Which products are households without children more likely to purchase?

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 1st December 2008

American households without children spent considerably more on vitamins, liquor and wine than the average American household during the 52 weeks ending June 28, 2008, according to Nielsen data.’Households’ are often considered to be conventional families with children but the number of households without children has grown considerably over the last couple of decades. In Australia, couples without children are expected to outnumber couples with children at some point within the next fifteen years, highlighting a change in the percentage of shoppers in different segments. Such a shift is likely to have an impact on buyer behaviour, with couples without children more/less likely to purchase certain items; presenting both opportunities and threats to many manufacturers and retailers.

The Nielsen study found liquor and wine to be the two most popular categories amongst the households without children segment as opposed to couples with children. In the year to June 28, 2009 they bought 19% more wine and liquor, as well as 14% more vitamins, 13% more tobacco, 9% more nuts and 7% more beer.

According to Nielsen, these households represent 77.5% of liquor and wine dollar sales, 74% of vitamin dollar sales, and 73.6% of tobacco dollar sales (in the US, households without children represent 65% of households).

Other categories skewing to households without children included floral/gardening, medications/remedies, pet food, and books & magazines.

Nielsen recommends that retailers targeting households without children to promote these categories (the top ten are listed below) with targeted ad spend and appropriate assortments and displays, while manufacturers are advised to contemplate cross-promoting items in these categories.

Top 10 Categories

U.S. Households Without Children Dollar Volume Index
(segment share of dollar sales; divided by segment share of households; multiplied by 100)

1. Wine – 119
2. Liquor – 119
3. Vitamins – 114
4. Floral/Gardening – 113
5. Tobacco & Accessories – 113
6. Medications/Remedies – 111
7. Nuts – 109
8. Pet Food – 109
9. Books & Magazines – 107
10. Beer – 107

Source: The Nielsen Company