Graphic logo conveying Return to Normal: Consumer Comfort Graphic logo conveying Return to Normal: Consumer Comfort
How the Public's Comfort With a Range of Activities Has Shifted Since the Pandemic Began

Updated: Jan. 25, 2023 | By Wesley Case

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Morning Consult has surveyed thousands of Americans every week to gauge the effects of the coronavirus on public opinion and consumer behavior across a wide range of categories, from politics and economics to shopping and dining. As the country transitions into a “new normal,” Morning Consult continues to closely monitor how American attitudes are shifting in these later stages of the pandemic.

The Consumer Comfort tracker examines how comfortable the American public feels engaging in a range of different entertainment, socializing and travel activities as the pandemic lags on.

This tracker is updated monthly alongside the Return to Normal: Views on the Pandemic Tracker which monitors the public’s attitudes on the coronavirus, including how leadership has handled the pandemic, vaccination and economic impacts.

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KEY TRENDS IN CONSUMER COMFORT

Comfort With Dining Out, Going on a Date Hit New Highs: The public’s comfort with a number of social activities increased as the calendar turned to the new year. Comfort with eating at a restaurant hit 81% in mid-January, a new high for the category, before it slightly ticked down to 80% as of the latest survey. Meanwhile, 71% of U.S. adults said they feel comfortable going on a date, up 6 percentage points from mid-November and a new high for the activity. Comfort with going out to eat has now jumped 19 points since the start of 2022, while comfort with going on a date has increased 20 points in that time.

Comfort With Moviegoing Reaches New Record: With “Avatar: The Way of Water” bringing plenty of consumers to movie theaters, 7 in 10 adults said they feel comfortable going to the movies as of the end of December — a 6-point increase since late October and a new high for the category, though the share has since ticked down 2 points to 68% as of the latest survey. Meanwhile, as the NFL’s postseason heads toward next month’s Super Bowl, about 3 in 5 respondents (61%) said they feel OK attending a sporting event in mid-January, a new high for the category, though the share decreased to 58% as of the latest survey. The public’s comfort with these activities has increased 24 and 22 points, respectively, since the beginning of 2022. 

New Highs for Domestic Flying, Staying at a Hotel: 3 in 5 adults said they feel comfortable flying domestically, while 3 in 4 said they feel fine staying at a major hotel chain as of the latest survey, new records for both categories. Since the beginning of 2022, comfort with the activities has jumped 24 points and 23 points, respectively.

Tracking Consumer Comfort With Socializing

The share of respondents who said they feel comfortable doing the following activities:

Tracking Consumer Comfort With Entertainment

The share of respondents who said they feel comfortable doing the following activities:

Tracking Consumer Comfort With Travel

The share of respondents who said they feel comfortable doing the following travel activities:

ABOUT

Methodology

Morning Consult’s Return to Normal: Consumer Comfort relies on a weekly survey that measures how comfortable Americans feel doing day-to-day activities ranging from socializing to entertainment to traveling amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest results are based on a survey of 2,212 adults, conducted Jan. 19-21, 2023, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

About Morning Consult

Morning Consult is a global decision intelligence company changing how modern leaders make smarter, faster, better decisions. The company pairs its proprietary high-frequency data with applied artificial intelligence to better inform decisions on what people think and how they will act. Learn more at morningconsult.com.

Email press@morningconsult.com to speak with a member of the Morning Consult team.

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