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Mintel forecasts consumer trends for 2011

CHICAGO A new report by Mintel noted retailers should be aware of certain consumer trends that may impact shopping behavior.

The research firm found that since the global economic crisis, the majority of U.S. consumers polled are using defensive thinking to shop, and seek brands that demonstrate how a product or service delivers long-term benefits for them, Mintel said. Additionally, 35% of respondents said their choice of store is determined by special offers or discounts.

Another key to driving sales next year is app technology, as the sales of smart phones grew 82% from 2008 to 2010, Mintel reported. Many retailers currently have apps readily available for customers. For instance, CVS/pharmacy earlier this month launched a free, downloadable application for mobile customers that seek to manage their prescriptions and shopping lists on the go.

"The effects of the global economic crisis have had long-reaching implications, and it is not just consumer behavior in the short term that was affected. Indeed, these consumer trends for 2011 are a legacy created by economics, but now are gathering their own momentum and are set to influence the global consumer mindset for a long time to come," Alexandra Smith, global trends analyst at Mintel said.

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