Consumers Say Inflation Will Crimp Their 2022 Spending

COVID-19 is still a concern, with 73% of consumers expecting it to have an impact on their celebrations.

February 24, 2022

Summer Celebrations and Spending

ALEXANDRIA, Va.— About 9 in 10 consumers (89%) expect inflation to affect 2022 holiday shopping and spending, with 29% expecting a significant impact, according to a survey by Numerator.

Numerator looked at consumers’ celebration, shopping and spending plans for 14 key holidays through the end of the year. Nearly three quarters (73%) of consumers expect COVID-19 to have an impact on their 2022 holiday celebrations, with 11% expecting a significant impact.

While most consumers expect to celebrate a variety of holidays throughout the year, only about a third are thinking beyond February for their holiday planning right now. Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving have the highest likelihood of advance planning, with nearly a fifth of consumers already thinking through their plans as of late January.

Thanksgiving is expected to be the most celebrated 2022 holiday, with 97% of respondents saying they will probably or definitely celebrate. This was followed by Christmas (96%), Mother’s Day (91%), Fourth of July (90%) and Easter (87%). More than 2 in 5 consumers (42%) say they have already started planning for Christmas.

Cinco de Mayo is the most popular holiday for dining out (40% of consumers). About a quarter of consumers plan to dine out for St. Patrick’s Day (25%) and Mother’s Day (26%). The most popular holiday for buying food is Thanksgiving (90% of respondents), followed by the traditional summer grilling holidays: Labor Day (84%), Memorial Day (84%) and Independence Day (83%). The least popular holiday for food purchases is Halloween, with 42% intending to purchase.

Christmas is by far the biggest holiday for gift buying (84% of consumers), followed by Mother’s Day (57%) and Father’s Day (55%). In-store shopping is the preferred method for all 2022 holidays, except for Christmas, with 82% of consumers intending to shop online. Consumers have a higher intention to shop online in general for holidays.

Supermarkets and mass retailers are the top two locations consumers plan to shop for all major holidays, with food-focused holidays leaning grocery stores and gift-focused holidays leaning mass merchants. Club retailers, bars and restaurants, and specialty retailers such as craft and costume stores round out the top five places consumers intend to purchase holiday goods.

For most holidays, the largest segment of consumers expects to spend $25-50 on their purchases. Shoppers think they’ll spend closer to $100-150 on Thanksgiving purchases and significantly more on Christmas—over half (59%) think they’ll spend over $200.

For a look at what leading convenience retailers expect for the industry in 2022 and deep dives into how the industry fared in 2021, register to attend the NACS State of the Industry Summit, April 12-14, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, Chicago, Rosemont, Illinois. See the full agenda and register today. Then look for the June 2022 issue of NACS Magazine for complete and exclusive coverage of the SOI Summit.