How are our global trends for 2018 developing?

Date : 02 August 2018

At the start of this year, we predicted five trends that we expect to see develop in 2018. Toby reviews these predictions and reveals some of the innovations to date.

Trend: premiumisation of private label

Retailers are using private label to appeal to a wide range of life stages and changing shopping habits. They’re making themselves stand out in an increasingly competitive market.

Who’s doing it well?

  • Albert Heijn, Netherlands – a range of reduced-sugar sauces
  • Albertsons, USA – ultra-premium, high quality range called Signature Reserve
  • Coop Sverige, Sweden – selection of eco-skincare products

Trend: becoming hyperlocal

Shoppers’ desire for links to local regions and to buy local produce will increase. Retailers will need to support small and medium suppliers.

Who’s doing it well?

  • Midcounties Co-operative, UK – Best of our counties initiative highlights some products previously only available in farm shops
  • Kaufland, Romania – its first private label range for products made exclusively in Romania
  • Eroski, Spain – online shoppers can filter by region

Trend: delivering the goods

Shoppers’ expectations are increasing when it comes to easy, convenient deliveries. So far, the online channel has come up with most of the solutions.

Who’s doing it well?

  • • Walmart, USA – Jetblack enables members to shop via text, from any retailer
  • • Kroger, USA – partnering with unmanned vehicle manufacturer Nuro to pilot on-road, autonomous delivery vehicles
  • • Albert Heijn, Netherlands – the Meal Wall is a chilled food vending machine selling a variety of fresh, nutritious meals

Trend: leading in lifestyle

Health and wellness is an ongoing focus this year. Retailers can stand out by helping shoppers and consumers live healthier and better lifestyles.

Who’s doing it well?

  • Coop Karma, Switzerland – Coop Schweiz’s second store selling only vegan and vegetarian products
  • Coop Danmark, Denmark – introduced intelligent recipes, linking recipes with appropriate products to minimise food waste
  • FamilyMart, Japan – the Fit & Go store in Tokyo has a gym upstairs and a strong focus on energy drinks, protein bars and fitness clothing

Trend: fulfilling stores

Physical stores must work harder than ever to attract shoppers. Pressure is rising to blend the convenience of online with an enticing, convenient store.

Who’s doing it well?

  • Asda, UK – the parcel collection tower at the front of its Trafford Park store lets customers collect parcels in less than 60 seconds
  • Jumbo Foodmarkt, Netherlands – this store in Utrecht has upgraded its foodservice offer to appeal to more customers
  • Carrefour, France – hybrid Drive stores see Carrefour pick ambient ranges from the Drive area, and fresh products from the hypermarket

An extra trend to watch

Plastic has become a hot topic. Companies have been working for a long time on developing more sustainable packaging. We’re now seeing increased prominence of industry activity and public pledges.

Toby Pickard

Toby Pickard

Head of Insight – Innovation and Futures

Retail Analysis subscribers can find out more about these trends in our updated global retail outlook presentation.

Find out more about shoppers in 2025 and the online store of the future, in our new reports.

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