What do cow’s milk, meat and coal power have in common?
All have alternatives that once didn’t exist, noted Steve French, managing partner at the Natural Marketing Institute during the Game Changer session this morning at Expo West.
Who would have thought that soy, rice and almond milk would become popular alternatives for such a basic and top-selling staple as cow’s milk, and that meatless Mondays and vegetarian and veganism would lead to such innovative and seemingly authentic alternatives to meat?
And it's not just new alternatives that have an effect on shopping behavior, says French. Old ways of doing things, like hanging clothes on a clothesline rather than using the dryer, and mending a shirt rather than replacing with new, are affecting sales of dryer sheets and apparel.
The phenomena is having an impact on other industries too. Consumers, especially Millennials (15%), are forgoing car purchases and relying on car sharing and bike sharing (13%) and skipping banks in favor of peer-to-peer lending and crowding funding. So what’s next? Only leading edge consumers and the ever-innovating food industry can decide.