A look at Filipino consumers.

For the fourth consecutive year, JWT Manila shared highlights from JWTIntelligence’s 10 Trends for 2012 report with clients and industry partners. The presentation was augmented by insights generated from local ethnographic research and expert interviews that I (the executive planning director in the Philippines) conducted along with planners Jojo Leonardo and Karla DQ De Quiros.

Interestingly, we found that Filipino consumers don’t lag behind when it comes to many of the trends outlined in JWT’s report. Take Navigating the New Normal, which points to more marketers in more categories opening up more entry points for extremely cost-sensitive consumers. Because of their innate resourcefulness amid continuing economic adversity, Filipino consumers have become adept at navigating “thrift as the omnipresent normal” and are accustomed to choosing smaller sizes, stripped-down offerings and otherwise more accessible products and services.

We’re even seeing the beginnings of Marriage Optional, the trend that recognizes that a growing cohort of women doesn’t see marriage as an essential part of their life plan. Among middle-income consumers, the older single-by-choice woman is rising up the ladder in the workplace. According to a July 2011 Agence France-Presse report, more couples here are starting families out of wedlock. The latest census figures, from 2008, show a 12.5 percent year-over-year increase in babies born to unmarried mothers, comprising about 37 percent of the country’s 1.78 million babies born in the Philippines in that year.

For more on how JWT’s 10 Trends for 2012 are playing out in the Philippines, watch our post-presentation interview with Adobo magazine or see the Executive Summary.