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Jacqui Harrison

January - do you love it?


I personally love January and I’m not the only one…


January; the most depressing month of the year… wrong. At least in my opinion. This is not solely due to the fact that it’s the month I celebrate my birthday (although that helps), but because of the opportunities the month presents…


I mean opportunities past the personal resolutions to be a better person and commitments to getting fit, but instead the commercial ones. Amidst a sea of consumers entering the year with a new outlook, appears an opportunity for retailers to capitalise on the changes in consumers’ lifestyles.


Every January, the charity ‘Veganuary’ asks people to ‘Take the Pledge’ and try out the diet in an attempt to extend support for the cause. Now team this with eye-opening documentaries such as ‘What the Health’ and ‘Cowspiracy’ hitting Netflix in recent months and Veganism becomes the hot topic of the month. Whether or not it’s actually a cause that retailers support, it is one that has added product ranges to their portfolios and sales to their ledgers.


Tesco were the first to join the Vegan push with their new ‘Wicked Kitchen’ range; a plant-based brand complete with ready meals, sandwiches and salads.


ASDA were close followers when they added three entirely vegan options to their lunchtime offering.


What’s smart about these products are how each of them tap into another trend at the same time as catering for Vegans. With Tesco looking at consumers’ increasing desire for wellbeing and convenience and ASDA looking at the on the go occasion.  


Moves like this from retailers show an awareness of changing lifestyles and consumer preferences. They also make business sense, from the perspective of appealing to a wider audience, but is this kind of ‘piggybacking’ sustainable?


Some could argue yes, if enough relevant trends present themselves and if these trends turn into habits. The big question though, is going into 2018, what will these trends be?


Or instead should retailers be focussing on their core offering and dare I say it, their bread and butter? The products that will always be in demand.


So far 2018 looks to be year driven by healthy and ‘free from’ products, but apart from those, what other trends, if any, will retailers and brands be able to take advantage of? I open the floor for discussion…



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