2019 Alpha Panel Survey

What Women Want

Inside the minds of the world’s most powerful consumers:
Secrets revealed in annual “What Women Want” survey

Ginger Consulting, a Minneapolis market research and brand strategy firm, 2019 What Women Want survey uncovers trends women are considering from spending to career to home

MINNEAPOLIS — March 6, 2019 — With all the information out there, it’s easy to assume what women are looking for. But does anyone actually know what women want? Today, Ginger Consulting releases new information on how the Year of the Woman and female voices will impact the consumer economy. From discretionary spending to career planning, the 2019 What Women Want survey is an inside look at the future.

For 2019, household CEOs say they’re spending less, on hold for a possible recession or economic downturn and further government shutdowns. “While 66% of women tell us they’re better off, they’re becoming permanently prudent about their money,” said Beth Perro-Jarvis, co-founder of Ginger. Just a few years ago, 78% said they were planning a splurge or two (e.g. new furniture).  In 2019, that number dove to 40%. “She’s finally clawed her way out of debt, and she is not going back,” said Beth Perro-Jarvis.

When it comes to career, women want flexibility and autonomy: 40% want passion projects and part time work, and 14% say they are pursuing entrepreneurship. Meanwhile, only 3% would like to be full time stay-at-home moms or homemakers, and only 3% would choose volunteer positions over salaried work.

So what is on her economic agenda?  2019 discretionary spending is now more thoughtful. She’s saying yes to charitable giving (70%) and organic foods (57%), and no to style subscriptions (76% say no) and medi-spa services (63% say no). “Women hit the pause button on spending recently, but they are generally willing to spend on more substantive luxuries and experiences rather than things,” said Ginger co-founder Mary Van Note. “They want to keep their lives and priorities in order for 2019.”

While all women are managing the economic and political stress of daily life, they are coping in both typical (top two choices: connecting with friends/family and exercise) and surprising ways (third choice: home organizing). Yes, Marie Kondo really is on to something with the home organizing trend. The 2019 What Women Want survey found that decluttering is the most satisfying home-related activity (with family cooking coming in at #2). The least satisfying was seasonal decorating. Women are in agreement with Marie that St. Patrick’s Day décor just doesn’t spark joy.