Tuesday, November 17, 2009



We are increasingly moving towards or already living in a “disposable product” society. The quest for quality and durability has been replaced by the desire to stay “current”.

The mindset of the consumer is to buy cheaper – replace quicker – stay current on technology. While this is especially true for things which were in the past considered to be indulgent purchases, and which have now become more “every day” and common – say for example a blender or a iron, however, even bigger ticket items are getting disposable.

This is not to say that the consumers are moving away from “luxury” – quite on the contrary, however, that is a different category and has different drivers.

The consumer is keen on staying current rather than investing heavily into something which will last longer – this is also prompted by frequent technology upgrades and fear of investing heavily into something which could become obsolete in a hurry.

While this trend has various levels of adaptation in different geographies, a recent study by NDP Research across North America assigns this as one of the leading reasons why there is growth in private labels beyond the consumer products category.

Take a product category like a blender; the shopper is willing to buy a private label or a basic blender and replace it every couple of years with newer and better blenders rather than buy a machine which will guarantee a 7 year usage life – in which time it is bound to be obsolete.

Now consider this shopping behavior to that of a generation ago when what was purchased was expected to last.

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