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How changes in U.S. consumer trends affect exports

Although exporters work with customers in the United States who distribute their product, a drastic change in consumer trends can drastically affect imports. However, this change does not have to be a bad thing. In fact, Spanish food exports fall within one of the most important trends, "health and safety".

According to research by McKinsey & Company on consumer trends among the American population, there are 5 main points to keep an eye on:

E-commerce and online shopping are not going away after the pandemic: having spent a long time getting used to the physical distance and the obligation to stay at home, the way consumers shop has changed radically. Throughout the first few months of the pandemic, online shopping increased significantly and continues to increase today. High net worth individuals and millennials are the main drivers of this shift, especially significant in the essentials and home entertainment categories.

Consumer loyalty has been reduced by 75%: accompanying the life change brought about by the presence of Covid-19 in society, there was also a major change in consumer behavior. Thirty-six per cent of Americans say they have tried new brands of products, and 73% of them intend to continue to do so. They say that there are several reasons that may lead them to switch brands, such as the availability of products or services, both physically and online.

The American consumer chooses establishments with more sanitary controls: the concern for health and hygiene is still present in the American consumer. Americans ask that the necessary hygiene protocols be strictly followed in establishments and that they also report it. In addition, they have a strong tendency to maintain non-contact activities, such as curbside collection or self-purchase in retail outlets.

Overall spending by U.S. consumers is declining, but the intention to spend in essential categories is increasing: 40% of U.S. society has reduced spending overall, and they expect to continue to do so on what is not strictly essential to their lives. While overall spending declines, their intention to spend on products they consider essential increases. These include groceries, household supplies, and personal care products...

The rejection of out-of-home activities in favor of spending more time at home: Americans seem to like spending more time at home, and are hesitant to resume pre-pandemic out-of-home activities. They are concerned about shared environments, their intention to eat at home remains the same as during the months with more restrictions, the use of entertainment platforms continues to grow, and they reaffirm the new habit of doing sports at home, through online platforms.

The fact that consumers have reduced their loyalty to certain brands and products only reinforces the idea that now is the right time to try to expand into this market. This is especially true if your company is involved in food or personal care products, since, as mentioned in the Mc Kinsey study, these are the sectors in which Americans do not plan to cut costs.


Don't forget to download our guide with the steps to carry out successfully the process of internationalization in the USA! (in Spanish)


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