Macrotrends

Access the major shifts in consumer behaviour

Macrotrends reveal how consumers are responding to the global drivers of change and represent the value shifts defined according to emerging attitudes and behaviour among people globally. These shifts are supported by consumer-facing innovations, products, services, experiences and communications that address a need.

At The Future Laboratory we define macrotrends by using intuition, our experience and data. We use four stages of research to identify and qualify a macrotrend – inspiration, validation, interrogation and finally the strategic implications of the trend for businesses and brands.

Every year we publish over eight global macrotrends exclusively for members of our trends intelligence hub, LS:N Global. Become a member and learn about the major shifts in consumer behaviour that will dictate our business environment in the longterm.


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Hyperphysical Stores:

The nascent trends in physical retail, such as next-gen Hangout Hubs and youth-centric Play-tail, where retail spaces are being used to foster enjoyment and discovery.

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Neo-collectivism:

Unveils the consumer behaviours and trends shaping the future of care, commerce and community and reflect on how brands can genuinely create collectivism.

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The Zalpha Reckoning:

We have just emerged from the most online period in human history. But this means that media and technology brands must work harder than ever to maintain momentum.

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Redemptive Diets:

After Covid-19 turned convenience and access into a priority, the focus is shifting towards future-proofing brand operations through engagement with global communities.

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Synchronised Care:

Self-care as we know it is changing. Between calls to reject the wellness industrial complex and close the gap between widening health inequalities, a shift is under way.

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Eco-venience Retail:

2020 prompted retail Darwinism at its most impactful, yet brands have evolved at speed, adjusting to changing expectations of access and more conscious mindsets.

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Alternet Economies:

A technological counter-culture is decentralising capitalism, reforming the internet and powering new value frontiers for creators, consumers and brands.

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Elastic Brands:

Forget advertising campaigns and branded content. All eyes are on the inner workings of your business – and how seamlessly it can adapt.

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Equilibrium Cities:

Citizens are demanding a more receptive and equitable built environment that will allow future urban generations, nature and businesses to thrive.

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Enlightened States:

The experience economy is pivoting towards personal transformation as the public imagination looks inwards, favouring self-discovery over shared spectacle.

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Pleasure Revolution:

With every second of our free time colonised by the cult of busyness, future consumers will turn away from a life of relentless productivity and shift their focus from enhancement to enjoyment.

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Feedback Frontiers:

As communications with consumers become more circular and conversational, brands are treating every micro-interaction as a valuable opportunity to lean in, learn and improve their model.

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Home Eatertainment:

Changing dining dynamics have created a new convenience culture focused on elevating the experience and enjoyment of eating and drinking at home.

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Paradox Personas:

Unlike Millennials, Generation Z are swapping self-promotion for self-awareness, using the digital world to enrich but not define their offline selves.

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Bio-Positive Beauty:

Short, traceable supply chains and condensed routines are in high demand as the beauty and wellness industry moves from zero to positive impact.

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Post-purpose Brands:

Pushing back against purpose-washing and jumping on the bandwagon, brands will embrace imperfection and focus on betterment.

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New Report

Neo-collectivism macrotrend

Our Neo-collectivism report shows that community is a more valuable resource than ever. It unveils the consumer behaviours and trends shaping the future of care, commerce and community. We also reflect on how brands can genuinely place collectivism at the heart of their products, campaigns and workforces.

The report includes the case studies, key microtrends and strategic opportunities set to arm your business with the tools you need to get ready for a Neo-collectivist future.

You can access the full report by becoming a member of LS:N Global. To book a demo and discuss the membership packages with our team, please click the button below.


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Trend Tracker

The Future Laboratory has been identifying and tracking macrotrends for two decades. As The Transformative Twenties begin, we have mapped out how all these trends have evolved.

Presenting the trends as a timeline from the year 2000 to 2030, users can learn how Experience, Brand and Consumer behaviours have changed – and what this means for the future.

Featuring trend summaries, expert quotes and links to full trends on LS:N Global, visitors can navigate through a visually driven and chronological view of industry shifts and evolving human behaviour. 

Use our bespoke Trend Tracker to discover 20 years of macrotrends.


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Presentations

Book one of our world-class speakers to deliver an in-house or virtual presentation or workshop for your business.

Discover each of our macrotrend presentations below – or book them together as a presentation collection

 

Hyperphysical Stores
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In a post-Covid landscape, changing consumer needs are driving retailers to rethink bricks-and-mortar stores to be more engaging, sensorial and memorable.

Our new Hyperphysical Stores macrotrend presentation explores how e-commerce is accelerating to offer multi-layered and sometimes confusing experiences for customers and brands, while bricks-and-mortar shops are becoming bastions of extraordinary, sensorial moments.

This presentation helps businesses tap into the Future Laboratory’s framework, The Four Es of Retail. Ranging from enriching to exclusive, these experiential markers will elevate the senses, cultivate community and expand the potential of physical store design.


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Neo-collectivism
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As real-world uprisings rage on and our journey to the metaverse accelerates, global consumers are busy forming new types of alliance. Losing their sense of individualism, they are engaging in new forms of collective thinking, doing and consuming.

As our new macrotrend presentation reveals, brands will need to change from sellers to coordinators, blurring the boundaries between how we define a company, a community and a collective.

This presentation helps businesses tap into these community spaces, understand their massive potential and explore why we need to prepare for a neo-collectivist future.


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The Zalpha Reckoning
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A hybrid generation of Zalphas are entering brands’ consciousness. Wise beyond their years, these products of climate change are using their childhood – once a time of innocence – as a time for productivity.

Our new macrotrend presentation offers a first look at what – or who – comes next: a transitional generation of Zalphas who are at the forefront of this technology paradox. As they learn how to navigate a world that both is and isn’t comprised of pixels, they are not seeing the physical and digital worlds as silos, but as equally important realities that can be layered on top of one another.

In this presentation, we look at how this new generation will reshape policymaking, family structures and the very meaning of youth.


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Redemptive Diets
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At a time of global upheaval, brands and consumers are uniting to build future-fit, resilient food systems that support changing social values, protect precious resources and secure supply chains.

This comes as a response to the commodification of food over the last century, with the cultural, social, environmental and political value of eating and drinking largely stripped away in pursuit of unbalanced business priorities such as profit and growth.

This presentation examines the reasons why we eat – and how we should eat – companies and consumers will merge pro-people and planet practices with bold solutions.


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Synchronised Care
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Self-care as we know it is changing. Between calls to reject the wellness industrial complex and close the gap between widening health inequalities, a shift is under way.

Covid-19 has taught us that we are all connected and that taking care of ourselves is a way to care for our family, friends and community. For this reason, self-care is taking on a new role on both an individual and a collective scale.

In this presentation, we look at the foundations of beauty, health and wellness that have been compromised by the pandemic as well as emerging trends and foresight.


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Eco-venience Retail
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Accelerating e-commerce and demands for expedited delivery are forcing a new retail framework that puts eco-conscious practices central to brands’ operations.

This comes amid global online growth for retail over the last 12 months. Yet, as shoppers shift their spending online, strain on supply chains and the effect of expedited shipping and returns are exacerbating retail’s environmental impact.

From global supply chains to augmented brands, find out how convenience and care for the environment are becoming ever-more intertwined.


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Alternet Economies
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Some 30 years after the internet was created, a revolution is upon us. A technological counter-culture is subverting digital capitalism and powering new value frontiers for creators, consumers and brands. A next-generation internet built on decentralised technologies not only promises better user control, but also more competition.
 

From direct-to-creator culture to platform cooperatives, the internet economy’s established value exchange is evolving to become more equitable and diverse. In this presentation, we present trends such as Post-social Creators, Cooperative Media and Direct-to-avatar.


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Elastic Brands
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Forget advertising campaigns and branded content. As the power dynamic shifts between brands and consumers, all eyes are on the inner workings of your business – and how seamlessly it can respond, recalibrate and adapt. Moving beyond reactionary thinking, this is a chance for brands to pilot a truly transformative future for business.

In this presentation, we examine how as the power dynamic shifts between brands and consumers, all eyes are on the inner workings of businesses, and how seamlessly they can respond and recalibrate. We also delve into the future of Chief Disaster Officers, Mortal Commerce and Dynamic Democracy.


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Equilibrium Cities
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The pandemic has sapped the energy of urban life. Revealing stark inequalities between global citizens, Covid-19 is exposing issues with urban safety, public services and access to green spaces in our cities. This demands new and urgent approaches to how our streets and spaces are used, alongside a reframing of who and what are the priorities of our future city. In the 2020s, we anticipate the rise of Equilibrium Cities.

As we move through The Transformative Twenties, data-first digital systems will enable people to shape and experience their cities remotely, possibly even in alternative realms.  This presentation explores trends such as Blended Cultural Realms, Salubrious Streets and Natural Foundations.


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Pleasure Revolution
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Facing a medley of expectations, consumers are realising that the self-actualising activities they have bought into are mentally and physically draining. We are now entering a period of reflection, selfishness and solitude in which intensified notions of achievement are proving counter-productive, and consumers are now pressing pause. 

From the celebration of Slacker Culture to the allure of the Homebody Economy, in this presentation we present key insights for brands in sectors such as wellness, leisure and the workplace. Discover why we must untangle guilt around free time, upend modern work rituals and champion the post-capitalist act of opting out.


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Enlightened States
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Consumers are tiring of photogenic pop-ups, immersive events and mass tourism as a form of social currency. In the next decade the focus will shift to places, processes and practices that cultivate quiet, intimacy and introspection, with consumers seeking to balance their emotional, physical and spiritual states.

From Psychonautic Therapy to Neuromedia, we looks at the shifts redefining entertainment and leisure, as well as health and wellness. Find out how the concept of experience as a form medicine will drive a new age of self-discovery and enlightenment.


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Post-purpose Brands
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Brands are on the brink of a post-purpose era as consumers challenge hypocrisies in messaging, product and brand behaviour. At the same time, a generation of entrepreneurial activists are becoming workers, shareholders and boardroom members, reshaping brands in their image by promoting a culture of continual regeneration.

We present the Sacrificial Brands setting strict environmental business goals, alongside the rise of Problem Evolving strategies that utilise insights to enhance and advance business operations. And as technology progresses, learn how 5G will allow brands to serve and support the public more intuitively.


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Experts

The writers, researchers, analysts – and brains behind our macrotrends. Get in touch with our macrotrend specialists if you are interested in discussing a particular macrotrend in more detail.

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Martin Raymond (He/Him)
co-founder

Martin is editor-in-chief of Viewpoint magazine as well as LS:N Global, the online lifestyle news and consumer insight portal. Having written several books on trend forecasting, including The Trend Forecaster’s Handbook and The Tomorrow People, Martin contributes regularly as an expert on trends and business for the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV.

Kathryn Bishop
foresight editor

Kathryn joined The Future Laboratory in 2016, and is deputy editor of LS:N Global. Specialising in luxury, she also works on its fashion content and leads commissioning internal and external articles. She has previously written for publications including Adorn Insight, VO+, Retail Jeweller, Professional Jeweller and CityAM.

Holly Friend (She/Her)
deputy foresight editor

Holly joined LS:N Global in late 2016 and writes across the website, including the daily Need to Know. As well as working with brands such as Vans, Spotify and Lacoste, she’s the go-to expert on emerging consumer trends in Youth and Travel & Hospitality, and is always looking for what’s next in the entertainment industry.

Livvy Houghton (She/Her)
senior creative foresight analyst

Livvy joined The Future Laboratory in early 2018 and oversees LS:N Global’s Need to Know section. Working closely with Holly, she manages the content and constructs the visual elements for the daily news stories. She also supports the team, researching and visualising, for various other sectors across LS:N Global.

Chris Sanderson (He/Him)
co-founder

Christopher Sanderson is co-founder of The Future Laboratory, where he is responsible for delivering the company’s extensive global roster of conferences, media events and LS:N Global Trend Briefings, which he co-presents with the team in London, New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Stockholm and Helsinki. Clients who have booked one of his inspirational keynotes include Gucci Group, the European Travel Commission, Retail Week, Selfridges, M&S, Chanel, Harrods, Aldo and H&M.

Abi Buller (She/Her)
foresight analyst

Abi joined The Future Laboratory in late 2019 and writes across LS:N Global, including the daily Need to Know section. She has a background in fashion and continues to track industry shifts relating to sustainability and digital innovation. As well as leading the Fashion sector, she also contributes regularly to the Youth and Media & Technology verticals.

Savannah Scott (She/Her)
creative foresight analyst

Savannah leads visual research and design for food and drink and retail content on LSNGlobal.com, The Future Laboratory's trends intelligence platform. Savannah is a regular contributor to LS:N Global's daily news and weekly articles, alongside leading visual research for a number of annual macrotrends and sector reports.

Discover our Macrotrends

Find out how you can get access to our global macrotrends



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