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. Work with us to learn more.

1. LGBTQ+ adults are more likely to say they are financially better off now than before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Recent research from non-profit organizations suggests that LBGTQ+ Americans generally earn lower incomes than average, and LGBTQ+ Americans report below-average emotional well-being. Despite these findings, new CivicScience data suggest LGBTQ+ adults are nearly 10 percentage points more likely to say they are financially ‘better off’ than ‘worse off’ now than before the pandemic. In fact, they are more likely than the Gen Pop to say their financial situation has improved since before the pandemic (38% to 29%).

One possible explanation for this could be the varying impacts of the U.S. economy, as higher-income individuals see declines in income while lower-income individuals continue to see an improvement in that regard. 

2. More than 1 in 3 Americans say they find text reviews with pictures ‘very helpful’ when making purchase decisions.

As Americans prepare to make purchasing decisions around a new product, CivicScience data show a large majority — including those who do most or all of their shopping in stores — seek out online reviews to guide their decision. Which style of review are they leaning on the most?

Consumers consider the average star rating as the most useful overall form of online review for informing their choice of product. Text reviews accompanied by pictures also appear to play more of a key role than video and text reviews without an image.

3. Majority of Americans are concerned about factory farming and animal cruelty in the food industry, Baby Boomers lead the way.

With recent reports coming out on the risks associated with factory farming, a strong majority of Americans (73%) are at least ‘somewhat concerned’ about the use of factory farming and animal cruelty in the food production industry. Baby Boomers and older are the most likely generation to be concerned, with 37% reporting they’re ‘very concerned.’ Millennials are also more likely than Gen X and Gen Z adults to be ‘very concerned’ about factory farming.

This level of concern has yet to slow down American meat consumption, which has never been higher since USDA tracking began in the 1960s. That said, Americans ‘very concerned’ about industrial farming are more likely than the Gen Pop to consider lab-grown meat products.

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