TRENDS: The four types of ‘Lazy Economy’ consumers emerging from the Asia-Pacific region
Words by Jane Barnett, Head of Insights for South APAC at Mintel
For Brisbane businesses with an appetite to grow beyond our borders it’s vital that their gaze looks towards our neighbours throughout Asia and the Pacific region.
Vast populations of consumers there have an affinity for Australia’s products - and the stories behind them - and the companies that can sell their story have an incredible opportunity to grow their businesses and offerings.
But more specifically we’re seeing a widespread trend that businesses should be considering when they attempt to enter the markets there.
From Mintel’s consumer research in the region one of the key trends at the moment is "The Lazy Economy" - a new type of consumption behaviour where time-saving, labour-saving, and convenient products and services are on the rise like never before.
Across the Asia-Pacific, lifestyles are busy and fast-paced, and consumers are looking towards brands to assist them in achieving their goals. These are the four types of "Lazy Consumers" that brands can place at the centre of their planning around products and services.
The Aspiring Environmentalist
This type of consumer cares about the environment, but doesn’t really have the time or is too lazy to do anything about it. They are aware, but don’t take action, and so look to brands to provide the simple ways to do so.
Our research shows 32% of metro Indonesian consumers would pay a premium price for an everyday product if it were environmentally friendly - so there is a willingness to be more eco-friendly and we are seeing more and more activity within this space.
Asia is considered the "late bloomer" with respect to sustainability action (compared with Western markets) but more and more initiatives are coming through that address the environment and consumers want brands to be more active in this space.
In South Korea, for example, the beauty industry has seen a steady increase in demand for vegan cosmetics. According to Olive Young, sales of vegan cosmetics rose about 70% in 2018.
The Sleeping Beauty Queen
This type of consumer is typically female and not willing to sacrifice that 20 minutes of extra snooze time to get ready.
She is looking for opportunities to shorten the amount of time it takes to groom herself and as such, we are seeing more beauty brands offering swift solutions and on-the-go items to women who feel they don’t have enough time for full grooming.
The Reluctant Cook
Healthy eating and cooking in general is aspirational for this consumer. Busy lifestyles mean that there isn't really any time to cook or even buy groceries.
The Reluctant Cook relies on fast food or take-out as a quick fix, and different forms of technology are attracting consumers who need quick and easy food solutions.
We’ve seen the comeback of vending machines, meal kits are becoming more niche (for example Mogo in South Korea, which offers plant-based cooking kits) and the continual growth of food delivery apps.
The Fast & the Furious
This person is absolutely time-pressed. They are always rushing, and are known to be a multi-tasker. For them, speed is everything and if there's a shortcut available this consumer won't have a second thought about taking it.
Our research shows 48% of metro Thai consumers say that convenience is the factor that would most likely influence their decision to buy one product over another.
Brands must keep up with this fast-paced lifestyle. Go-Jek in Indonesia has launched an on-demand fuel delivery service and Kakao Taxi in South Korea has introduced a faster pick-up option for an additional fee.
The companies that are able to tap into the “Lazy Economy” have the ability to connect with Asian consumers and find favour in the market. And the opportunities are many and lucrative for the brands that get it right.