Know More About Canadian Consumers as They Navigate New Normals

Looking Ahead: Monthly Canadian Consumer Sentiment Survey

Numerator is conducting a monthly consumer sentiment study to help brands better understand when and how consumers plan to resume their normal lives. Each month, Numerator is surveying Canadian consumers to learn more about how they’re feeling, what they’re comfortable doing, and when they expect to return to normal behaviours and activities.

Note: Past versions of this survey look across Canadian consumers as a whole. Beginning in August, we have also started segmenting respondents based on their shared self-disclosed COVID-19 vaccine status.

About the Survey

Numerator’s Canadian consumer sentiment survey is fielded to roughly 1,000 consumers on a monthly basis. All consumers are active members of Numerator’s Canadian OmniPanel. Beginning in August, we’ve broken out responses by COVID-19 vaccine status, based on Numerator’s Premium Vaccine Groups. The breakouts included are as follows:

  • Vaccinated – Canadian consumers who have received 1+ does of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Vaccine Unsure / Won’t Get / NA – Canadian consumers who are unsure about receiving the vaccine, who won’t get it, or who prefer not to disclose their vaccination status
  • All Shoppers – Includes both groups above, as well as consumers who intend to be vaccinated but have not received their first dose yet
    *Note: Vaccine Status was gathered in a survey fielded June – July

Canadian Consumer Concern Regarding COVID-19

  • Concern over COVID-19 is rising slightly as the Delta variant spreads. Nearly half (46%) of consumers say they are highly concerned about COVID, up 3% from last month.
  • The Delta variant is a significant source of concern for many Canadian consumers: 55% say they are specifically concerned about the variant, 58% say they are more worried about the variant than they were about the original strain of COVID-19, and 63% think the Delta variant has the potential to push their region back into lockdowns.
  • Among vaccinated consumers, concern is highest over the Delta variant and other adult friends & family members becoming infected.
  • Unvaccinated* consumers are the most concerned about reimposed or extended lockdowns. Only about 1 in 3 (31%) of these consumers are worried about the Delta variant or becoming infected themselves (30%). This group also has a lower overall level of concern regarding COVID-19.

*those who are unsure of the vaccine, who won’t get it or who prefer not to share their vaccination status

COVID-19 Impact on Canadian Consumer Behaviour & Comfort Levels

  • Comfort levels increased for all behaviours this month. Behaviours with the most significant increase in comfort this month are traveling and attending large gatherings like concerts or religious services.
  • Vaccinated consumers show lower overall levels of comfort than unvaccinated individuals, particularly with larger gatherings, public indoor activities and shopping without masks.
  • Over two-thirds of consumers prefer wearing a mask in public (70%) and shopping at retailers where masks are required (65%), and nearly two-thirds (62%) think proof of vaccination should be required for all public indoor spaces. These numbers are all higher among vaccinated individuals and lower for unvaccinated individuals.

Canadian Consumer Expectations for Post-COVID Normals

  • Optimism about a return to normal is down slightly this month, with less than 1 in 3 (29%) feeling highly optimistic (8/10+), down from 38% last month.
  • Timing expectations for a return to normal drastically shifted back this month, with nearly half (46%) of consumers expecting “normal” to be delayed until 2022 or later, up from 28% last month and 25% in July. The number of consumers who said they were already living “normally” also decreased slightly this month.
  • Over one third of consumers (36%) think a return to normal will happen more slowly than previously anticipated, up from last month (28%). This is higher among vaccinated consumers (38%) and lower among unvaccinated consumers (31%).

Economic Concerns Faced by Canadian Consumers

  • Concern over the economy remains stable and elevated this month, with more than half (52%) of consumers rating their level of concern 8/10 or higher. These levels of concern are fairly consistent across time and across consumer vaccine groups.
  • Inflation is top of mind and highly concerning for consumers. The most prevalent economic concern for consumers is rising prices on essential goods & services, followed by rising prices on other (non-essential) goods and services. Economic recession, product/supply shortages, and job security are also significant concerns for many Canadian consumers.

COVID-19 Impact on Consumer Behaviour

For past insights into Canadian consumer behaviour and sentiment as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, check out our survey insights from March 2020 through January 2021.

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