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.

1. More than 1-in-3 Americans concerned about affordability of COVID tests and treatments.

With the federal COVID-19 public health emergency officially ending last week, COVID tests, vaccines, and treatments are no longer subsidized by the government. Some states are already disenrolling people from Medicaid. More than one-third (34%) of U.S. adults say they’re at least ‘somewhat concerned’ about their ability to afford COVID tests and treatments. This added cost could also exacerbate healthcare costs, with a growing number reporting they’re taking prescriptions daily.

Examining the data by health insurance situation, those with government-assisted insurance, on private insurance, and without insurance in particular show the highest level of concern. One-quarter of people without insurance say they’re ‘very concerned.’ People insured through their employer or on retirement plans have the lowest level of concern at 32%.

2. Live streams a new frontier for shopping, Gen Z leads the way.

Live shopping — the online influencer version of the HSN and QVC shopping channels on cable – is still largely a niche concept for American consumers, as less than half (46%) of U.S. adults are aware of the concept. Gen Z adults aged 18-24 are far more likely to have some familiarity with live shopping (69%), at least 20 percentage points higher than all other generations.

Who’s buying on shopping live streams? CivicScience data show 12% of U.S. adults report they’ve bought something seen on a live shopping stream. Gen Z is at the forefront, with as many as 1-in-4 reporting to have purchased an item featured on a live shopping stream. Millennials make up the next highest percentage of purchasers at 14%, followed by just 5% of Gen Xers and those 55+. This emerging trend is poised for growth and is expected to bring in $32 billion in sales this year.

3. American sports fans largely unfavorable toward integration of sports betting into sports broadcasts.

Sports betting has gained quite a prominent role in sports broadcasts in the form of in-game odds, dedicated studio segments, and advertising for sports betting companies in general. Yet a majority (51%) of sports viewers view this increased integration unfavorably – 38% are ‘very unfavorable.’

Those who bet on sports contests ‘somewhat’ and ‘very’ often are much more likely (54% respectively) to view the increased presence of sports betting in a positive light compared to just 1-in-10 of those who never bet on sports. 

Major League Baseball fans are the most likely fan base of the ‘big four’ North American sports leagues to believe legal sports betting lessens the integrity of sporting events (53%). Conversely, NFL fans are the least likely of the four to believe the same (43%), trailing NBA (46%) and NHL fans (48%). 

Want an in-depth look at the data featured on these topics, as well as more insights from this report? Clients receive the full SPEC report every week. Get in touch to learn more.