By Rieva Lesonsky

Mintel recently announced its four key trends set to impact North American consumer markets over the coming year. It believes Americans and Canadians are facing uncertainty these days, and as a result consumers will be “attuned to consumer trends across transparency, value, self-care and automation.”

Each week this month, we’re going to take a closer look at one of Mintel’s four top trends.

Trend #1: Trust Funding

“We’re living in a post-truth and post-trust world,” says Carli Gernot, Manager of Trends, North America at Mintel.  “As consumers grapple with news that may or may not be ‘fake,’ with corporations acting in ways that foster mistrust, and with organizations voicing beliefs and philosophies, more consumers will reprioritize who and what they trust in 2018…Today, trust has become one of the strongest drivers in how consumers choose products, services, and which organizations and politicians to support.”

Going against traditional conventional wisdom, Gernot says many businesses today may “have little choice but to communicate where they sit on various issues, make bold moral actions and take clear political stances when necessary.”

While small businesses might have to be more careful than big corporations when it comes to acting politically, there are many issues confronting us today that are more clearly defined as to what’s right and wrong.

How can you address the trust issue? Mintel cites several actions you can take to “build or redeem the trust [of] apprehensive consumers,” such as “adding more information to packaging or incorporating livestreams of production methods.”

You can download a free copy of Mintel’s North America Consumer Trends 2018 report here.