The Pulse: The Delta Variant and Consumer Concerns

The Pulse of the American Consumer is focused on continued insight into consumer sentiments for businesses across all industries.

 

As the Delta variant continues to spread across the U.S. and the world, and inflation continues to grow, we asked consumers how they are feeling towards the vaccine as well as purchasing decisions being impacted by an increased cost of living. They also gave feedback on the performance of the President and Vice President so far in 2021. In order for businesses to have the most success connecting with their consumers, they have to understand them – what they are interested in, what they need, and how they feel. At ENGINE, we have the real-time pulse of the consumer, today, and always. Throughout 2021, we will be offering weekly insights through identifying important data points and trends from the voice of the consumer.

 

KEY FINDINGS AS OF August 8, 2021:

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If you would like more information on ENGINE CARAVAN surveys, contact us below:

At ENGINE, we will be keeping up with the pulse of the consumer throughout 2021, and are regularly running our CARAVAN surveys on current social issues. Contact us at caravaninfo@enginegroup.com for more information or for the full CARAVAN survey findings.

This Online CARAVAN® omnibus surveys were conducted on January 8-10, January 15-17, January 22-24, January 29-31, February 5-7, February 12-14,  February 19-21, February 26-28, March 5-7, March 12-14, March 19-21, March 26-28, April 2-4, April 9-11, April 16-18, April 23-25, April 30-May 2, May 7-9, May 14-16, May 21-23, June 2-6, June 11-13, June 18-20, June 25-27, July 9-11, July 16-18, July 23-25, July 30-August 1,  and August 6-8, 2021.  Approximately 1,000 adults selected from opt-in panels were surveyed. The results are also weighted to U.S. Census data to be demographically representative.

Written by the CARAVAN team at ENGINE Insights.

The Pulse of the American Consumer

Consumer Insights for Business

Increased Coronavirus cases, household finances, inflation, and mandatory vaccinations are all on the minds of Americans this week.

Gain insight on these issues and more in this week’s The Pulse of the American Consumer.

How concerned are you about these issues?

*Demographic differences are based on ‘Very Concerned’

  • The increase in Coronavirus cases across the U.S. due to the Delta variant
    • 80% Concerned [Net]
    • 48% Very Concerned
      • 36% Republicans
      • 63% Democrats
  • Information about the Coronavirus and vaccines that is distributed over social media platforms but not based in any fact
    • 76% Concerned [Net]
    • 41% Very Concerned
      • 33% Republicans
      • 53% Democrats
  • Not being able to reach a high enough overall immunity level in the United States due to ongoing hesitancy/refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine
    • 72% Concerned [Net]
    • 37% Very Concerned
      • 25% Republicans
      • 51% Democrats
  • Relying on an ‘honor system’ and trusting those who are not fully vaccinated to wear a mask indoors, such as in a retail store
    • 71% Concerned [Net]
    • 38% Very Concerned
      • 26% Republicans
      • 38% Democrats
  • Your household’s finances being negatively impacted as a result of the ongoing pandemic
    • 66% Concerned [Net]
    • 33% Very Concerned
      • 31% Republicans
      • 34% Democrats

A Vaccine Update

Who, if any of the following do you think should be required to receive the COVID vaccine?

87% of Democrats believe that at least one group listed should be required to receive a vaccine, compared to just 58% of Republicans:

  • 60% Anyone working in a medical field who interacts with patients
    • 77% Vaccinated
    • 19% Not planning to get vaccine
  • 55% Teachers/anyone who works in a school setting
    • 72% Vaccinated
    • 14% Not planning to get vaccine
  • 53% Anyone employed in a public-transportation setting (bus drivers, taxi drivers, airline pilots, train conductors, etc.)
    • 70% Vaccinated
    • 11% Not planning to get vaccine
  • 51% Employees who work in food production/ processing facilities
    • 68% Vaccinated
    • 12% Not planning to get vaccine
  • 49% Restaurant employees
    • 66% Vaccinated
    • 10% Not planning to get vaccine
  • 46% Active-duty personnel in the U.S. Military
    • 63% Vaccinated
    • 7% Not planning to get vaccine
  • 45% Federal employees
    • 60% Vaccinated
    • 13% Not planning to get vaccine
  • 44% Anyone employed at a gym/ fitness center/salon/spa/ massage parlor
    • 60% Vaccinated
    • 8% Not planning to get vaccine
  • 44% State employees
    • 59% Vaccinated
    • 9% Not planning to get vaccine

As a consumer, which if any of the following settings do you think showing proof of having received the COVID vaccine should be required?

84% of Democrats believe that proof of vaccination should be required to attend at least one of the listed locations, compared to just 46% of Republicans:

  • 50% To be a passenger on an airplane
  • 50% To be a passenger on a cruise ship
  • 43% To attend a concert or sporting event in an indoor arena
  • 39% To use a gym or similar fitness center
  • 37% To dine at an indoor restaurant
  • 35% To attend a movie theater
  • 32% To attend an amusement park or water park
  • 30% To attend a concert, festival, or sporting event in an outdoor setting
  • 21% To dine at an outdoor restaurant

Thinking about the current news regarding the Coronavirus Delta variant, how concerned are you about these potential scenarios realistically happening in the next few months?

  • A negative impact on recent economic gains and employment
    • 82% Concerned [Net]
    • 42% Very Concerned
  • A return of everyday product/grocery shortages due to panic buying, such as water, frozen foods, toilet paper and cleaning supplies
    • 77% Concerned [Net]
    • 40% Very Concerned
  • Schools having to return to some form of distance learning again
    • 72% Concerned [Net]
    • 37% Very Concerned
  • Restrictions on travel within the U.S. being implemented again
    • 71% Concerned [Net]
    • 34% Very Concerned
  • Your favorite restaurants having to temporarily close or scale back capacity again
    • 69% Concerned [Net]
    • 31% Very Concerned
  • Having to limit fall and winter holiday gatherings again this year
    • 68% Concerned [Net]
    • 32% Very Concerned
  • Having to return to mask-wearing guidelines, even if you are vaccinated
    • 65% Concerned [Net]
    • 35% Very Concerned
  • Health/fitness centers needing to close again, such as gyms, massage parlors, yoga studios, salons
    • 60% Concerned [Net]
    • 26% Very Concerned

Consumer Concerns

28% of U.S. Adults think the current inflation is primarily a natural by-product of coming out of the COVID pandemic as supply chain and labor markets adjust. Another 24% think the current inflation is primarily a by-product of excessive government stimulus and deficit spending under the Biden Administration.

Meanwhile, an additional 13% think the current inflation is primarily a by-product of excessive government stimulus and deficit spending during the Trump Administration. 19% think all of these factors have an influence, while another 16% don’t feel they know enough to have an opinion.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with these statements?

  • I am concerned about making discretionary purchases now due to inflation leading to a higher cost of living
    • 73% Agree [Net]
    • 27% Strongly Agree
  • Recent inflation/higher costs have had an impact on my purchase decisions for durable goods such as clothing, electronics, or furniture
    • 68% Agree [Net]
    • 26% Strongly Agree
  • Recent inflation/higher costs have had an impact on my purchase decisions for everyday household products such as groceries
    • 68% Agree [Net]
    • 29% Strongly Agree
  • I am concerned that inflation is going to impact my holiday shopping plans this year
    • 61% Agree [Net]
    • 25% Strongly Agree
  • Recent inflation/higher costs have had an impact on my vacation planning, for recent trips I have taken or considered
    • 59% Agree [Net]
      • 69% Gen Z
      • 64% Millennials
      • 57% Gen X
      • 54% Baby Boomers
    • 24% Strongly Agree
  • I think the current concerns with inflation are going to be a temporary matter, and will adjust after just a few more months
    • 51% Agree [Net]
      • 63% Gen Z
      • 57% Millennials
      • 53% Gen X
      • 41% Baby Boomers
    • 14% Strongly Agree

Approval in the White House

How much do you approve or disapprove of the job President Biden is doing?

*Comparisons made against July 9-11, 2021

  • Among U.S. Adults:
    • 44% Approve [Net] | -7% Change
    • 36% Disapprove [Net] | +3% Change
    • +8% Net Approval Rating | -10% Change
  • Among Registered Voters:
    • 47% Approve [Net] | -6% Change
    • 38% Disapprove [Net] | +4% Change
    • +9% Net Approval Rating | -10% Change

How much do you approve or disapprove of the job Vice President Harris is doing?

  • Among U.S. Adults:
    • 37% Approve [Net]
    • 38% Disapprove [Net]
    • -1% Net Approval Rating
  • Among Registered Voters:
    • 40% Approve [Net]
    • 40% Disapprove [Net]
    • 0% Net Approval Rating

 

 

Dig deeper with the ENGINE Insights COVID Dashboard

The ENGINE COVID-19 dashboard delivers an easy-to-use, self-serve platform providing access to all of our COVID-19 tracking data including industry specific deep-dives and online behavioral data. This tool puts ENGINE’s data in your hands to uncover meaningful insights to your specific business questions.