Increasingly, the consumer market in the developed world is becoming dominated by a demand for products which meet certain criteria. From sustainable products which are kinder to the environment or made from organic materials, to those made without the use of animal testing. There is a huge demand for products from what has been termed the “conscious consumer”.
Who is the conscious consumer?
The conscious consumer cares about the products they buy, in one way or another. This means that for business owners, it will no longer suffice to produce products quickly and affordably. Rather, business owners must contend with the demand from conscious consumers — this isn’t always the cheapest or fastest route for producing goods.
Despite this, business managers need to find ways to make the appropriate adjustments. This demographic of consumers is growing, and businesses need to keep pace as much as possible. In this article, we look more closely at the needs of the conscious consumer, and how businesses can make the most of this customer base.
What does the conscious consumer want?
The conscious consumer is an umbrella term which covers many types of consumer trends. Some of these include products from which the materials and machinery used during production and manufacturing are ethically sourced, environmentally friendly, and animal-cruelty free. These types of requirements have become popular in the cosmetics industry in particular, as well as in the fashion industry.
In the food industry, there are similar trends. More and more, customers are seeking sustainably sourced coffee, plant-based food products which don’t have the level of environmental impact that is caused by animal rearing, and organic foods which aren’t altered by pesticides and other chemicals.
Accommodating for their needs
So, the conscious consumer may want any number of the above – for businesses, the trick is to assess which type of product is relevant for the company, and ensure the business is accommodating the conscious consumers needs however they can.
For food and beverage businesses, they will need to consider where they source their materials from, whether the farmers are being paid fairly and more. Unleashed customers Karma Cola and East Bali Cashew are just two examples of how businesses should perform.
For a clothing business, for example, business managers may need to think about the way in which the clothing is produced. Are the employees who produce the clothing paid a fair wage? Does the production of this clothing have an impact on the environment? If so, is there a way to lessen the impact of the production process?
For hospitality businesses owners, they may need to consider whether the food they sell adequately accommodates a conscious consumer. Are there enough vegetarian or vegan options for those who are conscious of the effect of meat production on the environment? Is the food production process creating wastage?
By assessing what changes your business can make to accommodate the conscious consumer, you can ensure you remain profitable and take advantage of a growing trend. This doesn’t mean that the business needs to be necessarily overhauled altogether — but small changes can make a big difference in the eyes of a conscious consumer.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.