Marketing research and insights news and information. This issue's keywords: Americans and vacation; culture; back-to-school; coupons; housing market

A majority of working Americans (72 percent) take at least one day off a year just to sleep, while 40 percent take five or more days off per year (a full work week) to catch up on sleep, according to a survey by Wakefield Research for Princess Cruises, Santa Clarita, Calif. Additionally, the findings show that 68 percent of Americans say they have used a vacation day for something other than vacation, including family emergencies (37 percent), doctor's or dentist's appointments (36 percent), sick days for their children or loved ones (31 percent), home projects (23 percent) and running household errands (23 percent) – compared to 2015, when 54 percent said they had done so. Forty-three percent of Americans say they frequently feel guilty for relaxing, while 91 percent of working Americans say they look forward to sleeping while on vacation. More than a third (35 percent) of working Americans, including 50 percent of Millennials, often feel more stressed when they're on vacation because they can't stop thinking about work. Nearly half of Americans, including 65 percent of Millennials, say they frequently skip events or activities on vacation because they're too tired.

Seventy-eight percent of American adults agree they love trying new things outside of their own culture, a sentiment that is even higher among Millennials, of which 84 percent love the exposure to different cultures according to The Harris Poll, New York. The findings show that just over a quarter (26 percent) of all U.S. adults say it is at least very important that the foods they buy and consume contain multicultural flavors, compared to 32 percent of Millennials who say it is at least very important. Among those ages 35 to 44 and 45 to 54, 27 percent each find it important, while 20 percent of those age 55 to 64 and 21 percent of adults ages 65 and over feel the same. Additionally, 56 percent of adults prefer to watch movies and television with multicultural characters, a preference held by 68 percent of Millennials. More Millennials also value stories from a new or different cultural context (21 percent), compared to the average U.S. adult (16 percent). Lastly, 32 percent of adults say they would pay more for a brand that understands multicultural needs, compared to 47 percent of Millennials. As for where adults are going to shop, 49 percent agree they would shop more at a retailer that offers a wider selection of multicultural products, with 65 percent of Millennials agreeing with this sentiment.

Eighty-five percent of parents said they would use a smartphone to help them as they shopped for back-to-school items, up from 78 percent last year, while 15 percent said no, shows a commissioned survey by location-based mobile advertising platform Retale, Chicago, which polled parents with school-aged children grades K-12. Among the parents who use smartphones to help shop for items, the most common mobile shopping activities include comparing prices (65 percent), searching for coupons/deals (62 percent), creating shopping lists (53 percent), checking store hours (52 percent), researching products (49 percent), accessing saved coupons (48 percent), finding nearby store locations (48 percent), checking product reviews (43 percent) and buying directly from the device (42 percent). Buying directly from their device increased five percentage points from 2015 (37 percent) - the biggest jump among preferred mobile activities. Nearly half of respondents (46 percent) said they performed these activities on their mobile devices both in- and out-of-store, which was up eight percentage points from last year (38 percent). On average, 20 percent of parents surveyed said that they do these mobile activities only in the physical store, while 34 percent of respondents said they perform these activities outside of the store.

A study by media delivery firm Valassis, Livonia, Mich., shows that coupon usage is strong among affluent shoppers (household incomes of over $100,000), with 28 percent of affluent coupon users having increased their use of coupons and their resulting savings in the past year. More than half (56 percent) of the affluent shoppers surveyed say that they enjoy using coupons and 87 percent believe that coupons save them a lot of money. Additionally, 81 percent say they find print coupons before shopping. Eighty-eight percent say they use coupons from the mail and 84 percent use coupons delivered in a coupon book. The survey also found that half are using their smartphones or other mobile devices to help them save and 29 percent have increased their use of paperless discounts and the Internet (31 percent) to find savings in the past year. A majority of affluent shoppers surveyed say that coupons, discounts or offers influence their purchase decisions at retail, with 83 percent making purchases based on in-store discounts, 77 percent searching for deals in store circulars and 72 percent printing coupons from the Internet for use in-store. Many are also influenced by coupons to try new products (86 percent) and to choose brands they would not typically buy (80 percent).

Fannie Mae's Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased 3.3 points to 86.5 in July, reaching a new all-time survey high and indicating a more positive outlook in the housing market-specific HPSI components. Each of the six HPSI components increased in July. The largest increases were seen in the net share of consumers who expect home prices to go up over the next 12 months, which rose 8 percentage points after a drop in June, and the net share of consumers who expect mortgage interest rates to go down over the next 12 months, which rose 5 percentage points. The Household Income component also rebounded after dropping in June, rising 3 percentage points to 11 percent. Notably, the share of consumers who said they would buy if they were going to move increased to 67 percent, while the share of consumers who said they would rent moved down to 26 percent, equaling an all-time National Housing Survey low.