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Not another banana bread bake, surely?

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For many of us, working from home has become our new reality. It’s always been a hot topic for HR profs, with widespread debates around productivity levels, inclusiveness, and lack of collaboration. While there are some drawbacks, Covid has forced us into this way of working and businesses are realising the real benefits – no more commuting, spending more time with family, preparing healthy meals, and exercising.

As a result, it’s no surprise that the health industry thrived, and continues to thrive, throughout the pandemic. Consumers aren’t just eating at home more, they’re also taking steps to manage their physical and mental health at home.

Wholesome comfort

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Insights tell us consumers are seeking products that encapsulate the notion of ‘wholesome comfort’. Lockdown burnout is a thing, especially third-time round, and these are the products that help us regain energy and maintain our mental wellbeing during unsettling times.

We know people turn to comfort foods when they’re feeling low (mac and cheese comes to mind), but we also know that Covid has alerted many to the status of their health – and while cheese tastes good, too much of it probably isn’t going to give us that energy boost we need. So we’re getting creative. We’re using lentils, including more protein products and snacking on healthier things that taste good – but are a little kinder on our cholesterol.

Presents in place of presence

Another major facet of life that Covid impacted – social interaction with people outside of our households. While nothing can beat physical hugs and togetherness, we’ve seen increased online gift buying and people crafting their own gifts to deliver to doorsteps.

Presence will always be favoured over presents, but while people are separated, brands that offer something special and meaningful will have seen – and continue to see – a surge in sales to meet that need.

Anxiety-reducing ambience

Comfort, Colour and Conscientiousness. Some interior designers say these are the three C’s which feature heavily in the latest home product trends.

As we spend more time within the same four walls, we’re looking for ways to make those four walls more interesting, cosy and welcoming. Natural light is a key element for improving daily wellbeing and a pop of colour goes a long way to improving our mood.

For comfort, think diffusers, candles, house plants, pillows, LED lighting – these are the type of products doing well in home decor. They may be small products, but they’re making a big difference to our surroundings.

The conscientious consumer makes considered choices about their home purchases. They’re searching for ‘plastic-free’, ‘zero waste’, ‘recyclable’, ‘reusable swaps’. If they know they’re doing good for the planet, they’ll feel good about it. Many brands are capitalising on the sustainable living trend and this will continue well into the future.

A little self-care

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Everyone’s situation is different.

Some live in busy households, trying to homeschool multiple children and work; some live alone and are essential workers; some are retired and longing to see grandchildren.

Whichever Covid-impacted scenario people find themselves in, self-care most certainly goes a long way. ‘Permissible indulgence’ is said to form part of the wider health and wellness trend in terms of self-care, with consumers looking for little treats that give them a much-needed boost on difficult days.

Products that help us switch off and make time for ourselves include items such as face masks, scented candles, wellness journals, comfy loungewear, vitamins, and self-care subscription boxes. eCommerce retailers offering these types of self-care products are set to see continued sales and loyalty throughout 2021 and thereafter.

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Did you know there are over 39k online searches a month for ‘Pet grooming’?

That’s good news if you’re an online player in the pet accessories niche. Consumers might be engaging in self-care but they’re also giving their undivided attention to their pet pals as they spend more time at home with them.

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