Consumers Trade FOMO For Greater Discernment In Where They Want To See And Be Seen – With Personal Safety A Core Concern

A fresh take on ‘FOMO’ is emerging amongst South African consumers of premium spirits.  Where previously a ‘fear of missing out’ drove a near frenetic focus on seeing and being seen, consumers are demonstrating new found ‘JOMO’ – a ‘joy of missing out.’  They are being more selective of what events they want to attend – showing greater moderation in budgeting and managing their time.

“This is just one of the coping mechanisms that consumers are developing in tough economic times and in an ‘always-on’ world where choices are overwhelming” says Kuhle Belu, Consumer Insights Manager at Pernod Ricard South Africa.    

Research, conducted by Instant Grass International over the 2018 festive season, focuses on the South African market and targets consumers aged 18 – 35 who are highly active on social media.  Findings show consumers having greater discernment in an environment cluttered with events, activities and occasions for drinking premium spirits brands. This is the first generation to have uninterrupted access to the world and, concurrently, exposure of themselves to the world.  The implications are decision fatigue for infinite possibilities and anxiety for personal over exposure and security.

In an environment fraught with safety concerns, consumers are hyper-alert and looking for more considered, risk free behaviours and choices.   “Managing a night out typically involves planning ahead – reserving tables in private spaces and nominating a ‘woke’ person as a driver.  We are seeing the continued rise of ‘hometainment’ with AirBnB venues being rented as safer, more intimate options than clubs and bars” says Belu.

What does this mean for alcohol brands?  According to Belu, “We can play a role by being part of the solution, showing consumers that we empathise with them in this landscape and offering solutions that help address their concerns.”  

“One example would be creating surprising experiences in our brand activations which allow consumers to find safety in what they know, while experiencing something unexpected, novel and memorable.  It’s also about providing ongoing education on responsible choices through initiatives such as Pernod Ricard South Africa’s 1-4-1 initiative.  The campaign, launched over the festive season encourages people to adopt and maintain a culture of consuming one bottle of water for every alcoholic drink.“

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