For comparable levels of affluence, observed consumption behaviour differs greatly between countries and regions, and to a lesser extent within countries. The modal split for passenger transport by walking, bicycle, car, bus, train, boat and aircraft depends on income, but also on engrained traditions and habits of social groups. Food preferences depend on availability and affordability, and also greatly on cultural factors, such as religion (e.g., no pork for Jewish and Islamic households, and no beef or no meat at all for Hindus), and on tradition, values and health concerns. In addition, behaviour may be influenced by concerns about environmental degradation, animal welfare, inter-regional and inter-generational equity, and other issues according to dominant social norms and values.
Consumer preferences and lifestyles may change over time, as may norms and values. The direction and rates of change can be inferred from the underlying scenario storyline. Policies may be put in place to enable, encourage or even induce change, given sufficient public support.
A brief overview is presented here, for more information see the IMAGE 3.0 web page.