Every week, CivicScience continually tracks current and anticipated consumer trends. Here are three key insights marketers should know this week:

1. Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) concerns are on the rise.

RSV has been particularly bad this year. Since we last polled U.S. adults at the end of October, the percentage of U.S. adults who said they’re at least ‘somewhat concerned’ about RSV increased by eight percentage points. Awareness of the virus also increased over the last month, with 16% reporting they’ve never heard of RSV, which saw an eight percentage point change as well. 

2. One-quarter of U.S. adults are very concerned about medication shortages.

On a similar note, the rise of the flu, RSV, and other winter illnesses has led to increased demand for antibiotic and antiviral medications. However, hospitals are reporting drug shortages, including amoxicillin.

Currently, one-quarter of U.S. adults are ‘very concerned’ about medication shortages in the U.S., which is a seven percentage point increase from mid-October. The percentage of those ‘not at all’ concerned saw a corresponding decrease (to 32%) over the last month.

3. Anticipated consumer spending is down in most categories, except gifts.

With the holiday season in full swing, it’s no surprise that expected spending is up in the toys, hobbies, and gifts category, standing at 30%, which is the highest level seen in over a year. This is also in line with the majority of consumers (53%) who said gifts made up half or more of their Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases.

However, anticipated spending over the next month is down in most categories from the previous week: groceries (-3 pp), clothing (-2 pp), personal care items (-5 pp), and household items (-4 pp).

Consumers could be planning to do more of their spending online — our full report available to clients show that one-third of consumers have been shopping online more than they typically would at this time of year. Want in on the full scoop? Let’s chat.