Consumer sentiment outlook

Tuesday 02 August 2022


Findings from our latest UK consumer sentiment survey are in.

In a survey powered by Dynata, we’ve unearthed how consumer segments plan to spend their money over the coming months. It’s clear that while there are obvious challenges, there are definite pockets of opportunity.

Here are some key takeaways.


Inflation is inescapable but the degree of resilience varies

We are (yet again) in uncharted territory and experiencing an unusual downturn. Covid unwind is still playing through, household incomes are severely squeezed by forty-year high inflationary rates coupled with broken supply chains, and infrastructure adding to the peril.

It’s apparent that no consumer segment is fully sheltered from this, however, the degree of negative sentiment does vary.


The worry of the everyday is weighing down on everyone

Irrespective of income, all households are most concerned by the impact energy, fuel, and grocery costs will have on their everyday life and finances. This concern is most severe in lower to middle-income families. Older households without kids have higher resilience backed by savings pot.



Discretionary retail spending will take a hit

In the face of rising food prices and grocery bills, discretionary spend particularly on big ticket items is likely to take a hit (e.g., furniture and electronics, which also benefited from a pull forward demand during Covid). Eating out, travel and most entertainment categories are expected to hold for now.



A summer of leisure

Beyond the headlines, there are pockets of spending that will be protected and even increased in H2 2022.

In a post-Covid world, most people are yearning for a summer of leisure. Overall, we can expect the majority of consumers to spend more on both domestic and international travel over the next 6 months.

Affluent families are expecting to spend across all leisure categories.



Consumer behaviour is on the move

When it comes to non-grocery spending consumers plan on staying loyal to their chosen brands; however, current uncertainty is shaping new consumer habits and preferences.

From the obvious frugal measures of buying fewer and cheaper products to an increased appetite for buying higher quality products and looking at second-hand purchases.



A reason for optimism

When comparing consumer sentiment towards planned spend in 2022 vs 2023, for many categories, there’s good reason for optimism.



Emerge as a winner

Periods of uncertainty and change present leaders with the opportunity to come out on top. To do so however there’s a need for thoughtful and deliberate action.

Those that act now can capture pockets of spend, lock in consumers and emerge as a winner.


To see more detailed stats behind our findings and to discuss private equity opportunities, please talk to our team.


OC&C contacts

John Franklin, Partner

Tom Charlick, Partner

Sohini Pramanick, Partner

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