Consumers to shop smart and save up in 2011: report

Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:01am EDT
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By Paul Casciato

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Consumers still reeling from the global economic crisis will shop for bargains, buy online for deals and convenience, and plan to work beyond retirement age and boost savings in 2011, global market research firm Mintel said on Wednesday.

Mintel offered nine predictions about consumer behavior in Britain and America over the coming year from "rainy day" savings and smartphone usage to gender roles at work and home as well as the struggle between indulgence and obesity in its "Consumer Trends for 2011" report.

It said that online buying will increase, that students will weigh the cost of higher education against earning prospects and that employees will strive for education and learning as part of their corporate benefits.

Service providers and retailers, it added, should re-think their offerings for working women.

"These consumer trends for 2011 are a legacy created by economics, but now gathering their own momentum and are set to influence the global consumer mindset for a long time to come," said Mintel Global Trends Analyst Alexandra Smith in a statement.

Under headings such as "Prepare for the Worst," "Garden State" and "The Big Issue," Mintel demonstrated that a renewed emphasis on prevention will drive consumers to think defensively about all aspects of money in their lives, including where they get their food from, what's in it and how much of it they eat.

"In the UK, 43 percent of consumers say 'trying to add to my rainy day savings/emergency fund' is a priority for this year, up 15 percent from last year," the report said. "In the US, a third of consumers say they're using debit rather than credit, and debit transactions are forecast to rise nearly 60 percent between 2000 and 2010."

Under the heading "Garden State," Mintel said a growing love of gardening and a desire for fresh organic produce among modern city dwellers will drive seed sales to grow-your-own buffs.   Continued...

<p>A woman carries a shopping bag in New York October 14, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton</p>