man and child


The future of the consumer industry

Buying into better™

The consumer industry is on the precipice of dramatic change that over the next decade will impact the markets, models, and mechanics of consumer industry companies in significant ways. With all this uncertainty, one thing is clear: The strategies that led you to where you are now likely won’t get you to where you need to go next.

Adapting to—and creating—change

Change is a staple of humanity, and nowhere is the velocity of change more evident than in the consumer industry, which has seen decades of dramatic transformation. But what this chronicle of change may obscure is that a broad set of forces now place the industry on the verge of an even more momentous paradigm shift. Simply put, the industry faces a once-in-a-century economic, social, and technological transition.

To add complexity, this is happening against a backdrop of significant challenges, such as accelerated climate change, growing economic inequality, declining trust, increasing polarization, and worsening global financial conditions. Not only do companies need to navigate this once-in-a-century transition, but they must do it with an eye toward addressing critical issues for society and the planet more broadly.

The forces driving transition have implications for consumer companies across all three primary business dimensions: markets, models, and mechanics.

Today’s empowered consumers are using their dollars to effect the change they want to see in the world. At the same time, facing monumental transitions, companies are choosing to extend their mission beyond shareholder value to encompass broader ecological and societal issues. Together, they’re buying into better.

At Deloitte, we believe that the future isn’t something to be predicted, but instead created. Forward-thinking organizations should act with agency and take on bold decisions concerning markets, models, and mechanics to be a valued brand of tomorrow. Ultimately, we will all need to buy into better.

Buying into better: The future of the consumer industry

Six forces shaping the future of the consumer industry

Through a series of conversations held over 18 months with more than 800 consumer industry executives, analysts, academia, and luminaries, along with input captured and monitored monthly in Deloitte’s Global State of the Consumer Tracker, Deloitte has identified six forces that will play a fundamental role in shaping the future of the consumer industry over the next decade. These trends don’t exist in a vacuum; the collective movement and acceleration of these forces will create a new competitive landscape where opportunities will emerge and innovation will drive the industry forward.

Download our full report to learn more about these six forces.

Industry implications

To harness the opportunities brought on by the six forces of change and boldly lead their organizations through the next decade, executives will need to understand the implications of the forces along three dimensions of business: markets, models, and mechanics. The implications within the dimensions are not exclusive; many cut across and influence all three dimensions.


What is sold, who it's sold to, which goods and services are valued, and how the industry creates value.

  • From mass to micro: The market has shifted from supply-driven to demand-driven
  • Digital and hybrid tsunami: The growth of digital goods and services outsize and displace spending on traditional physical categories
  • Responsibility as a requisite: Ecological damage continues to accelerate, and the impact on the economy and the individual becomes more visible. Trust, privacy, equity, and advocacy will also become essential to the changing value proposition


How businesses organize and configure, how materials and capabilities are sourced, and what new models create value.

  • Industries converge: Continued acceleration and collision of infotech and biotech create a massive market opportunity
  • Seismic supply shift: Geopolitical, economic, and market forces are converging to require a significant reshaping of supply chains
  • Radical industry reconfiguration: The growth of capability-as-a-service in the market is driving significant reconfiguration of the industry


How businesses execute work, employ labor, partner and build ecosystems, and make strategic and operational decisions.

  • The age of algorithms and automation: Data and automation are driving highly efficient businesses that can sense and respond to granular shifts in consumer demand
  • Workforce extremes: The scarcity of technology-driven skills and redundancy of workers replaced by automation are creating a difficult transition for the workforce
  • New center of financial gravity: Traditional sources of growth and margin continue to collapse under the weight of increasing options and commoditization



Listen to Deloitte leaders and industry luminaries share their perspectives.

Listen to Kasey discuss the six forces affecting markets, models, and mechanics on the Jason & Scot Show.

6 Forces to Navigate the Changing Retail Industry

Soup-to-Nuts Podcast: How will the CPG space change in the next 10 years?

The agency to create a better tomorrow

At Deloitte, we believe the future isn’t something to be predicted but instead created. The future isn’t preordained but is constructed choice by choice. We have the influence, agency, and power to choose where we are going and to shape the future for the better. What future do we want—and more importantly, what future do we have the courage to forge?

Recognizing, monitoring, and assessing the six forces and using that information for effective scenario planning against an ever-changing landscape will be critical for consumer industry leaders to navigate. The future will require companies to understand the implications and will compel continued examination of markets, models, and mechanics as they chart their paths to buying into better.


Get in touch

 Want to take a deeper dive into our research or discuss the role you can play in the future of the consumer industry? Get in touch with our team.

  Yes         No

Industry leadership

Fullwidth SCC. Do not delete! This box/component contains JavaScript that is needed on this page. This message will not be visible when page is activated.

Insert Custom CSS fragment. Do not delete! This box/component contains code needed on this page. This message will not be visible when page is activated.