WGSN releases new insights with “Future Consumer 2022”

May 12, 2020

The white paper highlights the key consumer profiles and sentiments that will drive sales and engagement in 2022.

London, May 12, 2020 – WGSN, the global authority on trend forecasting, today released ‘Future Consumer 2022’, a white paper for executives, marketers and product designers alike, highlighting the key consumer profiles and sentiments that will drive sales and engagement in 2022.

Carla Buzasi, WGSN’s President and CEO, commented: “As the world shifts at an unprecedented pace under the coronavirus pandemic, we are seeing the evolution of numerous consumer attitudes. In this scenario, understanding what people will still want to buy, and how to create the right products in light of that, is more important than ever. With ‘Future Consumer 2022’ we reveal the three key consumer profiles that will shape 2022 and the years beyond, to help understand how consumer desires and spending powers will evolve. Through analysis of the macroeconomic and societal drivers, the annual research identifies the emotional sentiments that are set to have the greatest impacts on consumer mindsets.”

Andrea Bell, Director, WGSN Insight, remarked: “For each of the three key consumer profiles, the white paper includes consumer sentiments, priorities, engagement strategies, case studies, and expert insight from WGSN’s industry expert editors. We are reimagining what consumers will want, what brands can and should create, and how we will live in a post-Covid-19 world. We are all, regardless of the industry we work in, designing for a new kind of consumer.”

WGSN highlights the following four consumer sentiments and three consumer profiles:

Consumer sentiments

  • Fear: Covers how fear is a global – and demographic – unifier, from eco-anxiety to financial uncertainty, and how emotional contagion has been amplified by the Coronavirus pandemic. 
  • Desynchronised Society: Analyses how the standard nine-to-five, five-day work week has lost its dominance, giving way to desynchronisation and the breakdown of communities due to the lack of consistent human interaction.
  • Equitable Resilience: Distills how resilience is leading to toxic positivity and driving consumers to look to emotional acceptance and gravitate towards dedicating time to feel.
  • Radical Optimism: Discusses how optimism isn’t uncool – it’s rebellious, and in times of uncertainty it’s a brave choice.

Consumer profiles

  • The Stabilisers are prioritising stability across all aspects of their lives in reaction to desynchronisation and feelings of chronic uncertainty. They want simplified retail experiences, calm commerce, and a reassuring relationship with brands.
  • The Settlers are desperate to redefine the global ‘hustle hard’ work cycle. They are looking to plant roots in their community, but not settle in their careers, and they’re ushering in a new era of localism.
  • The New Optimists are weighed down by rising levels of fear and anxiety, and have a vivacious appetite to embrace joy – a brave choice in the face of uncertainty.

Carla Buzasi, WGSN’s President and CEO, commented: “As we look towards 2022, it is individuals’ attitudes to the changing world around them, and their reactions to that world, that have been the overwhelming influence on the cohorts we have identified as key for all creative businesses moving forward.

In times where change is exponentially faster, understanding the signals of change that we know will impact how consumers think, feel and behave is key for brands and businesses that want to design the products, experiences and services people will need in years to come.”

Andrea Bell, Director, WGSN Insight, remarked: “Consumers are much more than target audiences, or market segments. Consumers are nuanced because their existence extends beyond simply ‘a purchase decision’. At WGSN we put the consumer first and unpack their behaviour, showing brands how to form deeper connections.”

Bell adds: “In 2022, a key thread among all these cohorts is that despite our reliance on digital connectivity, it’s our need for human connection – in person or virtual – that will truly shape our lives.”

Summing up, Carla Buzasi remarked: “Designing the right product at the right time is key. By understanding what these consumers feel, and what they’ll want from brands, we can support outstanding product design and create a better future.”

The executive summary can be downloaded at no cost at https://bit.ly/futureconsumerpress


For quotes and interviews with WGSN’s consumer experts, contact press@wgsn.com.


WGSN is the global authority on consumer, lifestyle and product design trends, helping brands around the world create the right products at the right time for tomorrow’s consumer. 

WGSN’s trusted consumer insights and product design forecasts power outstanding product design, enabling our customers to create a better future. Our services cover consumer insights, beauty, consumer tech, fashion, food and drink, and interiors forecasting, data analytics and expert advisory.

WGSN is an Ascential company. Visit wgsn.com


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