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Six forces shaping the future of the consumer industry

March 28, 2023

The consumer industry is on the precipice of dramatic changes that, over the next decade, will have a significant impact on the markets, models, and mechanics of consumer industry companies. In light of this, a new study released by Deloitte announces: the strategies that got us to where we are now will probably not get us to where we need to go next.

Through a series of conversations held over 18 months with more than 800 consumer industry executives, analysts, academia, and luminaries, the authors have identified six forces that will play a fundamental role in shaping the future of the consumer industry over the next decade. The report highlights that these trends don’t exist in a vacuum; the collective movement and acceleration of these forces will create a new competitive landscape where opportunities will emerge and innovation will drive the industry forward

“The next decade will be shaped by six forces notable for not only their power but also their speed”, said Anthony Waelter, Vice Chair, US Consumer Industry Leader, Deloitte LLP. Here they are:

The changing consumer

“In the coming decade, the consumer base in the United States will undergo an unprecedented change, driven by factors such as income, birth rate, longevity, and geographic dispersion. The new consumer base will be a complex mosaic of needs, wants, and preferences—which will dramatically remake the market.”

An evolving society and culture

“As Gen Z emerges as a dominant consumer, delayed marriages, home ownership, and childbearing will continue to shift key triggers of consumer activity. The importance of equality, trust, and transparency will be of increased importance for consumers, employees, and investors.”

Exponential xTech

“Advancements in infotech and a broad set of technologies, including biotech and material science, will make progress of the past decade pale by comparison.”

Radical industry upheaval

“Advances in technology, declining barriers to entry, marketplaces, and broad innovation have driven both consolidation and fragmentation and significantly impacted industry performance. And rising costs and labor shortages will only compound existing challenges.”

Extreme climate change

“The current trajectory of the planet is dire, and the choices we make in the near future will be critical to saving our planet. The consumer industry has a meaningful, and urgent, role to play, and there are glimmers of hope—such as rapidly declining costs for clean energy.”

Shifting economics, policy, and power

“Global markets have become more difficult to navigate, limiting expansion opportunities, while supply chain constraints are forcing alternative approaches to sourcing. Shifting monetary policy coupled with broader policy uncertainty and protectionist trends add complexity. All the while, expectations of corporations are rapidly expanding from a focus on shareholders to a broader focus on stakeholders.”

Source: Deloitte