Up next in our Spotlight on States series is California!

California was admitted to the Union on September 9, 1850 as the 31st state. Sacramento is the state capital and California is the 3rd largest state. California is bordered by the states of Nevada, Arizona and Oregon.

According to the US Census Bureau, the estimated population of California is 38,965,193 (2023 est.), and ranks as the #1 most populous state.

Official California State Facts and Symbols

Every state has their own unique symbols, from birds to flowers to songs and more! Here are some of California’s official state symbols:

California State Flag
  • Nickname: The Golden State
  • State Bird: California Valley Quail
  • State Flower: California Poppy
  • State Tree: Redwood
  • State Mammal: Grizzly Bear
  • State Song: I Love You, California
  • State Motto: “Eureka” (I have found it)

Fun Facts about California

There are many interesting facts about California. Here are just a few from The Fact Site:

– California’s name comes from a mythical island paradise written about in an early 16th-century Spanish novel.

– If California was its own country, it would have the 5th largest economy in the world.

– California has more National Parks than any other state. It also has gorgeous beaches spread all along its coastline.

– The largest living tree in the world stands tall in California’s Sequoia National Park (the General Sherman tree).

– In 1955 Walt Disney opened Disneyland in a 160-acre orange grove in Anaheim. And, in 1976 Steve Jobs and Stephen Wozniak started Apple Computer in a garage in Los Altos.

NCP Panel Members in California

Let’s learn about your fellow panel members in California! Here’s how California panel members answered some of our state highlight survey questions.

How long have you been a panel member?

  • 33% of survey respondents have been members for 15 or more years!
  • 12% have been members for less than a year
  • 44% of respondents were born in California and have lived there their entire life.

Is the area you live rural, suburban, or urban?

  • 14% live in rural areas
  • 59% live in suburban areas
  • 27% live in urban areas

Do you have children?

  • 62% of respondents have children
  • Of those, 23% have children living in their home

Shopping Habits of NCP Panel Members in California

Do you think peoples’ shopping habits differ based on where they live? We’re curious about this, so we asked our panel members questions about how, when, and where they shop, along with some other questions about their habits.

Here’s what our panel members in California had to say about their shopping habits:

  • When asked how they do most of their shopping, 65% of respondents said they do a combo of online and in-store shopping. 32% said they shop in-store only and 3% said they shop online only.
  • 60% of respondents tend to shop at the same stores vs. 40% who said they shop at a variety of stores.
  • 69% of respondents said they mostly stick to their list when shopping, but sometimes make impulse purchases.
  • 67% of respondents said they shop alone, with another 23% shopping with a spouse or partner.

When it comes to choosing where to shop, about half of the California panel members who responded primarily shop at grocery stores and 24% at mass-merchandise retailers. Price, convenience, and location are the top factors that influence where they decide to shop. Most of our California panel members said they shop 1-3 times per week and do most of their shopping on Wednesdays.

About 89% of survey respondents look for ways to save money while shopping, with digital coupons and store loyalty programs being the most popular options. They also shop at multiple stores, use the store sales flyer to plan their list, subscribe to store emails, and clip paper coupons.

Convenience while shopping

While ordering groceries and other items online has long been an option, the COVID-19 pandemic made delivery and pick-up a lot more common for people.

Here’s what California panel members had to say about different aspects of shopping:

  • 67% never order groceries online to pick up at the store, while 25% sometimes do.
  • 56% never order groceries online to be delivered, while 33% sometimes do.

When asked if weather influenced their choice between online and in-person shopping, 36% of respondents said weather doesn’t impact their decision, with 31% saying they prefer in-person shopping regardless of the weather.

When asked about self-checkout, 15% of respondents said they always use self-checkout, 42% indicated they frequently use it, 30% of respondents said they rarely use it, and 13% said they never use it.

Interests of NCP panel members in California

When asked about outdoor activities, the most popular ones were hiking/walking, swimming, and cycling. Of the other interests panel members wrote in, the most popular were gardening, camping, and fishing.

When asked which sports or events they follow, the top three responses were football, basketball, and baseball.

We also asked what type of place or tourist attraction would they recommend to people visiting their state/hometown. The most popular responses were beaches and coastal areas, national parks and reserves, and restaurants/culinary places/local markets, and historical and cultural museums. Of the other interests panel members wrote in, the most popular were amusement/theme parks, zoos, and wineries.

When asked what specific place or tourist attraction they would recommend in their state/hometown, here are some of their top suggestions:

  • Yosemite National Park
  • Disneyland, SeaWorld, Universal Studios
  • Golden Gate Bridge/Fisherman’s Wharf
  • San Diego Zoo
  • Napa Valley/Wineries
  • Griffith Observatory

We hope you learned something new about California! How do your shopping habits compare to panel members in California?

Stay tuned for the next state spotlight on…Colorado!

Join NCP!

If you’re not a NCP panel member and you’re interested in joining NCP to share your shopping experiences, earn great rewards, and influence what you see on store shelves, click here or go to the Join NCP section of the blog for more information.



California Pacific coast highway

More from NCP:

NCP Spotlight: Panel Members in Arkansas

NCP Spotlight: Panel Members in Arizona

NCP Spotlight: Panel Members in Alabama

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