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The Pulse: A Look into 2022

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


The year is coming to an end and it’s apparent that American consumers are looking forward to what the new year will bring. From financial matters and health/wellness to technology and social engagements, consumers chimed in on goals they are setting and priorities they are focusing on in 2022. 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 are offering weekly insights by identifying important data points and trends from the voice of the consumer.


Key Findings as of December 12, 2021:

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The Pulse of the American Consumer v45 pt 1
The Pulse of the American Consumer v45 pt 2
The Pulse of the American Consumer v45 pt 3

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,  August 6-8, August 13-15, August 20-22, August 27-29, September 10-12, September 17-19, September 24-26, October 1-3, October 8-10, October 15-17, October 22-24, October 29-31, November 5-7, November 12-14, November 19-21, December 3-5, and December 10-12, 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

What’s in store for 2022?

64% of consumers are optimistic that the year 2022 will be better than 2021.

  • 21% Very Optimistic
  • 43% Somewhat Optimistic

Continuing to think about the new year…

Concerning financial matters, which of these are goals and priorities you are setting for yourself in 2022?

  • 35% Saving money by preparing more meals at home rather than dining out
  • 29% Paying down credit card debt at a faster rate
  • 25% Better educating yourself on investment options in general
  • 24% Exploring ways to improve your credit score
  • 17% Find a new job/quit your current job
  • 16% Helping educate younger members of your family on financial literacy
  • 16% Shopping around for better options on insurance products
  • 16% Better educating yourself on cryptocurrency investments
  • 15% Worrying less about saving for the future and ‘live for the moment’ more often
  • 11% Seeking the consultation of a financial advisor
  • 10% Spoiling yourself with a large purchase you wouldn’t otherwise make

Concerning health and wellness, which of these are goals and priorities you are setting for yourself in 2022?

  • 41% Going outside more often to appreciate nature
  • 40% Improving the quality of your sleep
  • 38% Consuming less sugar
  • 37% Eating less processed foods
  • 36% Making a conscious effort to manage stressful situations more effectively
  • 31% Taking a small amount of time each day to disconnect, pause and refelct
  • 24% Becoming better educated about your food choices
  • 22% Achieve a better work-life balance for your household
  • 17% Changing your diet to be more plant-based/consuming less meat products
  • 16% Consuming foods and beverages that are produced with a focus on environmental sustainability
  • 15% Consuming less alcohol in general
  • 8% Consuming no alcohol in January (‘Dry January’)

Concerning technology, which of these are goals and priorities you are setting for yourself in 2022?

  • 27% Spending less time  online/on the internet
  • 27% Spending less time on your mobile device
  • 27% Becoming more ‘tech fluent’ such as learning additional skills and more efficient ways to use technology devices
  • 25% Taking more steps to increase your security online, such as adjusting privacy settings, or changing passwords
  • 23% Reading more paper-based (books, magazines, etc.) content rather than online
  • 22% Organizing your email inbox
  • 17% Better manage which mobile apps you allow to track your physical location
  • 16% Making your home ‘smarter’ by implementing devices such as digital thermostats, voice-activated devices or smart locks
  • 9%  Writing actual letters rather than sending email messages

Concerning entertainment and media consumption, which of these are goals and priorities you are setting for yourself in 2022?

  • 29% Taking more time to verify the accuracy of news and information you consume
  • 28% Spending less time on social media platforms
  • 21% Attending entertainment venues (movies, concerts, sporting events) at the levels you did prior to the pandemic
  • 20% Watching new categories of programming, on new platforms or channels you didn’t watch last year
  • 17% Spending less time ‘binge-watching’ television shows
  • 14% Watching less cable television news
  • 11% Cancelling traditional cable television service (e.g. ‘cutting the cord’)

As a consumer, which of these are goals and priorities you are setting for yourself in 2022?

  • 37% Purchasing more products that are made in the USA
  • 34% Making purchases from small/local businesses more often
  • 29% Purchasing more environmentally friendly products
  • 28% Purchasing less products that are made outside the United States
  • 23% Purchasing more organic/sustainably
  • 22% Using less single-serve plastics
  • 16% Ordering products online and then using curbside or in-store pick-up options more often
  • 14% Purchasing from more companies and brands that focus on social causes/improving society
  • 10% Relying less on online shopping

Thinking about your social engagement, which of these are goals and priorities you are setting for yourself in 2022?

  • 29% Taking more time to understand points of view that differ from your own
  • 27% Working harder to identify true vs. false
  • 22% Paying closer attention to the messages being communicated by elected officials
  • 22% Becoming more actively involved in your community
  • 21% Volunteering more of your time to charitable causes
  • 19% Making conscious efforts to be more sensitive to matters of racial equality
  • 16% Making conscious efforts to be more sensitive to matters of gender equality
  • 13% Volunteering more of your time to social causes

A Brief COVID-19 Update

Which of the following best describes your feelings regarding the recent news about the omicron variant of the coronavirus?

Changes vs. 1 week ago, December 3-5, 2021

  • 7% – I am panicked (+2% change)
  • 36% I am concerned, but not panicked (-3% change)
  • 35% I am approaching it with caution, but am not overly concerned (+5% change)
  • 22% I am not worried about it (-4% change)