Editor’s note: Michelle Mischenko is the senior research director at Toluna. 

The health and well-being of American consumers is set to take one of the biggest hits as we move further into the cost-of-living crisis and the warning signs of this are already showing. People are experiencing more stress, eating less healthily, smoking more and drinking more alcohol due to the economic situation. It’s affecting everything, including our personal health, how we plan our grocery shopping and where we’re cutting back to save money. In these times of uncertainty, brands need to sit up and take notice.  

A chief concern, among other worries, is the global energy crisis. The primary cause of this is the tragic war in Ukraine, and the negative effects are being felt everywhere. Concern is building here in the U.S., with almost three-quarters of Americans (74%) saying they are worried about the energy situation and the cost of using electricity and gas.   

Consumers are also making changes to their spending behavior due to the economic downturn. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed agreed that the energy crisis and the rising cost of living is impacting their spending plans and almost the same percentage said that they were actively putting off large expenditures until the economic situation is more stable. Ironically, this deferred spending could delay the recovery that the country so badly needs. 

In addition to these longer-term effects, many day-to-day habits are set to change in the short-term. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the survey found that people would be most willing to forego eating out (37%), forego ordering takeout (23%) and buying cheaper alternatives to usual purchases (21%) to save money. Therefore, the hospitality sector – which was hit hard by the pandemic – is going to struggle as the cost-of-living crisis continues.  

Consumers are set to change their grocery shopping habits as well, ...