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Trendwatching.com, an Amsterdam-based consumer trends analysing service, has included something called Econcierge in its outlook for 2009.

This involves a new breed of less conspicuous consumers, straitened by the credit crisis or maybe feeling guilty for the wallops of cash that they made during the boom, who will now be searching for value – and for a conscience-salve in everything that they buy.

What will this mean for chemicals next year? People taking a closer look on the claims on the proverbial tin, expecting whatever they buy to last longer, to be cheaper, and to be made from recycled material – or from chemicals that are proven to be les harmful to the environment, perhaps.

This might be more of a phenomena in the developed rather than the developing world, where wealth affords the luxury of greater concern about the future.

How on earth do you measure this in losses per tonne of sales of good-old bulk commodity chemicals – assuming that these trendspotters are correct?

Do you have a plan, assuming you think you need one?

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