100% Optical

Key consumer trends: Wellness, connection, and value

Euromonitor International’s Natasha Cazin outlined three consumer trends set to shape the eyewear industry in 2024 at 100% Optical

A still from an interview with Natasha who sits in side profile, mid-conversation

Natasha Cazin, senior consultant at Euromonitor International, outlined the key consumer trends set to shape the eyewear industry in 2024 at 100% Optical in February.

Each year, Euromonitor International identifies global consumer trends that analysts anticipate will drive purchasing behaviours in the months to come.

Taking a moment out of the busy show, Cazin identified three from the six global consumer trends that would particularly resonate in the eyewear industry: Wellness Pragmatists, Delightful Distractions, and Value Hackers.

The category of Wellness Pragmatists is about self-care. Cazin explained: “Self-care is not new, but how consumers are going about it is. They are trying to adopt a more realistic approach and set more attainable goals.”

Reaching these consumers is about finding solutions that fit into people’s lifestyles.

“For instance, find an opportunity to reinforce that eye health is part of everyday life,” Cazin shared.

Introducing the trend of Delightful Distractions, she said: “At the moment we are living in a world of permanent crisis.”

Be it the cost-of-living crisis or political turmoil, consumers are seeking relief. Cazin explained: “They want to take their minds off the everyday stresses and want something fun, that makes them smile.”

This category is all about connection, Cazin said, sharing that brands and practices should seek to create a bond with potential customers.

The third key driver shaping the eyewear industry is an evolution of a 2023 trend which saw consumers cutting back.

Euromonitor International’s research has identified continuing concerns about the rising costs of living amongst UK consumers, with 22% reporting that they don’t feel financially secure.

“There is a new financial mindset – budgeting has become the norm,” Cazin reflected.

Building on the trend for budgeting, in 2024 Cazin said: “Consumers are trying to find clever ways to maximise their budget – hacks or dupes – but for the optical businesses this is time for them to step up their incentives.”

Cazin emphasised the need for brands and practices to demonstrate value and benefits beyond price, and that value does not mean ‘low value.’

“I feel it’s all about communicating the offer so that we can justify the purchase,” she said.