Mom, Dad, 2.5 kids, a dog and a white picket fence? Forget it, says Packaged Facts: America is changing and food marketers need to catch up

By Elaine WATSON

- Last updated on GMT

Packaged Facts: "The model of mom, dad, 2.5 kids, and a dog all living in a house with a white picket fence has slipped from iconic to archaic."
Packaged Facts: "The model of mom, dad, 2.5 kids, and a dog all living in a house with a white picket fence has slipped from iconic to archaic."
By 2020, well over a quarter of US households will be single-person households, those aged 65+ will account for 17% of the population (vs 13% in 2010), and almost one in five Americans will be Hispanic, according to a new report.

“The model of mom, dad, 2.5 kids, and a dog all living in a house with a white picket fence has slipped from iconic to archaic,"  ​says market researcher Packaged Facts in the report ‘Americans in 2020’.

“The American family is undergoing a sea change,” 

In its place are “structures that trend toward more adults in one household, more middle-age and senior adult- headed households, more people living alone, fewer married couples (except in the gay and lesbian community), more children born into households with unwed parents, and fewer households with children”.

By 2030 almost 75% of households in America will be childless

Indeed, the Mortgage Bankers Association of America has forecast that by 2030 almost 75% of households in America will be childless (vs 68% in 2012), says Packaged Facts, while the percentage of one-person households as a share of total US households is expected to rise to 29% by 2050 (vs 13% in the 1960s).

But while there will be more single-person households in 2020, there will also be more multi-adult households, owing to Millennials staying at home longer or living with roommates as they delay marriage, kids and mortgages, and more seniors living with their Baby Boomer children, predicts the report.

“Simmons data show the percentage of households with two adults declining from 53.6% in 2004 to 51.1% in 2012, while the percentage of three-adult households rose from 14.2% in 2004 to 17.1% in 2012.

“American households will typically involve clusters of individuals living together, regardless of whether they are related (through blood ties, marriage, adoption, etc.) or unrelated (roommates, housemates, unmarried couples). Saving money will be a primary motivator for this trend.”

Meanwhile, if current trends continue, by 2020, more than half of first born children will be born to mothers that are not married, in part as a result of the trend toward delayed marriage.

The number of people aged 65+ is expected to surge 38% between 2010 and 2020 compared with total population growth of 12%

fonterra-active-boomers
The number of Americans aged 65+ is expected to surge 38% from 40.5m in 2010 to 56m by 2020, reflecting the aging of the baby boomer generation plus increased life expectancy

One of the most striking features of the report is data on the aging US population, with the number of people aged 65+ expected to surge 38% from 40.5m in 2010 to 56m by 2020, reflecting the aging of the baby boomer generation plus increased life expectancy.

By comparison, the total population is expected to increase a far more modest 12% from 309.3m to 346.4m over the same period, says Packaged Facts.

And the longer we last, the more stark gender differences become, with women aged 65-84 predicted to significantly outnumber their male counterparts by 2020, numbering 26.7m, compared with 22.6m men in the same age bracket.

“For retailers”, ​says the report, “success in the future will require continuing to build relationships with this influential and often loyal consumer segment.”

Hispanics will account for one quarter of US population by 2040

Hispanic family
Hispanics will account for one quarter of the US population by 2040

Much of the report is devoted to the growing Hispanic population, which will account for a fifth of the US population by 2025, and a quarter by 2040.

However, the Asian American population is also growing rapidly, with growth (numbers set to rise by 4.2m between 2010 and 2020) set to outstrip population growth by African-Americans (numbers set to rise by 3.8m over the same period), says Packaged Facts.

“The country may be getting grayer, but it’s simultaneously becoming more polychromatic.”

Click here​ for more details on the report. 

Related topics: Markets, Trendspotter

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