One way to tell that the economy is getting back on track is to look at the types of consumer expenditures being made. Mintel’s American Lifestyles 2014 report indicates that U.S. adults are spending again nearly at pre-recession levels. The real optimism in this report is all about what consumers are buying. The healthy growth in nonessential purchases should give marketers hope for sustained sales increases.
For starters, Mintel analysts believe that consumer spending will rise 3.6% this year which is significantly more than the expected inflation rate. Several categories experienced significant growth rates last year and analysts believe the sales boom will continue over the next 5 years for:
- Leisure and entertainment (+28.5%)
- Vacations and tourism (+27.3%)
- Technology and communications (+25.2%)
- Alcohol on premises (+23.7%)
The purchase intent for vacations has jumped in the past year, signaling a stronger economy, and analysts predict the value of the vacation and tourism market will reach $282.4 billion by 2018.
The Baby Boomers, who will be moving in larger numbers into their retirement years, will be part of the driving force for this spending. These consumers will also have more time to devote to entertainment and leisure. While the market for CE devices may be somewhat saturated, the appetite for content , especially streaming media and video-on-demand will rise.
Baby Boomers are likely to make self-improvement an area of interest this year as well. 88% of all consumers put a healthier diet at the top of the list for self-improvement this year. 87% said the same about exercising and 88% plan to enjoy more family time.
As we move through the summer, entertainment marketers such as amusement parks may want to target consumers who have extra money to spend and want to enjoy more family time with their recreation budgets. AudienceSCAN finds that 23.4% of all U.S. adults intend to visit an amusement or theme park in the next year. 60% of these consumers are under the age of 45. They are also far more likely than average to take a trip to the zoo this year, so amusement parks located near zoos may want to explore a joint promotion. Consumers in this audience are 30% more likely than average to have taken action as the result of an ad they’ve seen at a movie theater.
AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.