The group, which identified the market move as part of its Top Ten Trends of 2007, last week expanded on the growing consumer need for "personal autonomy and self-discovery". "We're beginning to see the accelerated infusion of personalization across a wide range of industries, including foods and beverages, transportation, footwear, technology, media, personal care products, healthcare and financial planning, among others," said Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) managing partner Steve French. "This 'made for me' mindset enables consumers to tap into a culture of one-of-a-kind goods and services that are tailored to suit their individualistic needs and wants. The result is an increasingly sophisticated consumer base attempting to take greater control of all aspects of their lives." According to NMI, The Age of the Individual trend has exploded in reaction to mass marketing and a declining trust in the traditional authorities of church, government and the corporation. This has created a culture of individualized consumer-generated content, products and services. In the food industry, consumer customization can be seen in products such as personalized beverages with programmable bottles. This trend creates a wealth of opportunities, says NMI, especially when it comes to choices concerning health. According to 2007 NMI research of over 3,000 American adults, consumers of all ages are seeking products and services that could be customized to meet their individual needs. The group identified that 53 percent of the 'generation X' population - people born in the 1960s and 1970s - is seeking such customized products, along with 46 percent of baby boomers. The Age of the Individual is the first of NMI's Top Ten Trends of 2007, revealed in February. The trends draw from the group's database of research involving over 400,000 US consumers and 150 product categories. According to NMI president Maryellen Molyneaux, consumer desire for control is the overriding theme across all of the major trends identified. "Consumers express their desire for control across their health, lifestyle, finance and other critical issues, while at the same time they want new innovative products, more information and show increasingly fragmented behavior," she said. For an examination of other trends identified in the series, click here.