Siirry sisältöön
Consumer trends 2022, part 1 – Low carbon and high circularity!

We picked out the most exciting Euromonitor’s Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2022 and will now tell you what consumers expect as well as what governments and companies are already doing with the trends.


Annika Konttinen

lehtori, matkailuliiketoiminta
Senior Lecturer, tourism business
Haaga-Helia ammattikorkeakoulu

Anu Seppänen

lehtori, markkinointi ja viestintä
Haaga-Helia ammattikorkeakoulu

Published : 27.01.2022

January is always an exciting month as international think tanks issue their trend reports for the new year. One of the most exciting ones for consumer trends is the Euromonitor’s Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2022 publication (Angus & Westbrook, 2022). This year the trends point towards embracing a greener lifestyle.

We picked out the most exciting trends and will now tell you what consumers expect as well as what governments and companies are already doing with the trends.

Climate Changers: Shifting to low carbon lifestyle

Climate Changers are consumers who are feeling eco-anxiety and becoming increasingly conscious of their own contribution to climate change. They see clearly the urgency of shifting to a low carbon economy and believe in green growth.

The term low carbon economy refers to an economy based on low carbon emissions, low pollution and low energy consumption. Green growth can happen when economic growth is fostered by ensuring that nature continues to provide the resources on which our wellbeing depends on.

For Climate Changers, low carbon lifestyle means a healthier lifestyle and includes, for example, monitoring carbon footprint, using public transport, cutting the use of plastic, recycling, sticking to a vegetarian diet and buying from sustainable businesses.

Policymakers are riding this trend, too. For example, the president of the largest economy in the world, the US, is pushing the Build Back Better programme, which includes measures to combat climate change through shifting to clean energy. EU, with the ambitious goals of its Green Deal, is aiming to be the first climate neutral continent.

Companies are already waking up to the needs of Climate Changers and they offer digital innovations like mobile tracking apps to help consumers trace ethical claims and carbon footprints of products. The Finnish retailer K Group, has been ranked as the most responsible grocery chain in the world by Corporate Knights. It recently introduced a website where customers can find out where their products – t-shirts, tuna or Fair Trade roses – come from, increasing the transparency of supply chains.

Another interesting innovation in Finland is a carbon calculator aimed at the tourism industry. It should make it easier for the Climate Changers to opt for low carbon travelling. The Finnish meat producer Atria was the first in the world to introduce poultry and pork consumer packaging labelled with carbon footprint information. For Climate Changers, there are now more options for a transition to a low carbon lifestyle.

Pursuit of Preloved: Circular deeds

The second-hand trend is becoming increasingly popular and Euromonitor calls it “Pursuit of Preloved”. Consumers are going circular as they are aware of the benefits of thrifting and can feel the thrill in finding high quality products at low prices while supporting the community and reducing waste. At the same time, consumers are becoming more aware of the adverse impacts of overconsumption, pollution and the scarcity of resources. As especially the younger generations are willing to reduce their impact on the environment, there is a growing demand for recommerce.

Reverse commerce refers to the selling of previously owned, new or used products to buyers who repair, if necessary, then reuse, recycle or resell them. These products can be, e.g., clothes, electronic devices, furniture or media such as books. Like-minded people connect at peer-to-peer marketplaces (such as Airbnb, Etsy, Ebay and Uber), to sell or rent products and properties they own. Reasonable and affordable prices are also crucial factors when people are stretching their budgets, especially during the unstable economic situation caused by the pandemic.

The Swedish brands Ikea and H&M are working hard on their sustainability agenda. Both companies have now introduced buy-back programmes for their products. The second-hand store Relove is a haven for consumers who want to enjoy all day – breakfast and browse preloved items in a comfy environment. The largest Nordic department store Stockmann has a Relove location in its premises. Tides are turning!

The Finnish government is proposing a new economic system by embracing Circular Economy by 2035, the year the country aims to be carbon neutral as well. Also, the EU is promoting green growth and circular economy with its policies and incentives to tackle consumption, increase waste prevention and resource-efficiency as well as eco-innovation. Our smartphones, furniture and clothes should be designed durable and resource-efficient under the EU’s Sustainable Products Initiative (SPI).

There are a lot of incentives for companies to invest in the circular ecosystems. Circular business models (e.g., sharing platforms and product as-a-service, product life extension) and partnerships across industries are needed to cater to the new economy and to reduce emissions.

Time magazine recently published a story about Finland’s plan to end all waste by 2050. The role of education was highlighted in the story. We look forward to being a part of that trend at Haaga-Helia.

Source: Angus, A. & Westbrook, G. (2022). Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2022.