Liquid Thinking

Changing consumer behaviours

How changing consumer behaviours affect brand design and innovation...

10th February 2021

We've been looking at the changing consumer behaviours that brands need to be aware of when communicating and engaging with their customers through marketing, design and innovation.

We may desperately want to say goodbye to 2020 and leave that one for the history books, but as marketeers and innovators, we have to take learnings from 2020 and the changing consumer behaviours forward with us in 2021.

At The Cabinet we keep a close eye on consumer behaviours and trends. These have and always will consistently change, as technology progresses and new brands are continuously coming to market, all marketeers watch and learn about their consumers behavioural habits. But there hasn’t quite been a change in consumer behaviours like there has been over the last 10 months. Behavioural trends that were slowly increasing have taken a rapid pace forward, and some trends that were emerging have taken a back seat.

Therefore, we’ve been looking at what these changes could mean for 2021 and how businesses need to communicate and engage with their audience in these very different times. As there’s just so much to talk about, below is part one, keep your eyes peeled for part two next week….

Frist things first, something we’re all aware of – people are spending MUCH more time online. With a massive 73% of consumers saying that they’re spending more time on social media than they did a few months ago, as well as 69% of Brits now being more likely to shop online compared to before the pandemic – it’s safe to say online shopping has become King.

Whilst we hear the unfortunate news of many business both small and large falling victim to the pandemic, e-commerce shops have seen a surge in online sales. With ASOS seeing their annual profits quadruple, raking in £142million amidst the ongoing pandemic. If you haven’t already, now is definitely the time to invest in an e-commerce platform, or better more, perfecting and promoting it!

Clearly everyone is concerned about their health, more so than ever before. Due to COVID-19 consumers are now taking the time to educate themselves on ingredients and products that help boost their immunity. Looking to foods and drinks that are naturally high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This has also fuelled an increased interest in botanical ingredients such as elderflower and ginger. With many brands creating new flavour SKU’s and launching new NPD into their catalogue.

Similarly, this is also evident in terms of CBD enriched drinks, low/no ABV, low calorie drinks, and Hard Seltzers. We’re seeing some of the world’s biggest beer brands starting to make moves into the world of hard seltzers, with both Bud Light and Corona launching Hard Seltzers last year (and have plans for further launches this year). According to Bud Light, the success of its seltzer helped the brand grab more market share in 2020 than in the previous five years. With the pandemic pushing more consumers to drink alcohol at home rather than in bars and restaurants.

43% of Brits say that their at home alcohol consumption has increased during the pandemic. Especially with the demand for RTD alcoholic beverages further increasing. As consumers embrace its convenience, we’re seeing many more brands launching RTD products. We’re going to see more sophisticated flavours and healthier ingredients hit the shelves. The brands that will succeed will be the ones who have upped their marketing and design game well to stand out from the increasing crowd (and gain the coveted Instagram-worthy title).

We’re also seeing teas and coffee making waves in the RTD sector. With alcohol brewed cold coffee brands such as ‘Bomani Cold Buzz’, and hard iced tea brand ‘Twisted Tea’ launching last year. However, the increased demand for RTD’s has allowed a new wave of non-alcoholic NPD for tea and coffee brands. Allowing them to further venture into the ‘cold and iced brew’ category. ‘Ocean Spray’ launched Ocean Spray Brew which marked their expansion into the coffee category. Additionally, with benefits within the drink such as antioxidants vitamin C and B, being free from added sugar, preservatives and artificial flavours and colours, the product hit the spot for consumers demands for RTD, coffee, and good for you.

Keep an eye out for part two next week, where we'll carry on the conversation around ever changing consumer behaviours and how this will affect design and innovation...

Interested in finding out more about what this might mean for you and your business?

Please contact us at or 0207 101 3939