This week’s Time magazine features an article on how Campbell Soup’s CEO is shifting this huge company’s product lineup in response to demographic and lifestyle changes. (Sorry, I can’t link the article; only subscribers can see view it.) Of course, it’s not just Fortune 500 companies that need to be alert for demographic shifts. As a small business owner, you also need to anticipate how these changes may impact various aspects of your business, including your product offerings, your marketing, and how you serve your customers.
As identified by the U.S. Census Bureau, here are key demographic changes in the makeup of American households:
• The 2010 census showed that for the first time ever “traditional” husband-wife households (both with children and without) now comprise less than half (48%) of all households. So for the first time ever, the majority of U.S. households fits in one of these categories: families with a single head of household, nonrelated households, and people living alone.
• Since 1970, the portion of U.S. households made up of married couples with kids has dropped by half and now make up only 20% of all American households.
• More adults now live alone, making up 27% of all American households. Of those living alone, 17.2 million are females and 13.9 million are males.
• Households of families without children, made up of empty nester boomers and older generations plus millennials who have not yet had children, account for a whopping 80 million people, a huge market share.
• Non-family households grew to 33.5% of U.S. households; these are identified of people living together who are not related and not married.
• Unmarried straight couples living together increased by 40.2% between 2000 and 2012. Growth was even greater among same-sex couples living together, which was up 80.4% over the same period.
• Multi-generational households are rising, up from 3.7% of all households in 2000 to 4.4% in 2010.
All of these shifts in the makeup of American households are expected to continue and some will even pick up pace. So how might you need to respond? Here are a few articles to help you explore this topic further and get you thinking about how your business may need to change in response:
The Demographic Evolution of U.S. Households – see the end section on “Why This Matters.”
Why Demographics Are Crucial to Your Business – This also discusses some of the racial composition changes that are occurring that in the U.S., as well as the importance of knowing how demographics are shifting in the specific geographic territory you serve.