BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Business  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
E-Commerce
Economy
Market Data
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 29 January, 2003, 00:26 GMT
'Fast' goods for hectic lifestyles
Family holiday
Britons want to spend more time with their families
Hectic working lives are creating unprecedented demand for consumer goods - from fast food to fast fashion, says new research.

Lifestyle Choices
70% of people consider keeping in close touch with family of most important desire

People in Britain are so busy many feel they do not have enough time to cook, see the doctor, or enjoy a proper holiday.

So-called "Convenience Seekers" have the longest working hours in Europe and need to make their lifestyles easier and less stressful.

But around 50% of adults are enjoying a good balance between work and home life, the research by market analyst Mintel indicated.

Open in new window : Lifestyles today
What makes us happy?

Takeaway culture

This year's British Lifestyles survey provides a guide to how our spending habits are increasingly dictated by the pursuit of work life balance.

CHANGING TIMES
I work early in the morning and late at night - that gives me a massive chunk in the day to spend with my family

Cameron Braidwood
IT worker
The convenience food sector, driven by "increasingly frantic lifestyles," has increased by 68% at current prices between 1992 and 2002 compared with the overall food market that has increased by just 33%.

The trend can also be seen by people increasingly opting for self-medication or self-diagnosis rather than visiting a doctor.

This was indicated by the growth in sales of Analgesics, as pain relief which have increased by 50% in real terms between 1992 and 2002.

Fast trends

Fast living also stretches to fast fashion.

Retailers have started offering "fast fashion" especially for women who update their wardrobes more regularly than ever before and make faster purchase decisions with more goods sold at full margin, said Mintel.

Meanwhile, over the last 10 years spending on air fares has grown by 57%.

Winning markets 2002-07
House purchasing: 28% growth
Life assurance: 50% growth
Accident & health: 47% growth
Personal pensions: 37% growth
Private medical insurance: 32% growth
Cinema: 43% growth
Health & fitness: 59% growth
Overseas travel: 41% growth
Convenience foods: 32% growth
Fast food: 30% growth
Medicines: 20% growth
Domestic & garden help: 16% growth
Cleaning & laundry services: 16%f growth

Holidaymakers are taking more short breaks, because of working longer hours and work pressures.

This is also being helped by low-cost airlines such as Ryanair, easyJet, Buzz and Go, according to Mintel,

With no let up in working hours - on average currently 44 hours a week and the highest in Europe, this trend is likely to continue into the future, said the market analyst.

Housing market

Mintel said although there were warning signs in the housing market, owning a home was an aspiration among millions of people and that would sustain the market in future.

The rate of growth would slow over the next five years to 28% growth, it said, but more than half a million young adults between 15 and 29 who were waiting to fairly buoyant.

There was also good news for the savings industry.

While the savings industry and government is concerned people are not saving enough for their futures, Mintel said the savings message was beginning to get through.

It predicts a massive surge in life assurance, accident and health, personal pensions and private medical insurance sales over the next five years.

Other "winning markets" over the next five years will be overseas travel and services which make life easier at home, such as cleaning and laundry services along with domestic and garden help.

Family first

While a slightly higher proportion of people in the capital feel juggling a satisfying career with a satisfying personal life is getting harder, in other questions about work life balance there was little regional variation.

And the most important "lifestyle choice" for Britons in the year 2002 is to be in contact with their families.

According to Mintel, 70% of people consider keeping in close touch with family of most importance - a factor which is also being driven by the fast pace of live and modern communications such as the telephone, fax, internet and e-mail.

Work-life balance

News

Your rights

Your stories

Quiz

Forum

Talking point

Need help?
See also:

27 Jan 03 | Business
23 Aug 02 | Business
29 Aug 02 | Business
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes