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The Insight Scoop: August

The Insight Scoop: August

By Charlie Gill

In this August edition we will explore:

  • Where is non-alcoholic beer popular?
  • Which European countries can’t even afford a week's holiday?
  • When is it okay for children to start wearing makeup, have a smartphone or stay out late?
  • What is the future of dating apps?
  • Why age agnostic marketing works
  • How owning a plant is growing in popularity


Non-alcoholic beer

The mainstream beer market may be facing difficulties in its traditional markets but some pockets are doing well, with no-alcohol beer being the latest niche to show strong growth.

Heineken reported that volume sales of its low and no-alcohol portfolio had grown in the high single digits during the first half of the year to 6.9 million hectolitres and that 48 of its brands now offer a non alcoholic version. Sales of Heineken 0.0 product have surged in the past year – “a healthy 80%” – thanks to a combination of organic growth and wider distribution (it’s now available in 51 countries).

Sales on non-alcoholic beer have increased by 60% in Ireland in 2018. It’s a pattern that can be seen across Europe, with double digit sales increases registered in the UK (+28%), the Netherlands (+33%) and Poland (+80%).

Many independent brewers are focusing on only producing low and non-alcoholic beers.

We may see more independent and craft producers introducing these low and non-alcoholic beers (in Ireland), or indeed focussing their business solely on this offering, as we have seen in the UK.

Takeaway: There has been an increase in the sales of non alcoholic beer across Europe; +80% in Poland and +28% in the UK.




No Summer holidays

In major cities across Europe, particularly in Spain and France, a major exodus occurs in August. In Madrid, for example, traffic becomes quieter, restaurants close and offices lie empty as locals flock to the coast to escape the stifling heat. These holiday migrations are the norm in both countries where people can easily take them for granted.

There are exceptions, however, with new and depressing data from Eurostat showing that holidays are simply unaffordable for large numbers of Europeans.

The highest share of people who could not afford a one-week holiday away from home in 2018 was recorded in Romania at 59 percent. Croatia came second with 51.3 percent while Greece and Cyprus were tied for third with 51 percent. Large proportions of the population in Italy (43.7 percent), Ireland (35.3 percent) and Poland (34.6 percent) also said a one-week holiday was out of their financial grasp.

Even in Spain where long holidays in August are typical, 34.2 percent of people said they still could not pay the costs of a week-long break.

Takeaway: The highest share of people who could not afford a one week holiday away from home is recorded in Romania at 59%.




Growing up

Makeup is generally frowned upon until a child is 14, by which point 48% of Britons think it’s ok. 58% women think it’s ok by 14, but 68% men don’t reach the same point until the child is 16. By the age of 11 49% think it’s ok for a kid to have a “brick phone”. Just 22% of Brits think they should have such access by 11. By the age of 13 46% think it’s ok, this tips over to 59% at age 14. Those who are parents to children aged 17 and below are slightly more permissive. 61% are happy with a child having a “brick phone” by age 11 (compared to 47% of everyone else). Only 33% think it’s ok for a child to have their own debit card by the age of 15.

At 16, however, this figure doubles to 65%. Parents of children aged 17 and under are more permitting than the general population. 50% of these parents say it’s ok for children to have debit card by age 15, a figure fully twenty percentage points higher than those without children in this age range. 49% of people are ok with children riding public transport without their parents by the age of 12. Allowing kids to stay out after dark, 52% are ok with them doing so by 15. Parents of children aged under 18 actually tend to be happier to let them out in the evenings at earlier ages than the rest of the population.

Takeaway: Only 33% think it’s ok for a child to have a debit card by the age of 15. At 16, however, this figure doubles to 65%.




Dating apps

No new ground-breaking technology has shaken up the way we meet people – the biggest apps out there are still pretty similar to one another. Will the distinction between say Tinder and Grindr eventually disappear?  Will we become less rigid in what we’re looking for? Among Gen Y and Z, there’s a kickback against interaction in the virtual space - People want a bit of serendipity put back into dating. Tinder just launched “festival mode” to connect users at UK music events. Aside from all the horror stories we hear about catfishers and other crimes that happen via dating apps, there are nearly 70 countries where it’s illegal to be LGBTQ+.

One idea being rolled out is Tinder’s new feature “traveller alert”, which is a notification that pops up to protect. Users who identify as LGBTQ+ will no longer automatically appear on Tinder when they open the app in these places. Additionally, uncoupled living is increasing as we are less concerned about finding ‘the one’. Since 1971 there has been a 10% increase in those who live alone and the average age to marry has moved from 22.6 for women and 24.6 for men to 30.8 and 32.7 years. We might use these dating apps less altogether; 56% of 18 to 24s have met someone from an app, compared to 67% of 45 to 64s.

Takeaway: Tinder may be rolling out a new feature called "traveller alert", a notification that would pop up to protect the LGBTQ+ community, due to LGBTQ+ being illegal in nearly 70 countries. 



Just a number

Attest ran a survey of 2k consumers in the UK and the US, and found only 18% feel their interests are dictated by their age. If you can’t rely on people of the same age to have similar interests, how do you create campaigns to appeal to them? 40% of Gen Z (aged 18-24) believe age has no influence on their interests or hobbies. Boomers (age 55-64), who are typically targeted with ads for funeral plans and portrayed as armchair-dwelling and slipper wearing, firmly reject the idea that they have become any less passionate about life as they’ve got older. 85% of UK Boomers disagree that their lust for life has been affected by ageing.

Brands must rely on insight not instinct. Less than 5% of advertising is geared towards people over 50. BT has now opted to go age agnostic in its targeting segmenting by interest and behaviours instead. People are not defined by their age, but their behaviour, their beliefs and their interests. Another way to look at age-agnostic marketing is to think of it as being inclusive. An age agnostic campaign might seem too broad, but it simply means targeting people for reasons other than their age. Marketers need to keep up with changing attitudes, instead of relying on tired age based stereotypes.

Takeaway: Less than 5% of advertising is geared towards people over 50.



Plant people

Cheaper and less high maintenance than pets, house plants are filling a void in millennials’ hearts and homes. For many millennials – especially those living in increasingly congested cities, home ownership is out of the question. Rents are on the rise, and it is hard to care for pets in small apartments (often not permitted). Plants bring life to an apartment and are something to care for. In 2010, plants generated <600k posts, in 2018 there were 3.7 m posts (on twitter). It was found that deciding on what plants to buy, figuring out how to grow plants, questioning if their plants are pet-friendly, watering plants getting enough light, assessing soil quality, improving air quality and baking in the happiness plants bring to them, were common topics. Many say that plants brighten up their homes and reduce stress. Looking at data from 2012 to 2019, the top three most common houseplants are succulents, cacti and aloe. These plants are low maintenance and require little water, it is easier to kill them with too much love than it is to kill them by ignoring them. Plant parents tend to be located in New York, London or Los Angeles. Naturally, those talking about plants have interests in herb gardening, farming, wildlife and ecology.

Takeaway: The top three most common houseplants are succulents, cacti and aloe.



The Author

Charlie Gill

Charlie Gill

Insights & Planning Executive

Charlie is part of the Planning and Insights team here at twentysix. Using her BSc in Psychology, Charlie's work involves researching customer's behaviour and motivations, as well as their world around them. From going out and speaking to consumers in their natural habitats to conducting research in our in-house biometric lab, Charlie uses multiple techniques to become an expert on your customer.