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A Growing Middle Class in Emerging Markets Creates Vast New Opportunities for Consumer Products, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

Rapid growth in the global middle class is another powerful trend that will continue to generate massive opportunities for sellers of consumer products and services.  Literally hundreds of millions of people have been raised from the lowest income levels to the bottom rungs of the middle class thanks to global economic growth over the past 30 years.  Such families and their children have become the newest consumers of toothpaste, toilet paper, cosmetics, deodorant and household cleaning supplies.  Massive quantities of goods are being sold into markets that literally didn’t exist a short while ago.
Consumer spending in developing nations has been growing at a soaring rate and will continue to do so.  Massive global household goods and cosmetics firms like Unilever have been riding this wave in order to significantly increase sales.  While local competition is growing in many product categories, consumers who can afford the price often prefer well-known European, Japanese or American brands, which they feel may be safer and of higher overall quality.  Also, many consumers in emerging markets like to brag about their use of famous, global brands, considering them to be status symbols.  (These trends have already been a huge factor in the global growth of food outlets, including Starbucks, KFC and McDonalds.)
In order to best take advantage of the emerging middle class, consumer products firms have been alert to local customs and preferences.  Products may be sold with different scents, package sizes and descriptions in India than are offered in Indonesia.  For example, products that claim to make skin color appear lighter may be popular in some markets, while products that are scented with green tea or ginger are popular in others.  Nonetheless, toothpaste is still just toothpaste.  Retail price points may need to be lower in rural China than they are in Europe or Japan; therefore, packages are often much smaller.


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