In Austria the '80s have been characterized by profound altitudinal and behavioral changes which are, however, common to most Westem-European countries. The thrust: consumption is up and shows a hedonistic quality. The major antecedent condition for this pattern of change is economic prosperity. Some of the manifestations of hedonism are: the value of leisure time is steadily rising as evidenced by increased vacation travel, greater interest and engagement in physical activity (sports, recreation, etc.). The focus on outer appearance has been gaining in importance. Interest in fashions and bodily care has reached an all time high. Concomitantly, the usage of cosmetics and skin care products are at peak levels. In this context , gratification of physical pleasures is becoming more popular. Austrians increasingly enjoy good food and good beverages. Although hedonism is with us, consumption is by no means indiscriminate. It is also selective and reflective. As a consequence, the hedonistic trend in the food and beverage sector has a new quality dimension. It is attenuated by a rising health and nutritional consciousness. Purchase rates for products high on calories, sugar and cholesterol tire down. On the other hand, "lightâ products and "healthy" products are up. Another important trend concerns environmental consciousness which has become a vital force in shaping product innovations and consumer behavior. Currently, almost every other Austrian views him-/herself as an environmentalist. From these developmental trends, global inferences with regard to future marketing strategies will be drawn.
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