elevated to a new level, offering opportunities for FMCG brands to elevate their own products in response. The idea of ceremony and methodical repetition provide solace and comfort as well as helping householders to transition through the day in their one space. Meal times in particular will be imbued with added significance and we’ll see home diners rediscover the tradition of a formally laid table – or the modern day twist on this.
@iamlaurajackson founder of supper club Hoste London, is working (virtually) with Habitat UK to inspire people to #makeamealofit and stylist @fionaleahydesign is taking her styling skills online with a series called #dinnerforone
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