Summer Activities & Consumer Trends

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Consumer Summer Activities

People in the 18-49 age group travel a lot during summer. Kids watch more TV, eat more, and attend summer camps during the summer. Moms with kids take children to swimming pools, play with them, and take them to various outdoor activities such as camps and sports events.


  • A 2015 Statista survey reported that children consume more media during the summer.
  • A 2019 WebMed article says that kids eat more and watch more TV during the summer compared to other seasons, witch results in weight gain.
  • It has also been reported that kids are more active outdoors during the summer season.
  • A 2018 Coca Cola summer ad shows young adults in their teens traveling, trekking, and swimming.
  • McDonalds' 2018 summer advertisement shows kids and adults vacationing with their families.
  • Children also attend summer camps in the summer.
  • 18-49 age group

    • 56% of Millennials (18-34 years of age) and 35% of generation Xers (35-54 years of age), were planning to travel or go on a vacation during the summer in 2018.
    • Moreover, 77% of Gen Z (4-24 years) and 76% of millennials are planning to undertake summer vacation trips in 2019.
    • 25% of male shoppers aged 18-34 will buy new clothes in summer.
    • About 1/3 of female shoppers aged 18-34 will do most of their shopping in the summer.
    • 30% of millennials visit museums, galleries or cultural events and 28% prefer outdoor activities in the summer.
    • Millennials do prebooking of vacations, travel, and shows.

    Moms with kids

    • During the summer, moms with kids visit swimming pools, go on vacations, and travel.
    • Moms with kids spend lot of their time trying to make kids watch less TV, spend more time outdoors, sleep properly, be more structured.
    • According to Megan Brammeier, a working mom, working moms reduce their other activities during summer to spend time with their kids.
    • It has also been reported that summer is the swimsuit season for women and for moms.
    • Another website, MomStatic, states that during summer, moms with kids accompany their kids to different activities such as summer camps, swimming, and sport events.

    Additional Information

  • According to a Zimmer Marketing report, the major summer activities include travel and vacationing, outside activities, media, and dining.
  • The article also highlighted that BBQ is a major focus in dining during the summer season.
  • Zimmer Marketing has also stated that in summer landscaping and pet services are in demand.
  • Google Trends report that web searches for the term "BBQ" are on the rise.
  • Research Strategy:

    The Cambridge English Dictionary defines primary as "more important than anything else/main". We also found that the average age of a US woman when she first becomes a mother is 26.3, according to a study conducted for The New York Times in 2019. On the other hand, the end of child bearing in the US is 40-44, according to a 2019 Pew Research Centre article. From the data from these two sources, it is triangulated that the average age span of mothers in the US is 26-44. It was also assumed that kids fall withing the age group 1-18, as the legal adulthood age in the US is 18. As such, a woman who became a mother at the age of 44 can have a kid at the age of 62 (44 + 18). After 62, the kid becomes an adult and the 'moms with kids' category does not apply anymore. So, the age group of moms with kids is assumed to be 26 – 62. As such, we have focused on the main activities that the specific groups do during summer. We went through several industry reports and surveys such as Travel Weekly, Woking Mother, and Zimmer Marketing. Using that research path, we were able to find a multitude of activities that each group practiced. We have detailed only the ones that appeared the most throughout our research.

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    Consumer Sentiments, Summer

    Adults in the United States associate summer with the beach and feel it is a time to be active, socialize, dine out, and feel good. Moms with kids in America feel stressed, overwhelmed, and guilty during summer.

    Adults' summer sentiments

    • American adults typically associate the summertime with the beach as 62% of young adults (18-29 years old) want to engage in water sports or swim. On the other hand, more than half (55%) of middle-aged adults (45-60 years old) in the United States prefer to run or walk during this time.
    • Nearly two-thirds of adults in the country believe that summer is a time to be active, go on a vacation, attend a sporting event or music festival, and go camping.
    • At least 78% of adults say that sunshine improves the way the feel, which is a common sentiment with individuals residing on the east coast (84%), young adults (81%), and women (80%).
    • American adults believe that summer should involve socializing, going out, and accepting invitations to dinner. As the summer heat increases, cooking is observed as less appealing. Therefore, dining out during the summer is the top activity for about 80% of people in the United States.
    • About 80% of adults say they experience the most "feel good moments" during the summer. They also consider summer incomplete without cold coffee, ice cream trucks, and pool days.

    MOMS with kids DURING summer

    • Around 44% of mothers feel that the summer is the time of year that is the least relaxing, and the majority arrives at their breaking point merely 13 days into the period. Under a month into the break, many moms (74%) desire for their children to return to their school.
    • The summertime is often overpowering for mothers as they are continually speculating about what their children will do, the need for resting time, and when and how to tell their children yes and no, among other things.
    • Mothers have a tendency to feel guilty during summer principally because they often overwork themselves to provide their children with a memorable summer, which occasionally leads to disappointment. As a result, children may not appreciate their break because all they can recall is their mother being stressed out.
    • During the summer, working moms are often very stressed because they have to blend their work with various plans and activities for their children.
    • More than half (58%) of parents in the United States say they are overwhelmed during the summer with activity preparation and keeping their children occupied throughout the period. One of the primary reasons they feel defeated is that they allow their children to play indoors rather than outside, being unaware of where to locate affordable children's activities within their communities, enabling their children interact with electronics too often, as well as the effect of increasing gas prices.

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    Summer 2020 Events

    Major cultural events in the summer 2020 that would be popular in the US are BottleRock Napa Valley, RuPaul's Dragcon, Georgia Renaissance Festival, Illectric River Music Festival, and Denver Arts Festival.

    BottleRock Napa Valley

    RuPaul’s DragCon

    • RuPaul's Dragcon is an annual talent show.
    • Rupaul, Adore Delano, Aquaria, Trixie Mattel are some of the most popular queens of RuPaul's DragCon.
    • RuPaul's DragCon will return to Los Angeles on May 1, 2 and 3, 2020.
    • Lyft, Tik Tok, and World of Wonder are some of the event's sponsors.
    • 126 people have already showed interest in RuPaul's DragCon on Everfest.
    • It features a line up of vendors and exhibitors, autograph sessions, panel discussions, Q&A sessions, and dozens of performance.
    • In 2018, RuPaul’s DragCon had a record attendance, which has increased 500% in just four years.
    • The convention in Los Angeles saw 50,000 attenders, making it the largest drag queen gathering in the world.
    • The event is also very popular on the streaming giant Netflix, having produced a series called RuPaul’s Drag Race.

    Georgia Renaissance Festival

    • For eight weekends in the spring, the Georgia Renaissance Festival recreates a 16th century European village with a magical medieval theme.
    • This festival combines outdoor theater, delightful entertainment, and a variety of arts and crafts for a fun and interactive experience of costumed revelry.
    • In 2020, the festival is expected to start sometimes in April and continue for 8 weeks throughout May and June.
    • Georgia Renaissance Festival offers a wide range of experiences for friends and families. It also has cosplay events and offers educational field trips.
    • Examples of sponsors of this even are Bud Light, Coca Cola, Shock top.
    • Georgia Renaissance Festival was awarded "Top Twenty Awards events 2016" by Southeast Tourism Society.
    • Georgia Renaissance Festival is held in a 32-acre village, which features over 160 artisan craft shoppes over 10 different stages.

    Illectric River Music Festival

    • ILLectric River is comparatively smaller to other music festivals but it doesn’t sacrifice talent or creativity.
    • This festival combines some of the biggest names in EDM, unbelievable art installations, and familiar vibes.
    • ILLectric River is held along the Guadalupe River, surrounded by the Hill Country hills of Texas.
    • ILLectric River has one of the largest live urban art scenes of any Texas festival. From the stages to the general grounds, otherworldly art displays make the place extremely vibrant and alive compared to other festivals.
    • The organizers describe the event as being one singular entity experiencing the world around through different eyes.
    • In 2020, the ILLectric River festival will happen in May but dates have not been confirmed yet.
    • Manila Killa, Deorro, G Jones, and Seven Lions will be making guest appearances in the 2019 edition of the festival.

    Denver Arts Festival

    • Denver Arts Festival was previously known as Downtown Denver Arts festival.
    • Over 100 Colorado artists display their work at the event. While the event focuses on local artists, the works of several famous US artists can also be seen.
    • In 2020, Denver Arts festival will happen in May but the dates have not been confirmed yet.
    • In 2019, Denver Arts festival is celebrating 21 years of support for the arts.
    • The Denver Arts festival holds its annual premier event every Memorial Day Weekend at Stapleton's Conservatory green neighborhood.
    • The festival had over 50,000 people attending in 2018.
    • Some of the 2019 partners of the festival are Leaf Filter, Denver News, 8580 Homes, and AT&T.

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    Summer Shopping Thoughts

    Research has shown that consumers in the US start thinking about summer shopping in or during spring. Likewise, retailers start their summer marketing plans in about the same time. Below, is our findings and research strategy.


    • According to Trafy-Sis, "The first day of spring usually makes people start itching for summer." In fact, consumers start to purchase summer items while preparing for spring break. For instance: many brides start their registries in spring, to prepare for their weddings in summer.
    • Furthermore, by May (in spring), consumers are already preparing for their summer vacations.
    • Meray Froese, in her blog, revealed that "she looks forward to summer shopping every spring." She recommended spring as the time for consumers to go through their old summer wardrobe, so that they can make necessary adjustments as they deem fit.


    • According to a report from Bookeo, for retailers to avoid summer sales slump, they must have to plan ahead by beginning their summer marketing plans in spring.
    • Similarly, RevLocal recommended retailers to begin their summer preparations and plans two weeks to one month before summer (which still falls in spring).


    To address this request, your research team scouted for surveys and studies from lifestyle media brands, consumer research companies, and other industry sources. We sought for information around the time consumers begin to think about summer shopping/retail moments. However, we could not find any relevant report or survey analysis. Most information found heavily centered on the best time consumers or retailers begin to think about holiday shopping. We also searched for trends around consumers' thoughts vis-à-vis when they start to think about summer shopping. Again, we did not find any relevant information as most information focused on shopping before the holidays. These approaches did not yield any relevant information. The closest information was on the best time to think/plan summer vacations. Hence, we shifted our focus to better understand consumer behaviors before and during summer.

    As highlighted above, we broadened our search to find studies, surveys and reports that analyze the behavior of consumers, especially as it relates to shopping, before summer. While we could not get much information as we had thought, this approach yielded a consumer survey report from Trafy-Sys and two blog reports from Insureon and Meray Froese. These reports showed that spring is the best time to start thinking and planning for summer shopping. Although the reports from Trafy-Sys and Insureon are beyond 2017, we have used them in our analysis because there was no other recent data available. Also, we assumed that the behavior of consumers, with respect to summer shopping, has not seen any significant change.

    As a way of corroborating our findings, we changed the perspective of the request from the consumer to the retailer because we wanted to know when retailers start their summer marketing. We believed that when retailers start to market for a specific event/season, consumers pick their messages and react to the messages in a specific manner, which could include planning. Knowing this and by proxy, we believed that we could gauge the average time consumers start to think/plan for their summer shopping. Hence, we searched industry reports on the best time to begin summer shopping and found from reports that it is during spring or a few weeks before summer (which is still spring, technically). With this, we corroborated our initial findings and reinforced the fact that consumers start to think/plan about their summer shopping during spring.
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    Key Purchases, Summer Months

    The main product categories that US consumers are typically purchasing during summer months are travel bags, sunglasses, running shoes, juices or health drinks, swimsuits, sun blockers, and waterproof Bluetooth speakers. Below are the peak months when these product categories are purchased and the reasons why they are primarily purchased in summer months (May, June, and July).

    1. Travel bags

    • Travel bags are typically purchased during the summer season. Summer is the time for vacation when people go to different places and usually purchase different types of travel bags.
    • The peak month when consumers tend to buy it is in June.

    2. Sunglasses

    • Sunglass is a summer essential as most of the people will try to avoid the heat of the summer sun and UV rays during the summer season. It is also a trendy fashion while enjoying the summer.
    • Retro sunglasses are mostly purchased as it makes one feel nostalgic.
    • The peak month when consumers tend to buy it is in July.

    3. Running shoes

    • Running shoes are very convenient to wear during summer because it is the time when feet will tend to sweat a lot.
    • The breathable type of running shoes contains organic materials, which is why they are quite popular.
    • The peak month when consumers tend to buy it is in July.

    4. Juices or Health Drinks

    • While its summertime, people tend to keep their body hydrated while doing their normal functions by drinking a lot of fluid. So summer is the best time that consumers buy juices or health drinks that will help them hydrate themselves and maintain proper health.
    • The peak month when consumers tend to buy it is in June.

    5. Swimsuits

    • In summer, everyone tries to spend time in the waters or attend pool parties and that is the time when they would flaunt their summer body by wearing a swimsuit. Therefore, this is the time when people tend to purchase a lot of swimsuits.
    • The peak month when consumers tend to buy it is in May and July.

    6. Sun blockers

    • Sun blockers can be umbrella, caps or any other accessories that will help someone block the sun rays effectively and keep them safe from any harm that the UV rays can give.
    • The peak month when consumers tend to buy it is in May.

    7. Waterproof Bluetooth Speakers

    • While everyone would like to enjoy pool parties during the summer, they would need a waterproof Bluetooth speaker as their sound system.
    • The peak month when consumers tend to buy it is in June.

    Research Strategy:

    In order to determine what are some key products/product categories US consumers are typically purchasing during summer months, as well as when and why they tend to buy it, we initially searched through credible and related databases such as Statista and Deloitte. From these sources, we only found reports on global consumer survey and global luxury goods. We then turned to media news sites such as Forbes, McKinsey, and PR Newswire among others. We found lists of trending products and product categories that are mostly salable during summer. From these lists, we chose the ones that are consistently mentioned. On the available lists, it does not specifically mention the summer month when people tend to buy these products. In order to identify this, we checked each product category on Google Trends, assuming that the summer month when people searched these categories the most is also the month when they mostly purchase them.
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    Summer Shopping Inspiration

    Articles and surveys on summer shopping in the United States suggest that consumers in the country get summer shopping inspiration from a broad range of sources, including family and friends, social media, brick-and-mortar stores, retailer websites, and the outdoors. The sources of inspiration vary from one summer shopping holiday or occasion to another. For ideas or inspiration, Father's Day shoppers, for example, turn to retailers, Black Friday in July shoppers turn to online deals on Amazon or in-store deals at other retailers, and back-to-school Gen Zers turn to Pinterest and Instagram.


    • "People are out and about during [the] summer," so there is a good chance that they will find summer shopping inspiration outdoors.
    • Shopping takes a lull during summer, but social media usage does not. Social media usage intensifies during summer as people post their graduation, vacation, and holiday photos, so there is a good chance as well that consumers will find summer shopping inspiration from social media.


    • Twenty-eight percent of shoppers turn to retailers for gift ideas for Father's Day, which takes place in June.
    • The places where shoppers search for the perfect Father's Day gift are as follows: department store (39%), online (34%), discount store (24%), specialty store (23%), specialty clothing store (11%), and catalog (2%).
    • Fifty-seven percent of smartphone or tablet owners use their device to help them decide what Father's Day gift to purchase.
    • Thirty-eight percent of smartphone or tablet owners use their device for product research and price comparison.


    • On Prime Day or Black Friday in July, 60% of back-to-class shoppers look for deals on Amazon, 26% look for online deals at other stores or retailers, and 31% look for in-store deals at other stores or retailers.
    • Consumers in the South tend to look for in-store deals, while consumers in the Northeast tend to look for deals on Amazon.
    • Consumers keep an eye out for sales at Target (40%), Walmart (35%), Kohl's (26%), and Best Buy (20%).


    • Back-to-school shopping, which happens before summer ends, appears to be all about getting the best deals. In finding these deals, shoppers consult mobile coupon apps (30%), online deal sites (19%), newspapers or magazines (12%), retail newsletters or catalogs (9%), social media (8%), and radio or television (5%).
    • Gen Zers appear to look to Pinterest and Instagram for back-to-school shopping inspiration. According to the National Retail Federation, "Pinterest and Instagram have allowed Gen Zers to be more selective in the items they want."
    • Primary and secondary school students and their parents likely look to the following stores for inspiration, as they are the key destinations for back-to-school shopping: stores (57%), online retailers (55%), discount stores (52%), clothing stores (51%), and office supply stores (35%). Parents' purchase decisions are strongly influenced by children's preferences.
    • College students likely look to the following stores for inspiration, as they are the key destinations for back-to-college shopping: online retailers (49%), department stores (40%), discount stores (35%), office supply stores (31%), and college bookstores (30%).
    • Back-to-school shoppers are influenced by deals and promotions (51%), coupons (37%), in-store promotions (36%), and advertising inserts (29%), and their final destinations are department stores (49%), discount stores (45%), clothing stores (34%), and online (29%).
    • Back-to-college shoppers are influenced by coupons (38%), in-store promotions (30%), newspaper inserts (24%), word of mouth (24%), and their final destinations are department stores (42%), college book stores (37%), and online (36%).
    • When it comes to apparel purchase, influential sources include recommendations from family and friends (90%), online advertising (77%), television advertising (71%), social media (62%), online reviews (58%), and radio advertising (53%).


    • Consumers turn to Google search for inspiration and ideas. On mobile web, searches for "ideas" increased by more than 55% over the two years that have passed. Over the same period, searches for "outfits for" and "top or best __ brands" grew by over 55% and over 95%, respectively.
    • A survey of consumers across six countries, including the United States, revealed that over half of Instagram users and 40% of Facebook users have found fashion inspiration on the social media platform, and that 60% of these Instagram and Facebook users have been tempted to purchase a fashion piece they had no intention of buying at first.
    • Compared to older adults, younger adults aged 18-34 are more inclined to find fashion inspiration on Instagram and Facebook. On Instagram, young people are especially influenced by celebrities and influencers.
    • Fashion brands and friends are the most common sources of fashion inspiration. For men, the number one source is friends, while for women, the number one source is fashion brands.

    From Part 01
    • "The 2018 Travelport U.S. Vacation Survey found that overall, 38% of respondents said they are more likely to take a vacation this summer than last. Over half of millennials (56%) said they were more likely to travel more this summer, whereas only 35% of Generation Xers and 22% of baby boomers said they were more likely to vacation in 2018. The survey defined millennials as those ages 18-34; Generation X, 35-54; and baby boomers, ages 55 plus. The survey also looked at the next 12 months, and again millennials lead the pack in their likelihood to travel more versus the previous 12 months. In total, 55% of millennial respondents plan to travel more in the next 12 months, compared to 31% of Generation X respondents and 20% of boomer respondents."
    From Part 02
    • "For example, more than half of people go for a walk/run (53%) and either swim or play water sports (51%) on the beach. "
    • "The majority (78%) of adults say that sunshine makes them feel better. This effect is particularly prevalent among people on the east coast (84%), young adults (81%), and women (80%). "
    • ""
    • "Most respondents (80%) said they have the most feel-good moments during summertime, and summer just wouldn’t be summer without pool days (54%), ice cream trucks (44%) and iced or cold coffee (40%)."
    • "58 percent of them reporting they get overwhelmed with trying to keep their children busy over summer break. 75 percent of parents are ready for their children to go back to school at the end of the summer."
    From Part 06
    • "Fashion inspiration used to come from the catwalk, or perhaps from a monthly magazine, and it took what felt like ages to filter through to the clothes us mere mortals could actually buy. Now, thanks to more efficient supply-chains and the immediacy of online, social and mobile, we have a wealth of fashion inspiration and products at our finger tips."
    • "In a survey of over 6,000 people across six countries, we found more than half of people who use Instagram, and four in ten Facebook users, say they've discovered fashion inspiration on the platform in the last three months. And with three out of five people surveyed admitting to having been tempted to buy a fashion item they didn't intend to buy, the opportunity to influence and advise potential fashion buyers on Instagram and Facebook is huge."
    • "We've discovered that Instagram is a big source of fashion inspiration, that young people are particularly influenced by social, celebrities and influencers and that their thoughts on mobile shopping and new technology, may reveal the future of fashion retail."
    • "For those marketing fashion brands to young people, or anyone interested in what the future might hold, we see in our research that social media channels are significantly more likely to provide fashion inspiration for people aged 18-34 years old. This group is 1.57x more likely to say they have discovered fashion inspiration on Facebook and 1.81x more likely to say they have discovered fashion inspiration on Instagram, when compared to older age groups (35-64 year old)."
    • "When we asked who provides fashion inspiration, friends and fashion brands are the most popular sources (44% each). The number one source of inspiration for men surveyed is their friends, whereas for women surveyed it is fashion brands. "
    • "Of those surveyed, women are 1.64x more likely to say they turn to influencers and celebrities for fashion inspiration compared to men. And people aged 18-34 years old are 2.96x more likely to cite influencers and celebrities as a source of fashion inspiration compared to older age groups. "
    • "While shopping habits might take a vacation during the summer, social media posting doesn’t. In fact, it’s often in full force as customers post their vacation, graduation, and holiday pictures."
    • "People are out and about during the summer."
    • "And the really good news for Target is that an even larger majority, 40 percent, plan to peruse its website and circulars for sales. Shoppers will also be keeping an eye out for summer sales events at Walmart (35 percent), Kohl’s (26 percent) and Best Buy (20 percent)."
    • "65% of back-to-school shoppers say half or more of their purchases are a direct result of their children’s influence, per the NRF’s annual survey. The path to purchase for this season is complex given the various decision-makers involved. For example, kids have less of an influence on school supplies while teachers and schools have significant influence. "
    • "It’s no secret that mobile commerce continues to grow and the back-to-school season is no exception. While mobile’s primary role during this season is a research tool, there are multiple ways our friendly mobile assistants are driving action."
    • "28 percent indicated they always or very often look to retailers for inspiration when purchasing gifts for the dads in their lives."
    • "When searching for the perfect gift, 39 percent of consumers will head to department stores, 34 percent will shop online, 24 percent will shop at a discount store, 23 percent at a specialty store, 11 percent at a specialty clothing store and 2 percent via catalog. Over half (57 percent) of smartphone/tablet owners plan to use their device to assist in Father’s Day gifting decisions, with 38 percent using their mobile device to research products and compare prices. "