It’s not quite “north polar” differences, but there are some variations in attitudes among Canadian and U.S. consumers about how to mark the holidays this year. New market research from Chicago-based data and tech company Numerator shows that Canadians are more cautious than their American counterparts in their plans to get back to pre-pandemic holiday celebrations.
According to Numerator’s Canadian holiday sentiment study, 66% of consumers in that country expect to celebrate one more of the upcoming holidays in a “normal” way, compared to 80% of U.S. consumers. While three-quarters of those in the States say they have celebrated at least one holiday in the traditional way in 2021, a little more than half (53%) of Canadians responded the same way.
The survey broke out sentiment by the different fall and winter holidays. For Halloween, fewer Canadians plan to buy Halloween candy or participate in trick or treating this time around. As for Christmas plans, only 17% of Canadian shoppers say they intend to spend more on gifts this year compared to previous years, and a growing number are shifting from buying seasonal food and drink items at traditional grocery stores to picking up such products items at mass, club and digital channels.
A more scaled-back New Years is also anticipated, with fewer Canadians planning on buying alcoholic beverages for the upcoming New Year’s Eve, down from 74% to 68%. Consumers north of the U.S. border are also not quite ready to resume the kind of New Year’s Eve parties and gatherings they enjoyed before the pandemic, Numerator’s study found.
According to information released this week from the Pan American Health Organization, COVID-19 cases are dropping in North America, but cases are still high in the American Midwest and in the northwest territories of Canada.