Spot the Consumer Trends at Giving & Living

As the first show of the season – and with a strengthened focus on locally made British products – Giving & Living (15-17 January, Westpoint, Exeter) is the ideal place to kick off your new product sourcing.

To help inspire your buying we look ahead to some of the key trends that will help shape consumer spending over the coming season. Key sectors for the 2023 show include the Coastal Path, Naturally and Designed and Made in Britain, all of which are at the front and centre of the consumer preference for locally made, sustainable products and holidaying at home.

Whilst the cost-of-living crisis is likely to subdue gift spending, shoppers are still out there in search of inspiration and retailers can help to coax them instore with beautiful window dressing and merchandise displays. Key occasions such as Valentine’s, Mother’s Day, Easter and Father’s Day will not be ignored and neither will birthdays (especially for pets!).

Where money is tight functionality will be favoured, with more consumers choosing to gift items that can be of practical value. Worries about energy prices mean that blankets, hot water bottles, wrist warmers, socks and slippers will all be welcome gifts this Christmas. Where money is tight but sentiment is still strong, lovingly chosen cards will become more important than ever, whilst calendars have not fallen out of fashion but are morphing into beautiful and affordable pieces of wall art.

With many people still working from home they will also be on the lookout for products that support their new chosen lifestyle: Fragrance diffusers and other forms of home fragrance or incense, desk furniture and accessories, lighting solutions, grow-your-own gear, houseplant pots and pet products are all important for the new stay-at-home generation. We can also expect personalisation to be a strong trend as consumers seek to express greater intimacy and affection to loved ones post-pandemic.

Shopping Local, Buying British

As consumers focus on where, exactly, they want to spend their money, local businesses can expect to build on the loyalty that grew strong during the pandemic years. Retailers who can demonstrate that they are stocking locally-made products – be it food and drinks, cards, jewellery, or homewares – will be supported on principle by the public.

Giving & Living therefore expects 2023 to be another strong year for handmade crafts and other locally made products, with consumers determined to buy British wherever they possibly can. Key exhibitors in our Designed and Made in Britain sector include Barbara Karn, Jo Thomas Jewellery, Purbeck Candles, Skull and Cross Buns, and Wild Wood Devon.

Trend forecasting agency, TrendBible, anticipates a consumer shift towards lovingly handmade gifts and a thrown-together look. The simple things in life and the small things which can brighten up a day will all take on a new and more important meaning in the year to come.

This sense of downbeat authenticity is given a fun twist by a strong emerging trend which points to all things psychedelic. You can expect to see mushrooms of all shapes and sizes popping through on cards, prints, textiles and decorative items in the seasons to come.

The surreal and psychedelic are also reinforced by an important key colour for next spring, which is purple. Lavender, lilac, shades of berry and even a touch of magenta will all be big on clothing, accessories, textiles, gifts and homeware in the seasons ahead, so keep your eyes peeled for this regal hue whilst you’re at the show in January.

Overall, we see a continuing strong shift towards oneness with nature and away from unsustainable, environmentally destructive habits. Consumers have very much turned away from single use plastics and both suppliers and retailers who can offer products made from eco-friendly materials will be rewarded with customer loyalty.

Naomi Pollard, Head of Publishing TrendBible explains: “This trend speaks to the rising number of eco-conscious consumers, that expect sustainable products and circular design without compromising on a fresh outlook.” With many customers of Giving & Living hailing from coastal regions – where the damage caused by plastic pollution is all-too evident – this is an especially important factor to be aware of.

Exhibitors you can look forward to seeing in our Coastal Sector include Nauticalia, Wilton Bradley, Clarence & Bean, DM Gould, Quay Traders and Time and Tide Aerial.

We hope that’s given you plenty to think about as you plan your visit to the show in January and start thinking about your merchandise plan for the year ahead. Keep an eye out for our exhibitor list going live so you can start your trend-spotting early and get in the mood for shaping the shopping experience for your customers in the year ahead.

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