CivicScience continually tracks current and anticipated consumer trends. Here are three key insights marketers should know this week. All insights are derived from the CivicScience Social | Political | Economic | Cultural (SPEC) Report, a weekly report available to clients covering the latest news and insights. Get in touch to learn more. 

1. A majority are concerned about access to over-the-counter medicines following the FDA advisory panel finding phenylephrine ineffective.

Last Tuesday, an FDA advisory panel concluded that phenylephrine, an oral decongestant found in many popular cold and allergy medicines (such as NyQuil and Benadryl Allergy Plus Congestion), is ineffective in relieving nasal congestion. If the FDA follows the advisory panel’s recommendation, over-the-counter medications containing this ingredient will be pulled from shelves for potential reformulation. The timing is certainly inconvenient given the current COVID surge and as experts expect another intense round of the so-called “tripledemic” of COVID-19, flu, and RSV this fall and winter. 

As another cold and flu season looms, CivicScience data show 57% of Americans who buy over-the-counter medications are at least ‘somewhat concerned’ about accessing them if medications are pulled from shelves. Concern over access stands nine percentage points higher than the percentage of U.S. adults who are at least ‘somewhat concerned’ about how the panel’s decision could impact their personal health.

Gen Z adults are most likely to express concerns about accessibility and health issues in light of the potential medication recall. They are also far more likely than any other generation to express strong concerns regarding their health.

2. Americans are split on the impeachment inquiry against President Biden; Republicans overwhelmingly back the effort. 

Under pressure from the right wing of the party, House Republicans began a formal impeachment inquiry against President Biden last week. Americans are nearly evenly divided on whether they support the impeachment inquiry, and the divisions occur along predictably partisan lines. While the move is opposed by 3-in-4 Democrats, it is immensely popular among Republicans, as 84% are supportive of the impeachment inquiry. Household income is also strongly associated with support of the inquiry – Americans in higher-income households ($150K+) are 10 points more likely than those in lower-income households (<$50K) to be in favor of the inquiry.

3. Roughly 1-in-5 moviegoers have gone to the movies more often than they did last year, led by Hispanic Americans.

Ongoing strikes by writers and actors, which have brought new media productions to a standstill, are fueling Americans’ craving for new content. One place they so far can still satisfy a desire for new material to watch? The movie theater. The latest CivicScience tracking data show about half of U.S. adults report they have been to a movie theater to see a film at least once so far in 2023. Thirty-one percent have gone at least twice, while 5% of respondents say they’ve seen more than five movies in theaters since January. “Barbenheimer” mania, in particular, has brought life into the box office again over the summer as the two films have grossed a total over $2 billion globally

Twenty-one percent of moviegoers say they are going to the movies more often than they were this time last year, compared with 31% who are going less often. Hispanic Americans (35%) are nearly twice as likely as White Americans (18%) to report increased movie attendance over the past year. Young adults are also heading to the movie theater more often, with Gen Z adults (46%) nearly five times as likely as Baby Boomers (10%) to report increased movie attendance.

Some of the key aspects of the moviegoing experience are the trailers and advertisements prior to the showing of the film. According to CivicScience data, 85% of moviegoers go early to watch the pre-film previews at least ‘sometimes,’ with nearly half (45%) reporting they ‘always’ watch them. Frequent moviegoers are more likely to report they always watch the trailers, while Gen Z adults and Millennials are more likely to say they arrive late to avoid them.

Interested in an in-depth look at the data featured on these topics, along with additional consumer insights from this report? Connect with us to see how you can gain access to the full SPEC Report sent to clients every week.