Inflation to Impact Half of New Year's Resolutions, Numerator Reports

Pandemic-Inspired Resolutions Relying on Equipment, Memberships and Subscriptions at Greatest Risk

CHICAGO, January 3, 2022 – Numerator, a data and tech company serving the market research space, has published findings from a recent survey to understand how New Year’s resolutions will impact consumer behavior in 2022. Improving physical, financial, and mental health are the top three priorities across generations, although Gen Z/Millennials’ emphasis on mental health far outpaces Gen X/Boomers’. Consumers plan to buy supplies to keep their resolutions but indicate that inflation could prevent them from reaching their goals.

Key Findings:

  • Improving physical wellness is the most popular resolution by far. Among the 43% of consumers who plan to make New Year’s resolutions this year, more than three-quarters (75%) are making resolutions related to physical health.
  • Financial resolutions were the second most popular resolution, with nearly half (47%) of resolution-makers indicating that they would focus on financial security in 2022.
  • As the pandemic drags on, mental health-related resolutions are also a top pick for consumers. Over one-third (37%) of resolution-makers will resolve to improve their mental health in the new year – peaking at over half of Gen Z/Millennials indicating they will make mental health-related resolutions.

Differences in New Year’s resolutions can be seen when looking at consumers by generation and geographic region:

  • Younger generations are more likely to make mental health resolutions, as are those with children. Gen Z and Millennials are 12% more likely to make a resolution related to mental health (vs. all consumers) along with those who have children (+6.6 points).
  • Older generations are more likely to make physical health-related resolutions. Boomers are likely (+9.0 points) to make a physical health resolution. Notably, Gen Z and and Millennials are the least likely to make resolutions about physical health (-6.2 points).
  • Midwesterners are more likely to make resolutions related to charities. 1 in 5 Midwesterners expect to include charities on their list, up from 13% on average.
  • Asian and Black consumers are more likely to make resolutions related to education. Half of Asian consumers (52%) and over one-third of Black consumers (35%) plan to make career or education-related resolutions, up significantly from other groups (+31.7 points, +14.2 points, respectively).
  • Males are more likely to make financial resolutions. Over half of men (54%) will make resolutions related to finances (+7.3 points). Males are also less likely to make resolutions regarding productivity/organization or charity (-5.8 points, -5.1 points).

Consumers plan to shop differently depending on the type of resolution they will make:

  • Consumers are willing to spend on groceries, subscriptions, and supplies to make their resolutions successful. One-third (33%) of resolution-makers say they will need to purchase supplies to keep their resolution (e.g. food, equipment, subscriptions, etc).
  • Inflation is a concern for consumers looking to keep their resolutions. Roughly half (49%) say rising prices may prevent them from keeping their resolutions this year.
  • The pandemic continues to affect consumer intentions, including their resolutions. Nearly half of consumers (48%) say the pandemic influenced their resolutions. This is highest among those with mental health resolutions (+9.3 points), charity-focused resolutions (+8.7 points), or financial resolutions (+5.8 points).
  • Among the three-quarters (75%) of resolution-makers focused on improving their physical health:
    • Low carb diets are the most popular, followed by low-fat diets. More than one-third (34%) plan to follow low carb diets, followed by low-fat diets (20%), Keto (13%), Weight Watchers (9%), and Vegetarian diets (4%).
    • Produce and seafood top the grocery list. Nearly two-thirds (63%) plan to buy more fresh vegetables in 2022 than they did in 2021, followed by fresh fruit (58%), fish / seafood (35%), milk substitutes (20%), cauliflower rice (17%), herbal supplements (16%), superfoods (15%), and probiotic foods (13%).
    • Cooking and baking at home are a priority. More consumers plan to eat at home to stay healthy, with 64% saying they will cook at home more frequently this year and 23% saying they will bake more frequently.
    • Restaurant trips are vulnerable to health-seekers. Almost half of these consumers (49%) plan to order less frequently from fast food or quick-service restaurants (e.g. McDonald’s, Panera, etc.). One in six (17%) plan to order less frequently from coffee shops (e.g., Starbucks, Dunkin, etc.).
    • Alcohol is less impacted. Fewer consumers say they will reduce alcohol consumption as a means to achieve their physical health resolutions, with 16% saying they will buy fewer alcoholic beverages in 2022.

Methodology: The Numerator New Year’s Resolutions survey was fielded to 748 consumers between 12/14/21 and 12/18/21. Instant Surveys are short surveys with immediate turnaround to produce fast, directional insights.

About Numerator

Numerator is a data and tech company bringing speed and scale to market research. Headquartered in Chicago, IL, Numerator has more than 2,600 employees worldwide. The company blends proprietary data with advanced technology to create unique insights for the market research industry that has been slow to change. The majority of Fortune 100 companies are Numerator clients.

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