Light Relief

Characterized by an increased demand for low-stakes pastimes and guilty pleasures as a means of stress reduction and overall well-being. Brands have an opportunity to tap into this trend by offering responsible and sustainable forms of pleasure, while also transforming a pessimistic outlook into optimism with positive messaging and a focus on building a better future.

This trend originates from the report:


Finding comfort in guilty pleasures and low-stakes pastimes. How is Light Relief energised in 2023? Unrestrained indulgence, comfort and escapism are in demand. Consumers are looking for balance in their media, food and leisure diets.

Alongside a need for purposeful, healthy options, consumers are also making room for pursuits that have altogether less lofty, transformational goals at their heart. In fact, many activities once considered unserious, unhealthy or even low brow are nowadays viewed as worthwhile and even beneficial for relaxation, stress reduction and overall wellbeing – just look at the rise of casual social sports like pickleball and livestreamed gaming channels. By 2022, nearly 1 in 3 (31%) global consumers said they game as a self-care activity, while watching TV has become the number one activity consumers say they do to maintain their general wellbeing (source: Foresight Factory).

Guilty pleasures are no longer enjoyed in secret – rather, their consumption will become a badge of honour in 2023. Tap into the “moments economy”. Help consumers experience regular and spontaneous moments of escapism and celebration inside everyday routines.

Make restraint-free pleasure permissible, and position such moments as beneficial to overall wellbeing as well as a welcome source of fun and diverting Light Relief – a powerful corrective to gloomy, uncertain times. Make hedonism compatible with smart and sustainable consumption. Brands have an opportunity to champion pleasure-seeking and the freedom to loosen self-imposed restraints on consumption.

And they can also lessen any associated guilt by innovating offerings that allow for more sustainable, cost-effective and responsible forms of pleasure. Transform resignation into optimism. As outlined in Now or Never, a pessimistic outlook can add to a heightened need to prioritise the here-and-now over the yet-to-come.

While satisfying a need for spontaneous, present-day pleasures, brands can also challenge any prevailing sense of pessimism with more positive positioning and messaging that highlights their purpose of building a better future for all..