The expanding middle class meets rising food prices. The convergence of these two mega trends is set to dramatically and permanently reshape the consumer landscape. With the global middle class growing by 70 million each year, and food prices expected to more than double within the next two decades, the world is entering an unprecedented period of rising demand, economic pressure and aspirationally driven buying behavior.
So what’s the key to success in these uncharted waters, and where should companies look to fulfill their economic growth expectations? According to Nielsen’s “State of Mind or Share of Wallet” report, companies shouldn’t focus solely on the middle class. Rather, findings in the report indicate that aspirations and cultural norms often are bigger drivers of buying intentions for food products than income alone.
"While measuring the global middle class carries real-world implications, the broadest classification is too low and the narrowest classification is too high to represent real-world buying potential," said James Russo, senior vice president, Global Consumer Insights, Nielsen. "A more accurate measure is to look at consumer diversity, spending flexibility and the demand landscape in order to understand how to scale goods and services that meet the needs of consumers in both developed and developing markets around the world.”