According to a study released by the strategy consulting firm BCG, the global rich (and well off) spent $1.8 trillion in 2012 on luxury goods and services.
What's interesting about the study is the finding that market for luxury services and experiences exceeds the market for luxury goods and is growing faster.
As the study chart below shows, what BCG calls the "experiential luxury" market is now over half of the total luxury spending market.
The Guardian's Super rich shift their thrills from luxury goods to costly experiences nicely summarizes the study. Key quote:
... the rich are increasingly hunting for unique objects and experiences ... luxury is shifting rapidly from 'having' to 'being' – that is, consumers are moving from owning a luxury product to experiencing a luxury ...
We agree but would add it's not just the rich shifting their spending to experiences. Consumers in all income brackets are looking for unique and unusual experiences.
One example is the growth of food trucks. Their patrons come from all income groups. Key quote from our Food Trucks Motor Into the Mainstream report:
For many, it’s the experience that attracts them to food trucks. More than 80 percent of those interviewed used words like fun, exciting, new, different, unusual and unique when asked why they dined at food trucks.
This is all part of the broader shift to an experience economy that we believe will continue to gain strength over the next decade.