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Home + Garden Remain The Top Spending Priorities

According to trend forecaster Phil Pond of Scarlet Opus, honesty, authenticity and engagement will be the driving factors over the next 18 months.

“With so much uncertainty and disruption in the world – a General Election on 4 July in the UK, but also 150 Elections taking place across the world over the next 18 months, this time next year things could look very different in areas that we can’t control,” stated Phil.

Speaking to a packed audience at the Exclusively housewares show last week,Phil looked at what is going to influence how people think, feel and live, and what they will they want to surround themselves with in their homes and gardens.

“There is still a disconnect, a gap, between what consumers want and what businesses want,” he explained, advising companies to: “look at your business through the eyes of a consumer to future proof success.”

Looking ahead to 2025, Phil highlighted three macro consumer groups – Realism, Re-imagine and Resolve  – each one reacting differently to the decline in economic stability, the decline of social and political harmony, the environmental crisis and, on the global stage, ongoing wars.

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“With so many Elections taking place we will see economic disruption around the world,” he pointed out. “There is already a lot of political disrupt where we are beginning to see a swing to the right globally, and it will change relationships at a political level. It will create a lot of unrest and uncertainty that we will have to get through over the next 18 months.”

He continued: “In the UK, disposable income will be invested in where we live because it is the only place where we know we still have control.”

He emphasised that the word ‘trust’ has been “trashed” by politicians. “All consumer groups are worried about the cost of living crisis, and from that comes anxiety and disenchantment. The trend for Realism is informed by consumers’ ‘needs’ versus ‘wants’ and buying less, based on financial anxiety and being self-reliant. This results in a declining level of trust increasing the level of cautiousness and fragility. Realists want to buy better and ideally from companies that they can relate to.Trust and transparency remain key.”

Continued Phil: “Realism is very much informed by consumers who accept things as they are and take a ‘deal with it’ attitude. It’s why businesses need to humanise their brand. Shoppers want to know about the people behind the brands – the history and stories that align a brand’s values with their own. It’s how companies can most successfully engage with their customers.”

The macro trend for Re-imagine meanwhile, is focused on the generational shift, with consumers optimistic and focused on the positives.  “Culture is now beingled by Millennials, and as Gen Z comes of age it will join forces with them,” pointed out Phil. “They see new pathways opening towards a future filled with hope and opportunity to create new social structures and better systems. Authenticity, openness and honesty matters. They are looking for new ideas, different ways of doing things and opportunity. They hate waste and consumer excess, and any kind of greenwash that misleads on eco or disguises reality. Brands don’t need to impress they just need to be real.”

Moving on to Resolve, Phil said that today, the government and financial institutions are seen as the main source of false or misleading information, with people looking to businesses to come up with solutions. “Therefore let consumers know that you are on their side and that what matters to them matters to you,” Phil advised. “Watch what your customers do. Align your brand values with the environment or a social cause and make a commitment of action and support.”

As for the colours that will be trending in 2025, he highlighted very bright colours reflecting joy and engagement, as well as all shades of green, as they have a strong connection to the nature and the natural world. “We are also moving towards warmer metallics, with cooler metallics trending too, especially those with a tarnished, worn look. Creating strong patterns will be important too,” says Phil, “to include florals and blurred images.”

Above: Metallics will be among the key trend in 2025.
Above: Metallics will be among the key trend in 2025.

He continued: “Shapes will be playful and female-centric. People will be looking for products that have round, curved shapes for softness.”

Exclusively 2024 saw a 5% growth in visitor numbers on top of a 10% jump in 2023.  Visits to the Trend Showcase, Trend Talks and Trend Tours were also significantly up. This year’s show also included record numbers of international buyers, with media engagement up by 41%.

Top: Trend forecaster Phil Pond of Scarlet Opus is shown speaking at Exclusively last week.

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