Nostalgia, inspiration, and self-care are trends driving consumer escapism. Inspired by her report, The Great Escape: Exploring the Rise of the Joy Economy, Kristen McLean, senior executive director of Circana’s Entertainment Knowledge group, highlights opportunities for connecting to consumers’ desire for escapism. Also important, she reviews what not to do.


  • Consumers are looking to escape negativity in the world. The joy economy provides manufacturers and retailers with the opportunity to serve consumers a positive experience.
  • By putting the consumer at the center of decision-making, brands and retailers can benefit from participating in the joy economy. When done authentically, they can increase consumer loyalty.
  • Younger consumers are looking for a deeper dialogue with brands. They are particularly more vocal about their expectations. Listening to these engaged consumers can fuel ideas for more meaningful connections.