2023 a Year in Review: Exploring Consumer Trends and Insights in the US

Appinio Research · 06.12.2023 · 9min read

Appinio's yearly review, listing the top trends of the year, the best moments of the year and 2023's highlights and lowlights

As we bid farewell to another chapter of our lives, let’s take a moment and reflect on the whirlwind of experiences that defined the past year. 


In an effort to capture the essence of 2023 and end the year on a good note, we conducted a survey that delves into the lives of consumers, unraveling the stories of change, growth, and leisure that unfolded. From relocations to career shifts, exotic travels to quiet nights with a good book, this survey paints a vivid picture of the collective journey we embarked on. 


This is "2023: A Year in Review," a collection of memories that defined a year in the lives of many.


A year of changes

In the midst of the ever-changing landscape, 2023 emerged as the year of transformation. 


Our survey revealed that a notable number of respondents embraced change on a fundamental level, with a portion opting for a change of scenery, whether driven by a quest for new opportunities, a desire for a fresh start, or a simple change of pace. 


This yearly review brought to light many new experiences, consumers picked up new hobbies, nourished their bodies with food from a country they’ve never been to and fed their souls by going to concerts, or to the movies.

New beginnings in the workplace

As the professional landscape underwent shifts in 2023, the Appinio Hype Tracker Report uncovered insights into the realm of career changes. 


One in five (21%) respondents embarked on new professional journeys, while 22% are considering a move, illustrating the dynamic nature of the job market during the past year. 


From career pivots to stepping into leadership roles, these stories show the resilience and adaptability of individuals navigating the ever-evolving workplace. Some may be pursuing their passion, choosing fulfillment over conventionality, while others may look for fresh challenges, eager to expand their skill sets. 

The impact of remote work on job choices shouldn’t be underestimated either, and many may be wanting to explore opportunities beyond the confines of traditional office spaces. 


The future of the workplace is still to be decided but there are already some trends we can expect to sweep us off our feet:

  • Generative AI, and how it will affect the workforce
  • Sustainable working practices, and how the workforce will need to adapt and prioritize
  • Future skills, and how employees need to be in a flux of continuous learning
  • Employee experience, and how employees can achieve a better work-life balance
  • The rise of decentralized workplaces, and the consolidation of hybrid work models

Wanderlust unleashed

Soaring inflation led American travelers to reduce travel frequency and choose closer-to-home destinations. 

But our year end review survey revealed that one fifth (20%) of Americans have been abroad this year, and 74% of these travelers have been to a country they have never traveled to before.

However, Americans travel way more domestically and they enjoy exploring the United States, you can read more about it in our recent blog on the Travel & Tourism industry, or download the latest Hype Tracker Report, created with the help of Jonas Upmann, Head of Consumers Communications at HomeToGo, the marketplace with the world's largest selection of vacation homes.


Cultural escapes: books, movies, and concerts

Amid the ebb and flow of daily life, 2023 has given us some many cultural escapes that proved to be some of the best moments of the year. 


Reading emerged as a beloved pastime, with 55% of respondents proudly declaring the completion of at least one book before the year end, 30% said they read multiple books in 2023. Most mentioned books were 

  1. the Harry Potter series, 
  2. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, and 
  3. “Animal Farm” by George Orwell.


In the world of cinema, it was only about one movie (or maybe two): Barbie!
The top picks at the box office in 2023 were in fact:

  1. ”Barbie, The Movie”, 25% of Americans embarked on this glamorous adventure
  2. “Oppenheimer”, 9% of Americans opted for a gut-wrenching experience 
  3. “Five Nights at Freddy’s”, 4% of Americans went to watch this horror movie.


But 2023 was especially the year of concerts and live music.

Some of the most spectacular and memorable concerts took place in 2023 with one in four (27%) Americans attending at least one concert in 2023.
The most mentioned were:

  1. Beyoncé's (The Renaissance Tour): 5% experienced this spectacular concert.
  2. Taylor Swift (The Eras Tour): 4% of Americans danced the night away and screamed their lungs out with TayTay


Together, these cultural escapes provided a colorful backdrop to the year, demonstrating the unwavering human spirit to seek inspiration, entertainment, and connection through the arts.

New trends shaping 2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, 2023 has witnessed the rise of several trends that have captured the imagination of consumers and enthusiasts alike and therefore, we tested some of the most discussed trends in the Appinio signature Hype Tracker. 

The most discussed trends of 2023 in US, Chat GPT, Digital cameras, iPhone15, Foldable Smartphones


  • Digital cameras, occupying the first spot in the trends hierarchy, have kept their relevance as a noteworthy technological pursuit. With the highest awareness, a substantial portion of respondents is familiar with digital camera technology, and the highest curiosity score hints at a significant interest in the continual innovations and capabilities of these in-demand products. 

  • Following closely is the realm of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), maintaining its status as the second most talked-about trend. Both awareness and curiosity levels stand strong as the second-highest, perhaps fueled by a sense of curiosity and the ongoing exploration of practical applications.

  • Ranking third is the revolutionary advent of foldable smartphones, sparking excitement and boasting high awareness among consumers. Despite already garnering attention, the third-highest curiosity score indicates a persistent eagerness to explore the nuanced details, features, and potential benefits of these flexible devices.

  • Not to be overlooked is Chat GPT, representing a smaller buzz but showing a remarkably high level of curiosity. With the fast advancement of this technology and the possible applications, it was impossible to avoid news and controversial discussions on when and how AI will replace humans in the workforce. No surprise to see this trend generating a bigger buzz in younger generations rather than older ones.


As the year end approaches, we find ourselves engaging in an yearly review.

From the transformative shifts in personal and professional landscapes to the rhythmic beats of concerts that echoed through the year, our last Hype Tracker of the year unveiled the varied hues of experiences that colored the canvas of 2023.


Interested in running your own study?

In our dashboard, you will find questionnaire templates that you can customize and get the insights you need to bring your brand to the next level.


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