There is a growing interest in products, innovations and apps that make it easy for households to save water and energy, cut down on food waste, recycle, replace single-use plastics and understand their carbon footprint.

Changes in the consumer mindset brought about by the pandemic have meant life priorities are being re-evaluated. One of these life priorities is an increased personal responsibility for the environment and as a result we are moving towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

Changes in the consumer mindset brought about by the pandemic have meant we are re-evaluating our priorities and moving towards a more sustainable home life #sustainablehome #consumerinsight #kbb #postcovidtrends Click To Tweet

Google Sustainability Officer, Kate Brandt, found that over 90 days during the first half of 2020, search interest in ‘how to live a sustainable lifestyle’ increased by more than 4,550%. With evidence from research by McKinsey pointing to the enthusiasm for new habits to be continued post covid-19, this is a trend that is heading towards megatrend status.

Environmental issues previously been seen as fads are becoming more mainstream and being housebound for work, schooling, exercise and socialising with the added heating, laundry loads and cooking has cast a light on home energy usage and the corresponding bills for water, gas and electricity.

The result is that people have been forced to face their individual responsibility for the planet and recognise that our greatest impact comes from three things; food, water and energy usage.

People have been forced to face their individual responsibility for the planet and recognise that our greatest impact comes from three things; food, water and energy usage. #sustainablehome #consumerinsight #kbb #postcovidtrends Click To Tweet
Refill as the new Recycle

An increasing number of supermarkets, with support from major food and grocery brands, are offering ‘refill stations’ where customers can refill their own containers with products such as tea, coffee, cereal and cleaning products.

By tapping into our new requirements to reduce, reuse and recycle, supermarket chains are also cutting down on the amount of plastic they use each year.

supermarket refill stations

This new movement has implications for kitchen storage solutions, both for the receptacles used to refill cleaning products and foodstuffs, but also for ways to keep food fresher for longer in the absence of it being covered in plastic packaging.

Eliminating Food Waste

In the UK alone, we throw away more than 7 million tonnes of food every year and a typical family wastes £60 a month, or £720 a year.

Research prior to coronavirus lockdown revealed that a third of all food produced is either lost or wasted through poor planning. Our latest research suggests that the disruptions in the supply chain caused by panic buying and which led to food shortages during the pandemic, has encouraged people to plan better, be more imaginative with left-overs and in turn reduce their household food waste.

There is a growing interest in products, innovations and apps that make it easy for households to save water and energy, cut down on food waste, recycle, replace single-use plastics and understand their carbon footprint. #sustainablehome… Click To Tweet
Saving Water

Research by Trend-Monitor in 2018 highlighted the dichotomy facing the bathroom industry as householders claimed to be concerned about the amount of water used in the home, until they shut the bathroom door and ran a deep bath, or waited for the shower to ‘warm up’ for 5 minutes or left the tap running while brushing their teeth.

In 2018, water efficient bathroom products were often regarded as poorly designed and expensive. Move forward 2 years and improved product design, lower price points and better marketing has meant that water efficient taps, showers and toilets are more mainstream, and our follow up research in 2021 is expected to show a positive change in post-pandemic consumer attitudes to water saving products for the home.

Self-Sufficiency

Concerns about food production methods and the miles our food has travelled, greater understanding of how food can be used as preventative medicine, the need to economise on household bills, plus wanting to feel part of a community are all drivers behind the trend towards household self-sufficiency.

Whether its growing herbs on the windowsill or sharing an allotment space, our interest in producing food for ourselves and our families has grown since the beginning of the pandemic

And for households where self-sufficiency is a step too far, the same drivers are responsible for the rising trend in buying from farmer’s markets, pick-your-own, farm shops or buying produce via a box scheme

This is another trend that requires kitchen manufacturers and designers to be imaginative with storage solutions and will also encourage householders to invest in better quality refrigeration and larger freezers.

Confidence in Connected Devices

Being forced to rely on technology to connect with family, friends and colleagues, and also to facilitate home working, schooling and even exercise, has meant we are becoming more comfortable with connected devices and less suspicious of the concept of a digital home in terms of cyber security.

After years of hype and anticipation, connected devices are finally showing consumers how they can be of use to the household. Whether it’s a thermostat that indicates simple ways to save energy, or a fridge that suggest recipes for it’s contents, or a doorbell that lets you talk to the delivery man without opening the door, the true value of connected devices is becoming clear.

It’s now a case of getting the marketing messages right and communicating how these devices can help us run our homes more efficiently, cheaply and also sustainably.

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