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 | Economics | Cultural (SPEC) Report, a weekly report available to clients covering the latest news and insights. Get in touch to learn more.

A recent WHO report suggested potential links exist between the artificial sweetener aspartame and increased rates of cancer. This artificial sweetener is commonly found in a wide range of grocery staples, including yogurt, diet soda, and cereal. CivicScience data show about 60% of U.S. adults say they eat or drink products that contain aspartame. Gen Z adults are more likely than older adults to report eating or drinking products that use aspartame.

In light of the WHO findings, slightly more than two-in-five U.S. adults feel they are at least ‘somewhat likely’ to reduce their consumption of products containing aspartame. Among Gen Z, a majority (56%) indicate they are somewhat likely to cut back on aspartame-containing products, while nearly one-quarter of Millennials feel ‘very likely’ to do the same after the report – the highest such percentage compared to other age groups. However, more than 40% of adults aged 45 and older say they do not consume food products with aspartame.

2. Nearly 1-in-2 Americans say that it is currently hotter than usual in their area.

Unrelenting heat waves and high temperatures persist across much of the country this summer. Phoenix, for instance, recently broke a nearly 50-year record for consecutive days with temperatures exceeding 110 degrees. As a result, air conditioners are getting a workout while a substantial number of Americans in the Northeastern, Southern, and Western regions, in particular, perceive that the current weather is hotter than they expect for this time of year. Midwesterners, who have been recently plagued by severe weather, are more likely to report temperatures are ‘about the same’ as usual. 

One cold treat that may be helpful in the heat? Ice cream. Though Americans may be purchasing less ice cream by the pound, CivicScience data show the cold treat is still quite popular – 2-in-3 U.S. adults say they eat ice cream at least once a month, led by the unlikely duo of Gen Z adults and Baby Boomers. See the full SPEC report for more ice cream data. 

3. A strong majority of Americans believe there is less social pressure to marry today than there was 50 years ago. 

Marriage trends in the United States are shifting. According to a report by the National Center for Family & Marriage Research, the marriage rate has fallen nearly 60% over the last 50 years. The latest CivicScience data on the topic of marriage show 84% of U.S. adults believe there is less social pressure to marry today than there was 50 years ago.

However, these perceptions are far from universal. For instance, adults who currently live with their parents are nearly 20 percentage points more inclined to express that there is more pressure to marry today. Similarly, those who have never been married are also more likely to report higher marriage pressure in today’s society.

Further data show perceived pressure to get married also varies heavily by race/ethnicity. Notably, Black and Hispanic adults are more than twice as likely as White adults to feel that there is heightened pressure to get married in today’s world compared to the past.

Additionally, more than 50% of unmarried Gen Z adults say that getting married someday is important to them, although previous data show it’s less important than other coming-of-age priorities.

Interested in an in-depth look at the data featured on these topics, along with additional consumer insights from this report? Get in touch to see how you can gain access to the full SPEC Report every week. Don’t miss out on the latest consumer data – receive a free month of premium content access when you book a meeting.