Look out Leave-It-To-Beaver, there is a new wave of pet acupuncturists, homeless college grads and extended roommates changing the traditional family dynamic. This New Family rationalizes treating their pets better than their children (“Of course we give our puppy acupuncture. It makes little Snuggles feel relaxed and rejuvenated!”), asks if they can have their old room back (“Mom. Dad. I know you turned my old room into a study, but can you turn it back because I need a place to stay for a while?”) and are returning to dorm life with communal apartments. Multi-Gen Roomates, Extended Companions and Pet-Centrics are the segments changing the way we view the traditional family in the 21st Century.
Multi-Gen Roomates are trading in their queen for a twin bed. Just one of the many sacrifices of returning to mom and dads’ to reduce the high cost of living. They are Boomerang Kids, or late 20s to 30s individuals that need to bide some time by living at moms’ and dads’ until they can get back on their feet. The G.I Generation (parents of Baby Boomers) are also making the same migration to their children’s homes. As the economic slump has depleted their retirement funds, the G.I. Generation find themselves in the same position as their grandchildren.
- There are more than 4 million multi-generational families in the U.S., according to a U.S. Census Bureau report
- About 40 percent of 2008 grads still live with their parents, according to Monster’s 2009 Annual Entry-Level Job Outlook
Brand Profile: Netflix, Wal-Mart
Extended Companions are not willing to bite the bullet and move back in with mom and dad. Instead, they are pooling funds to get a place with their friends. While most Extended Companions envisioned a white picket fence in their near future, they are faced with the harsh reality that financially they just can’t afford it. For the meantime, they can bunk with their friends until they can get back on their feet.
- The share of 3-bedroom searches in the area around the Washington DC grew by 87% as more people bunk with roommates to reduce the high cost of living — a rising trend across the country, according a study by MyNewPlace.com
Brand Profile: IKEA, Craig’s List
Dogs and cats are the brothers and sisters or sons and daughters of Pet-Centrics. The seek companionship in animals. Pet-Centrics are typically older couples or singles that put pets on an impossibly high pedestal, sometimes higher than their own children. These are the people that spend $15 on a rubber toy or $20 on organic, fine-dining dog food because, of course, their dog or cat has to eat the best. As they have sufficient disposable incomes, why not spend $25 on a designer dog collar?
- Pet owners spent an estimated $US41 billion ($43.9 billion) on their animal friends last year which was almost double the $US21 billion ($22.5 billion) spent in 1996, according to The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association
- “We’re noticing more baby boomers are pet owners and they are treating their pets like members of the family,” said APPMA President Bob Vetere
Brand Profile: Fancy Feast, Pampered Puppy
Human Bond: Revisited — The Human Bond trend is about meaningful relationships and developing deep connections. Whether the connection is with a Boston Terrier, your parents or friends, more and more individuals are seeking meaningful relationships as they search for companionship and a home.
Read all of our psychographic trends: