At Penguin Random House, direct communication and relationships with readers are key to marketplace success, and strong consumer marketing and outreach begin with understanding our audience. Penguin Random House Consumer Insights is excited to present Moments Summer 2021, a report that predicts consumer sentiment and behaviors we can expect during the coming quarter.
One of the hallmarks of summer 2021 for consumers will be a wobbly transition back to a “new normal”: vaccines en route, but not en masse; some working from home or still struggling through the recession; and most burnt out. This summer, consumers will be in need of ways to help adapt in these tough times, change up their routines with culturally relevant cuisine (at home), and dig into the great mysteries and unknowns that confront them.
Here are a few key themes for summer 2021:
Flexibility, Fluidity, and Forgiveness. Consumers will be bracing for the unknown and focusing on forgiving ourselves after a rough year. Many have learned the value of letting go of expectations, taking things as they come, and finding new ways to get by.
Diversifying Dining. As the summer heats up, so, too, do appetites for fresh and healthy meals. And after months of cooking just about everything at home (nearly three-quarters of U.S. consumers reported eating meals cooked at home as a family multiple times a day [Kroger]), tools, tips, and tricks that help families explore new cuisines and honor their cultures are on the rise.
Never Stop Exploring. The unique combination of curiosity and uncertainty is fueling a desire to learn, grow, and explore. This “new normal” is leaving consumers to ask “Why?” and “What can I do?” This summer, we all (out of necessity) will be forced to exercise a bit of childhood wonder.
Moments Summer 2021 also anticipates consumer sentiment around key occasions:
- Earth Day (April 22): Consumers are seeking activities to help them achieve sustainable lifestyles.
- Mother’s Day (May 9): Consumers are looking for housewares, gardening supplies, and books to show Mom how much they care.
- Father’s Day (June 20): Consumers are looking to Dad’s passions for gift inspiration: Homewares, hobbies, and sports top the list. Subscription boxes and gift baskets are also rising trends.
- Graduation (May–June 2021): Fewer consumers are spending on grads for graduation, but those who do are spending more per gift. Cash reigns supreme, but customization is really meaningful.
- Pride Month (June 2021): Consumers are looking to celebrate in a truly inclusive fashion —honoring BIPOC members’ place in the LGBTQIA+ community and ensuring young kids and teens are part of the fun.
- Juneteenth (June 19): This year marks the first mainstream celebration of Juneteenth, as many companies are honoring the holiday in response to last summer’s resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.
- Summer Reading: Will it be the summer of vacations or staycations? The jury is still out, but either way, summer is an optimal time for reading.
If you have a current or backlist title that aligns with one or more of these trends, contact your marketing team for suggestions about ways to reach and engage consumers with relevant content from your book.
Grant Griglak is Director, Consumer & Marketplace Insights at Penguin Random House.