www.downloadslide.com Chapter Six The American Society: Families and Households 191 ILLUSTRATION 6-3 This resort is positioned as ideal for couples to escape the pressure of a hectic work schedule for relaxation and romance. Singles who live alone are older, with 70 percent being over 25. In general, they have higher incomes than the others but also higher expenses because they have no one with whom to share the fixed cost of a house or apartment. They are a good market for most of the same products and services as the other singles. Young Couples: No Children The decision to marry, or to live together, brings about a new stage in the household life cycle. Marriage is much more likely for the 25- to 34-year-olds (50 percent) than it is for the under-25 crowd (14 percent). The lifestyles of two young singles are greatly altered as they develop a shared lifestyle. Joint decisions and shared roles in household responsibilities are in many instances new experiences. 10 Savings, household furnishings, major appliances, and more comprehensive insurance coverage are among the new areas of problem recognition and decision making to which a young married couple must give serious consideration. Like the young single stage, the time spent by a young couple in this stage of the HLC has grown as couples either delay their start in having children or choose to remain childless. Most households in this group have dual incomes and thus are relatively affluent. Compared with full nest I families, this group spends heavily on theater tickets, expensive clothes, luxury vacations, restaurant meals, and alcoholic beverages. They can afford nice cars, stylish apartments, and high-quality home appliances. Illustration 6–3 contains an ad that would appeal to this group as well as to some members of the single I and full nest I segments. Note that romance plays a major role in the ad. It also plays on the desire to escape worries and everyday responsibilities. Full Nest I: Young Married with Children Roughly 6 percent of households are young married couples with children. The addition of the first child to a family creates many changes in lifestyle and consumption. Naturally, new purchases in the areas of baby clothes, furniture, food, and health care products occur in this stage. Lifestyles are also greatly altered. The wife may withdraw fully or partly from the labor force (in roughly 62 percent of married couples with a child under six, the wife works outside the home) 11 for several months to several years, with a resulting decline in household income. The couple may have to move to another place of residence because their current apartment may not be appropriate for children. Likewise, choices of vacations, restaurants, and automobiles must be changed to accommodate young children.
www.downloadslide.com 192 Part Two External Influences Some of the changes in income and annual expenditures that occur as a household moves from childless to the young child stage in their late 20s and early 30s include the following: 12 Expenditure Percentage Change Income 29.4% Food at home 24.3 Meals out 29.6 Alcoholic beverages 225.0 Adult apparel 28.3 Children’s apparel 215.7 Health care 16.1 Education 228.8 Personal care products 22.6 As shown above, discretionary and adult expenditures are reduced by the need to spend on child-related products such as food, health care, and children’s apparel as well as to offset the decline in income. Obtaining competent child care becomes an issue at this stage and remains a major concern of parents at all HLC stages. Households with a stay-at-home spouse confront this issue mainly for evenings out or weekends away. Single-parent and dual-earner households generally require daily child care, which is expensive and often requires parents to make trade-offs from their ideal situation. Moms across the HLC possess $1.7 trillion in spending power. Examples of companies going after moms in full nest I are given below. • Kraft, which launched an iPad app called Big Fork Little Fork that provides parents with information on healthy food options for kids and families. 13 • Club Mom, an online loyalty program that provides advice, resources, and discounts to moms who shop with sponsors such as Chrysler. 14 • McDonald’s, which attempts to attract this segment by providing recreational equipment for the young children in these households. Illustration 6–4 contains an ad aimed at this market segment. It shows how the choice of recreational activities may change with the addition of young children. Single Parent I: Young Single Parents Birth or adoption by singles is increasingly common. Roughly 40 percent of children are born to unmarried mothers, a number that has risen by 13 percentage points since 1990. However, as many as 40 percent of these children may actually be born to cohabiting unmarried parents. 15 Divorce, while on the decline since 1980, continues to be a significant part of American society, with 40 percent of first marriages ending in divorce. 16 Although most divorced individuals remarry and most women who bear children out of wedlock eventually get married, 9 percent of American households are single-parent families, and 80 percent of these are headed by women. The younger members of this group, particularly those who have never been married, tend to have a limited education and a very low income. These individuals are often members of one of the lower social classes, as described in Chapter 4. The older members of this segment and the divorced members receiving support from their ex-spouses are somewhat better off financially, but most are still under significant stress as they raise their young children without the support of a partner who is physically present. This type of family situation creates many unique needs in the areas of child care, easyto-prepare foods, and recreation. The need to work and raise younger children creates