What’s Trending in June 2024?

June 10, 2024

June 2024 is a month full of surprises, shifts, and evolving trends. From political upheavals to changing consumer habits, there’s much to unpack. Let’s dive into three major consumer insights shaping this month.

1. UK’s Snap Election Highlights Global Challenges

The UK political arena is set ablaze as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a snap general election for July 4th, thrusting the nation into a whirlwind of campaigning and heated debate. Sunak’s Conservative Party, lagging the opposition Labour Party led by Keir Starmer, faces a likely upheaval in governance.

Our recent GB research from April and early May reveals a seismic shift: 31% of Brits plan to vote Labour, compared to a mere 17% for the Conservatives. Yet, the true wild card lies with the nearly 30% of voters who remain undecided or choose not to disclose their preference. Despite this ambiguity, almost half of the respondents are betting on a Labour victory, underscoring their commanding lead in the polls.

The election’s flashpoints – the economy, healthcare, and immigration – mirror broader global crises, making this election a microcosm of worldwide issues.

See Beyond 

The convergence of election issues with Foresight Factory’s macro drivers is striking. The foremost concern is the macroeconomic picture. Just before the election announcement, the International Monetary Fund sounded the alarm that Britain needed an additional £30 billion (c. $38.2 billion) to stabilize debt. This fiscal constraint means the next government will have limited flexibility regarding spending pledges or tax hikes. 

Compounding these economic woes is the UK’s demographic challenge. An Aging Population places immense pressure on national finances. The future of the National Health Service remains a critical concern for British voters. As highlighted in our Health Horizons, the Rising Cost of Healthcare is an escalating issue that governments worldwide will increasingly contend with. 

This election also sits at the crossroads of technological advancements and public trust. Artificial Intelligence looms as a potential disruptor. Just last month, we reported on the deployment of deepfakes in India’s general election, with digitally resurrected figures campaigning posthumously. There are warnings that similar tactics could be employed in the UK election, possibly by foreign actors like Russia, China, and North Korea. 

Geopolitical dynamics are inextricably linked to this election. The backdrop of global tension and conflict is palpable. The conflict in Gaza has already influenced voting patterns in UK local elections, with some Muslim voters reportedly distancing themselves from the Labour Party due to its stance on the issue. Prior to announcing the election, Rishi Sunak highlighted in a speech that the UK faces perilous times ahead due to factors such as geopolitics and AI, making future defense spending a contentious electoral issue. 

Immigration continues to be a hot-button topic. The government’s efforts to curb illegal migration from continental Europe have fueled intense debate over recent months and years, ensuring that this issue remains a focal point in the upcoming election. 

As we navigate through these turbulent political waters, the outcome of the UK’s snap election will not only reshape the nation’s future but will also reflect and possibly influence global trends and challenges. Buckle up, because this election is set to be a thrilling ride. 

2. Celibacy – the Latest Wellness Trend?

Celibacy is undergoing a rebrand. Younger consumers, particularly women, are embracing celibacy as a positive choice for personal wellbeing. By controlling their sexual decisions and establishing clear boundaries in relationships, many find empowerment and support in the trend of Mastering the Mind. Comedian Hope Woodward coined the term “boysober” after taking a year off from relationships and sex to reset her dating life. With 14.5 million posts related to ‘boysober’ on TikTok, the term has gained significant traction, shedding the religious connotations often associated with celibacy. 

The reasons for choosing celibacy are diverse. Actress and singer Julia Fox linked her celibacy to the threat to abortion rights in the USA following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and after two and a half years, claims she’s “never been better.” In South Korea, the 4B movement sees women opting out of dating, marriage, sex, and child-rearing with men, pushing back against a culture where they feel unequal. This movement is gaining interest outside of South Korea, with significant search activity in markets like Singapore and the United States, where there has been a 3,000% growth in searches over the last quarter. 

Despite this shift, dating app Bumble recently misstepped by launching a campaign that seemed to shame women for choosing celibacy, with billboards declaring “you know full well that celibacy is not the answer.” The backlash was swift, leading to an apology from Bumble and the removal of the ads. The widespread response to the ads underscores the legitimacy and acceptance of the celibacy trend. 

See Beyond 

The pushback to Bumble’s campaign highlights the need for brands to be inclusive of all preferences, validating and supporting their customers regardless of their sexual choices. Read more on how attitudes to relationships are changing in our Relationships Redefined report.  

As we explore in our trend Sex Positive, sex is becoming a less taboo subject, leading more consumers to openly discuss their desires and decisions. This openness, however, can also increase opportunities for harassment. Brands should provide a safe space and protect employees and consumers from discrimination. Research in the UK shows higher rates of discrimination in the workplace and healthcare among the ace community, which includes those who experience little, fluctuating, or no sexual attraction (source: Stonewall). This is just one example of many groups that may face negative perceptions for not having sex, regardless of their reasons. 

The rise of celibacy is not just a passing trend; it’s a bold, defiant statement that intersects with some of the most contentious issues of our time. Forget the endless swiping and shallow connections on dating apps. Consumers are ditching these platforms, finding relief in celibacy as a powerful alternative to the disappointment and fatigue of modern dating. 

It’s time to recognize and embrace the full spectrum of sexual needs. We must support everyone in their choices, whether they seek celibacy or sexual fulfillment, in a consensual and safe manner. This isn’t just about acceptance; it’s about actively creating a society where all sexual preferences and needs are validated and respected.

3. Olive Oil Is Dubbed Liquid Gold Due to Soaring Prices 

The global olive oil market is in turmoil, with production plummeting to its lowest level in over a decade. This year alone, production is expected to fall by 18%, reaching just 2.4 million tons. Severe droughts, extreme heat, and flooding across major olive oil exporters such as Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Turkey, and Greece have severely disrupted production. 

As a result, global demand for olive oil is outstripping supply for the second consecutive year. Retail prices have soared, with the UK seeing a 118% increase in olive oil prices between March 2019 and March 2024. A liter of extra virgin olive oil now costs up to £16, with premium brands exceeding £18 per liter. This dramatic price hike has led to olive oil being dubbed “liquid gold,” with thefts on the rise and supermarkets implementing additional security measures. 

See Beyond

Consumers are seeking alternatives, shifting towards more affordable oils like sunflower and rapeseed. Brands can guide consumers towards these alternatives, offering education on their varying smoke points and health benefits.  

This shift underscores the ongoing need for maximizing value and fact-finding among consumers, who are looking to make informed decisions amidst rising food inflation. 

To read the full reports, join us on Collision

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Plus

Don’t miss our upcoming webinar on June 13th, 2024, at 3pm BST: Cracking the Code of Customer Closeness. In today’s competitive market and unpredictable global landscape, connecting authentically with customers is crucial. Join us as we explore consumer sentiments and unveil strategies for achieving deeper customer connections. 

 

Content

Written by Content Team

The Content Team produces all the reports and articles that get published on our dynamic consumer trends intelligence platform, Collision. By tracking trends, monitoring signals of change across sectors and audiences, and working alongside our data team to digest and analyse our proprietary consumer research, they help leading global brands strengthen strategic relevance and gain a competitive edge.

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