COVID-19 Consumer Survey Tracker

Cowen Research shares the results from the latest COVID-19 Consumer Survey, a recurring monthly survey of 2,500 U.S. consumers. They share updates on vaccine expectations, consumer sentiment around returning to bars and restaurants, air travel and hotels.  In addition, they highlight behavior around social distancing and which products consumers intend to purchase.  Press play to learn more.


Cowen has been tracking the impact of the pandemic on the consumer since March 2020 per a recurring monthly survey of 2,500 U.S. consumers.

In Cowen’s March 2021 survey, 41.5% of respondents have received at least 1 vaccine shot. Willingness to take the vaccine has risen as 72% of respondents indicated they either have been vaccinated or are willing to be vaccinated vs. 50% in November 2020.

Consumer safety concerns have declined to the lowest levels since tracking sentiment in March 2020.

This includes returning to retail stores, bars/restaurants, concert venues and gyms. Sentiment about returning to bars/restaurants, near-term air travel and hotel stays, has risen sharply and are at peak levels since the onset of the pandemic, per our survey data.

Respondents suggested they expect the pandemic to disrupt their lives for 7.1 more months on average in March 2021, down from 7.9 months in February 2021. 40% of respondents expect the pandemic to disrupt their lives for 9 months or more in March 2021, down from 53% in January 2021.

Social distancing is declining, as 87% of respondents indicated they were practicing social distancing in March 2021, down from 93% in November 2020. 

Consumer spending intentions rose in March 2021 as 88% of respondents expect to spend the same or more in the next month. Of the 17% who expect to spend more in the upcoming month, the top 3 categories of spend were: 

  • Grocery 
  • Personal Care products 
  • Travel / Transportation 

eCommerce spending remains elevated, as 35% of respondents spent more on online purchases in March 2021 vs. the prior month, though down from peak levels at the end of 2020. 37% of respondents purchased Groceries online in March 2021 up from 25% in March 2020.

All-in, per the March 2021 COVID consumer tracker survey dataset, it appears the US consumer is tracking towards a new normal in the not so distant future.

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