Shopping for one? Single-person households soaring

Single-person households are soaring worldwide, with important implications for the supermarket and convenience sectors, says Euromonitor.

The finding comes from the global market-research company’s white paper ‘A Look at the Future of the Family’.

It reveals how socioeconomic trends are rapidly transforming the traditional definition of the family. It also argues that brands and retailers should “adapt their strategies accordingly”.

Key findings

  • Single-person households will record 128 per cent growth between 2000 and 2030.
  • Total number of “household heads” aged 60-plus years will reach 807 million by 2030.
  • The average number of children per home will decline worldwide.
  • Global population is ageing rapidly.
  • The population with a “divorced” marital status will be by far the fastest growing at 78.5 percent over 2000-2030.

The overall picture is one of fragmentation. As more families split, they’ll need to move into their own homes, driving the rise of the single-parent family.

But the changes run deeper than divorce and family breakdown, as social trends redefine the very concept of ‘family’.

“The traditional definition of a family, two adults and children, is transforming rapidly,” according to Euromonitor. “Modern definitions of a family can include unmarried couples raising children, gay and lesbian couples raising children, and many more.”

‘Opportunities and challenges’

The evolution of families into smaller entities offers “new opportunities and challenges for companies and brands”, says Euromonitor.

Not only is demand for small, hyper-urban apartments rising, but this trend also creates more space for appliances and household goods in emerging markets. At the same time, consumers will expect more from the commodities they buy, according to Euromonitor’s Pavel Marceux.
“As the future family will reshape the habitat of the household, families have ever-increasing expectations of the brands they interact with,” Mr Marceux said.

“Companies must be mindful that millennial parents are juggling complex plans. So they must be pragmatic about the utility and convenience they can offer, avoiding ‘trendwashing’ and traditional clichés.”

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