SUGAR is the new fat, online retail is here to stay, emotion so often drives purchases and economic power is shifting from the West to the East.
And all of that will affect the fortunes of the average beef producer far more than you might imagine.
Research psychologist Jarrod Payne, from prominent consultancy firm Kantar Millward Brown, says Australia’s beef industry needs to be across global megatrends and aggressively pursuing access to markets where future consumers will be.
A megatrend, he says, is a change, typically within societies, technology, governments, finance or economics, that leads to shifts in the way consumers think and behave.
Getting ahead of them gives marketers advantages.
Key amongst the megatrends affecting beef are shifting economic power, the drive to buy based on experience rather than rationality, technology-enabled shopping and an explosion of interest in health and wellness, Mr Payne believes.
“Economic power is shifting from developed to emerging markets, led by Asia,” he said.
“One billion middle class will be coming from India and China alone by 2020.
“The population is also becoming older - 21 per cent will be over 60 by 2050 - and will be primarily be urban - 80pc by 2030.
“These changes opens doors from these markets out and from outside markets in.”
Consumer behaviour, meanwhile, is being affected by the drive for better experiences.
As people look for value beyond price and simple functionality, purchase drivers changes.
What that means, Mr Payne explained, is that it’s now far more important to be a family’s favourite type of beef than it is to be the cheapest form of beef.
He pointed to one of our key beef markets Japan, where a key driver of desire for Aussie beef is that it makes a family feel ‘genki’ - a deeply emotional sentiment without a direct English translation but along the lines of energised and happy.
Alongside that was mobile devices opening up new ways of getting products.
Online groceries has been slow to ride this wave. Globally, 64pc of people have never used an online retailer for beef purchases and even fewer have bought Aussie beef online.
“But make no mistake, online retail is here to stay and will continue to grow,” Mr Payne said.
“In fact, that online meat purchase is expected to triple by 2022.
“Beef needs to increasingly adopt this channel because others will.”
The fascination with health and wellness is now a familiar megatrend.
“Regardless of the trend - veganism, free range, transparency, health, high fat, low carb - there is an increase in people taking control of what they eat and where it comes from,” Mr Payne said.
The good news for meat consumption in this space: 30 years of nutritional advice garnering a fear of fat is changing and people are now avoiding sweet foods more than they are avoiding fat.
“All these megatrends provide both opportunities and risk for Australian beef and the key is to stay on the front foot,” Mr Payne said.
“Remember food purchases, like all products, can come from a deeper emotional connection.
“Make people love you.”