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Consumer Trends
More Americans plan cookouts, fireworks and road trips for Independence Day
For immediate release
June 22, 2017

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"With warmer than average weather so far this summer, Americans should be in the mood to head outside to celebrate, whether it’s watching fireworks or firing up the BBQ."
Matthew Shay
NRF President and CEO

WASHINGTON – Americans are expected to spend $7.1 billion on food for cookouts and picnics as they celebrate the Fourth of July this year, up from $6.8 billion in 2016, according to the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation and conducted by Prosper Insight & Analytics.

According to the survey, 219 million Americans plan to celebrate the holiday, or 88 percent of those surveyed. A total of 162 million — 66 percent of those surveyed — plan to take part in a cookout or picnic, spending an average $73.42 per person, up from last year’s $71.34. The numbers cover only food items, not other holiday-related spending.

NRF Independence Day Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics

“With warmer than average weather so far this summer, Americans should be in the mood to head outside to celebrate, whether it’s watching fireworks or firing up the BBQ,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers will be well-stocked with everything from flags to burgers to help Americans prepare for their holiday activities.”

The survey found that 65 percent of consumers already own a U.S. flag, 53 percent patriotic-themed apparel such as T-shirts, bathing suits or shoes, and 40 percent own patriotic decorations. Nonetheless, 28 percent plan on purchasing more patriotic items.

NRF Independence Day Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics

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When it comes to other activities to celebrate Independence Day, 44 percent of Americans will attend a firework show or community celebration and 14 percent will watch a parade.

The holiday weekend is also a popular time for travel, with 32.9 million Americans saying they will head out of town (13 percent of those celebrating), up from 31.1 million from last year. Only 18 percent say the price of gasoline will affect their plans, down from 21 percent last year and a record low since the survey began in 2004. The number who said high gas prices would discourage them from spending for Independence Day peaked at 59 percent in 2008.

“With more Americans planning to travel this Independence Day, gas prices are far less of a factor than they were in previous years,” Prosper Insights Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow said. “Many consumers will take advantage of low gas prices by taking long road trips with their family or heading to the beach for a long weekend.”

The survey of 7,258 consumers was conducted June 5-13 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

About Prosper Insights & Analytics
Prosper Insights & Analytics is a global leader in consumer intent data serving the financial services, marketing technology, and retail industries. We provide global authoritative market information on US and China consumers via curated insights and analytics. By integrating a variety of data including economic, behavioral and attitudinal data, Prosper helps companies accurately predict consumers’ future behavior to help identify market behaviors, optimize marketing efforts, and improve the effectiveness of demand generation campaigns. www.ProsperInsights.com

About NRF
The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF.com

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