Mondays are generally internal meetings and follow up calls as we get the working week underway. Towards the end of today’s meeting, we discussed the impact of new legislation and business performance on the consumer.
Checking the morning Twitter feed before our team meeting, I read that Debenhams had called in the receivers for the third time in 12 months. We all agreed that another cracking brand had been put out of business because the world left them behind. E-commerce will continue to change the face of this nation.
With the consumer’s fascination for buying fashion at a low price, it was inevitable that some businesses would take advantage of poor practice. Some would say that anti-slavery products and brands should carry a premium. We can all agree that slavery has no place in today’s modern world. But will the consumer pay for it?
Sustainability has to be at the centre of all that we do. Protecting the planet is vital, isn’t it? But who should pay?
To wear a mask or not to wear a mask… that is today’s question. To eat high sugar content foods or enter the health race is a COVID-19 priority according to No 10. Is it?
Hasn’t the retail industry been on this journey for over 10 years? Does anyone know who paid the sugar tax? Manufacturers took the initiative with pack size and formulation changes in response to legislative pressure but did the consumer care?
Saving the planet is commendable, but it is more expensive than some are prepared to pay. To live a healthier life will cost the consumer choice and money. Is the consumer-ready for that?
Alternatively, we could teach the consumer how to live well? Consumer choice will not be compromised. To keep the consumer onside choice will need to be a positive outcome. It will need to be apparent, like wearing a seat belt. Some think that cheese is healthy, although it does have a high-fat content. Removing the fat in cheese might compromise its taste. Fruit is healthy but is it sustainable when a strawberry is flown in from Israel in February?
Do retailers and manufacturers have a responsibility to inform the consumer? Do we have an obligation to shoppers and consumer to retain choice? Does the following look familiar? Mondays are days for endless coffee (too much is coffee is not healthy). Fridays are for after-work socialising ( alcohol carries health risks), whilst Wednesdays are for workouts ( exercise is beneficial) Thursday are for friends ( great for the mind), and Tuesday’s are for what? I’ve never known what to do on Tuesday. Is that just me?
Let’s not use the strapline “lose weight and save the NHS”. Companies promoted that over ten years ago. Outcome – no change. Paper bottles are on the way. What will the effect on consumer behaviour be long term?
Hats off to those brands who reformulated their iconic brand because of the sugar tax were coming. Result? They lost consumers because the taste was questionable—Single-Use Plastic – done that. Recycling waste onsite to produce power – check.
There is plenty more to do, but so far, so good. Is it time to reduce consumer choice or positively educated the consumer to make an informed choice? The obesity war has just begun. Is obesity the new smoking? Price rises, choice reduction and portion control did not change consumer habits. Education through social behaviour promotion might create a more positive outcome for all, in time.
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