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American Lifestyles - US - January 2009

Millions of Americans have made subtle changes to their lifestyles in an effort to maintain a relatively high standard of living while reducing expenditures. At the same time, lifestyle trends such as the increased popularity of sustainability, multiculturalism, and healthy living are all compelling behavioral and attitudinal change. As such, it is critical for companies to take an in-depth look at lifestyle trends in the U.S. and to determine how they should position themselves to maximize efforts and attract and retain customers.

This study addresses the following questions:

  • How American lifestyles are changing in response to the recession

  • How the eating patterns of Americans are changing

  • How changes in the demographic composition of the U.S. are impacting consumer lifestyles and the market

  • What steps marketers can take to maximize communication efforts, given recent shifts in the American lifestyle and popular culture

  • How social networking and social media sites are affecting consumer behavior and what steps should marketers consider taking to capitalize on the social media trend

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Data sources
        • Consumer survey data
          • Abbreviations and terms
            • Abbreviations
            • Executive Summary

                • Theme: Coping with recessionary pressures
                  • Theme: Greening on hold
                    • Theme: Eating with meaning
                      • Theme: The rise of multiculturalism
                        • Theme: The social media blitz
                        • Insights and Opportunities

                          • Many maintain similar spending patterns, despite recession
                            • Some segments more likely to report increased or steady spending, despite recession
                              • Offer low prices on food to bring customers into the store and cross-merchandise to lift sales
                                • On creating loyalty: Community branding and lessons from the Obama camp
                                  • Synthesizing sustainability, wellness and cultural lifestyle trends: The notion of sustainable nutrition
                                    • Provide independent product reviews and comparison tools to attract customers
                                    • Fast Forward Trends

                                      • Trend: Trading Up, Trading Down, Trading Over
                                        • What’s it all about?
                                          • Some trading down from organic to local
                                            • The private label opportunity: creative private label designs can help retailers capitalize on the trend
                                              • Trend: Purity
                                                • What’s it all about?
                                                  • What we’ve seen
                                                  • Theme: Coping with Recessionary Pressures

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Consumer confidence sunk to record lows in 2008
                                                        • Figure 1: Consumer sentiment index, 2001-08
                                                        • Figure 2: Graph: Consumer sentiment index, 2001-08
                                                      • Most Americans believed the U.S. was entering or in a recession in October; NBER announced the recession in December
                                                        • Figure 3: Opinion about country entering recession, by age, October 2008
                                                        • Figure 4: Opinion about country entering recession, by household income, October 2008
                                                      • Home entertainment on the rise as travel and credit card use decline
                                                          • Figure 5: Strategies for dealing with recessionary pressures, by age, October 2008
                                                        • Recessionary pressures drive up spending in the mass discount channel
                                                          • Dollar stores also see significant increases in net sales, as a result of recession
                                                            • Some declines in club channel, but most consumers are spending about the same amount
                                                              • Figure 6: Spending patterns in discount channels for non-food items, by age, October 2008
                                                            • Department and specialty stores suffer as consumers flock to discount
                                                                • Figure 7: Spending patterns in department stores and specialty channels for non-food items, by age, October 2008
                                                              • Web purchases remain relatively rare, but young adults are spending more online
                                                                • Figure 8: Spending pattern in second tier channels for non-food items, by age, October 2008
                                                              • Spending on the decline in most categories
                                                                  • Figure 9: Discretionary spending in categories other than electronics, by household income, October 2008
                                                                  • Figure 10: Discretionary spending in electronics categories, by household income, October 2008
                                                              • Theme: Greening on Hold

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Concern about the environment has risen significantly in recent years
                                                                    • Figure 11: General attitudes toward environmental concerns, December 2007
                                                                  • Greening of U.S. consumers on hold
                                                                      • Figure 12: Change in incidence of green consuming, August 2006-October 2008“Thinking about ‘green’ products in general (such as organic or locally produced food, recycled paper, natural cleaning products, cars with high MPGs, or appliances with Energy Star ratings) how often do you buy ‘green’ products:
                                                                    • Concern about the environment is high, but behavior is not always in line with aspirations
                                                                      • Figure 13: Environmental attitudes and behaviors, by age, May 2006-June 2007
                                                                    • Concern about chemicals and the perception that green is safer drives usage
                                                                      • Figure 14: Attitudes toward health benefits of “green” products, by gender, December 2007
                                                                    • Willingness to pay a premium for green products driven down by recession
                                                                      • Figure 15: Willingness to pay extra for “green” products, December 2007
                                                                    • Spending in fair trade products likely to decline more than green
                                                                      • Figure 16: Green and fair trade spending patterns, by household income, October 2008
                                                                    • Demand is strong for competitively priced green products, especially among 18-24s
                                                                      • Figure 17: Attitudes toward the cost of “green” products, by age, December 2007
                                                                    • Other than food, the most frequently purchased categories are paper and cleaning products
                                                                      • Figure 18: Frequency of purchasing different categories of “green” products, December 2007
                                                                    • Use of hybrids and public transportation on the rise
                                                                      • Figure 19: Eco-friendly strategies for reducing energy spending, by age, October 2008
                                                                      • Figure 20: Environmental behaviors, by age, December 2007
                                                                    • Desire to save gas—and make a statement—drives sales of hybrid cars
                                                                      • Figure 21: Most important factors in purchase of vehicle, all owners vs Prius owners, June/July 2008
                                                                    • Even sales of hybrids are down sharply as consumers change transportation behavior and save
                                                                      • Figure 22: Total U.S. sales of hybrid vehicles, 2004-08
                                                                    • American automakers capture only a tiny share of this burgeoning market
                                                                      • Figure 23: Total U.S. sales of hybrid vehicles, by manufacturer, August 2008
                                                                    • Cost remains primary barrier to growth of hybrid market
                                                                      • Figure 24: Reasons for not purchasing a hybrid, June/July 2008
                                                                  • Theme: Eating with Meaning

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Cooking at home and healthy eating are on the rise
                                                                        • Figure 25: Incidence of cooking more at home and healthier eating, by age, October 2008
                                                                        • Figure 26: 10 most popular cuisines among casual and serious cooking enthusiasts, April 2008
                                                                      • Demand for locally grown food likely to rise as organics market cools
                                                                        • Figure 27: Spending on locally grown and organic food, by age, October 2008
                                                                      • Healthiness is a key driver of organics consumption; cost and shelf life are primary barriers
                                                                          • Figure 28: Opinions about organic food and drink, by age, July 2008
                                                                        • Price sensitivity to organics rises significantly in 2008
                                                                          • Figure 29: Opinions about organic food and drink, 2006-08
                                                                        • Overall sales growth of organic food decelerating
                                                                          • Figure 30: Total U.S. sales and forecast of organic food at inflation-adjusted prices, 2003-13
                                                                        • Sales of organic packaged foods surpass produce
                                                                          • Figure 31: U.S. sales of organic food, by segment, 2006 and 2008
                                                                        • Demand for organic private label products likely to increase as people seek bargains
                                                                          • Figure 32: New product launches, organic private label products, 2003-08
                                                                        • Natural could become more important as consumers seek better for you products that are cheaper than organics
                                                                          • Figure 33: Sales of natural products through conventional FDM and natural supermarkets, segmented by product type, 2006 and 2008
                                                                        • Farmers’ markets offer bargains and appeal to core organics users, foodies and locavores
                                                                          • Figure 34: Spending at farmers’ markets, by household income, October 2008
                                                                        • Rate of new openings slows despite increased demand
                                                                          • Figure 35: Number of operating farmers’ markets, 1994-2008
                                                                        • Spending in specialty food channels declining
                                                                          • Figure 36: Spending in specialty channels, by household income, October 2008
                                                                        • Spending at mass discount on the rise in middle class segment as the affluent turn to club stores to save
                                                                          • Figure 37: Spending on food in discount channels, by household income, October 2008
                                                                        • Spending at c-stores and local shops on the decline as consumers seek low prices over added convenience
                                                                          • Figure 38: Spending on food in convenience channels, by age, October 2008
                                                                        • Restaurant spending on the decline in all income brackets
                                                                          • Figure 39: Restaurant spending patterns, by household income, October 2008
                                                                        • Young adults more likely to report spending increase at restaurants
                                                                          • Figure 40: Restaurant spending patterns, by age, October 2008
                                                                        • Many young adults spending more on alcohol, despite recession
                                                                          • Figure 41: Spending on alcoholic beverages, by age, October 2008
                                                                          • Figure 42: Spending on alcoholic beverages, by household income, October 2008
                                                                        • Spending on gourmet food and cookware on the decline
                                                                          • Figure 43: Spending on gourmet food and cookware, by household income, October 2008
                                                                        • Vitamin and supplement spending likely to remain stable
                                                                          • Figure 44: Spending on vitamins and nutritional supplements, by household income, October 2008
                                                                          • Figure 45: Spending on vitamins and nutritional supplements, by household income, October 2008
                                                                      • Theme: The Rise of Multiculturalism

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Minority populations are growing much faster than white segment
                                                                            • Figure 46: Population, by race and Hispanic origin, 2003-13
                                                                          • Minorities are somewhat more likely to report lifestyle change in response to recessionary pressures
                                                                            • Figure 47: Behavioral change in response to recessionary pressures, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2008
                                                                            • Figure 48: Response to recessionary pressures, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2008
                                                                          • Immigration at an all-time high, many coming from Mexico
                                                                            • Immigrants—and their social networks—are engaged in the process of acculturation
                                                                                • Figure 49: Language competency, by race/Hispanic origin, 2007
                                                                              • Many marketers uncertain how to respond to the rise of multiculturalism
                                                                                • Blacks and Hispanics more likely to pay attention to and enjoy advertising
                                                                                  • Figure 50: Advertising attitudes, by race/Hispanic origin, May 2006-June 2007
                                                                                • Spanish-speaking and bilingual Hispanics are more likely to view and enjoy advertising
                                                                                  • Figure 51: Attitudes toward advertising, by language spoken, May 2006-June 2007
                                                                                • Minorities have a greater affinity for shopping
                                                                                  • Figure 52: Shopping frequency, by race/Hispanic origin, May 2006-June 2007
                                                                                  • Figure 53: Affinity to shopping, by race/Hispanic origin, May 2006-June 2007
                                                                                • Many minorities report spending the same amount or less than they did in 2007
                                                                                  • Figure 54: Spending in select categories, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2008
                                                                                • A large proportion of blacks and Asians increased shopping in the mass discount channel
                                                                                  • Figure 55: Channel spending patterns for products other than food, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2008
                                                                                • Food shopping patterns similar to those for non-food
                                                                                  • Figure 56: Channel spending patterns, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2008
                                                                                  • Figure 57: Channel spending patterns, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2008
                                                                              • Theme: The Social Media Blitz

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Social networking on the rise, especially among young adults
                                                                                    • Increasing influence of blogs among young adults
                                                                                      • The rise of video and more creative modes of communication
                                                                                        • Figure 58: Changes in online entertainment and research activities, by age, October 2008
                                                                                      • Americans are increasingly using YouTube in search of stardom
                                                                                        • MySpace, YouTube and Facebook most popular social networking sites
                                                                                            • Figure 59: Incidence of using top social networking sites, by age, October 2008
                                                                                          • How the news media are incorporating social media: A note on Twitter and YouTube
                                                                                            • About one in three users clicked an ad on a SN site in the last week
                                                                                              • Figure 60: Advertisement-related attitudes and behaviors of online social network users, by age, October 2008
                                                                                            • Online reviews influential, especially among the middle class
                                                                                              • Figure 61: Online entertainment and research activities, by age, October 2008
                                                                                            • Online entertainment and research activities likely to increase in 2009, especially among young adults
                                                                                              • Figure 62: Online entertainment and research activities, by age, October 2008
                                                                                          • Cluster Analysis—How Consumers Cope with Recession

                                                                                              • Abstainers
                                                                                                • Who they are
                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                    • Maintainers
                                                                                                      • Who they are
                                                                                                        • Opportunity
                                                                                                          • Rearrangers
                                                                                                            • Who they are
                                                                                                              • Opportunity
                                                                                                                • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                  • Figure 63: American lifestyle clusters, October 2008
                                                                                                                  • Figure 64: : Discretionary spending in categories in the last two years by American lifestyle clusters, October 2008
                                                                                                                  • Figure 65: : Discretionary spending in categories compared to this time last year (spending about the same) by American lifestyle clusters, October 2008
                                                                                                                  • Figure 66: Discretionary spending in categories compared to this time last year (spending less) by American lifestyle clusters, October 2008
                                                                                                                  • Figure 67: Discretionary spending in categories compared to this time last year (spending more) by American lifestyle clusters, October 2008
                                                                                                                  • Figure 68: Discretionary spending on food and beverage products in different types of stores compared to this time last year (spending about the same), by American lifestyle clusters, October 2008
                                                                                                                  • Figure 69: Discretionary spending on products other than food and beverage in different types of stores compared to this time last year (spending about the same), by American lifestyle clusters, October 2008
                                                                                                                  • Figure 70: Online entertainment and research activities (spending about the same amount of time on the following activities as in 2007), by American lifestyle clusters, October 2008
                                                                                                                  • Figure 71: Online entertainment and research activities (spending less amount of time on the following activities as in 2007), by American lifestyle clusters, October 2008
                                                                                                                  • Figure 72: Agreement with lifestyle statements, by American lifestyle clusters, October 2008
                                                                                                                  • Figure 73: Opinion about country entering recession by American lifestyle clusters, October 2008
                                                                                                                • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                  • Figure 74: American lifestyle clusters by gender, October 2008
                                                                                                                  • Figure 75: American lifestyle clusters by age group, October 2008
                                                                                                                  • Figure 76: American lifestyle clusters by household income group, October 2008
                                                                                                                  • Figure 77: American lifestyle clusters by race, October 2008
                                                                                                                  • Figure 78: American lifestyle clusters by Hispanic origin, October 2008
                                                                                                                • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                • Appendix A: Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                    • Figure 79: Spending pattern in offline channels for non-food items, by gender, October 2008
                                                                                                                    • Figure 80: Spending pattern in offline channels for non-food items, by household income, October 2008
                                                                                                                    • Figure 81: Spending pattern in offline channels for non-food items, by region, October 2008
                                                                                                                    • Figure 82: Category spending patterns for non-food items, by age, October 2008
                                                                                                                    • Figure 83: Eco-friendly strategies for reducing energy spending, by household income, October 2008
                                                                                                                    • Figure 84: green and fair trade spending patterns, by age, October 2008
                                                                                                                    • Figure 85: Incidence of cooking more at home and healthier eating, by household income, October 2008
                                                                                                                    • Figure 86: Spending on locally grown and organic food, by household income, October 2008
                                                                                                                    • Figure 87: Spending farmers’ markets, by age, October 2008
                                                                                                                • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                                                                  • Amazon.com Inc
                                                                                                                  • American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA)
                                                                                                                  • Association of National Advertisers (ANA)
                                                                                                                  • Bebo Inc
                                                                                                                  • Consumer Electronics Association
                                                                                                                  • Cookware Manufacturers Association
                                                                                                                  • Dell Inc.
                                                                                                                  • Entertainment Merchants Association
                                                                                                                  • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                  • Flickr
                                                                                                                  • Forest Stewardship Council
                                                                                                                  • Friendster Inc
                                                                                                                  • Google, Inc.
                                                                                                                  • Greenfield Online
                                                                                                                  • Harley Davidson, Inc
                                                                                                                  • Internet Society International
                                                                                                                  • J C Penney Company, Inc
                                                                                                                  • LinkedIn
                                                                                                                  • Macy's, Inc.
                                                                                                                  • Microsoft USA
                                                                                                                  • MySpace.com
                                                                                                                  • Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
                                                                                                                  • Netflix, Inc.
                                                                                                                  • Nike
                                                                                                                  • North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM)
                                                                                                                  • Organic Trade Association
                                                                                                                  • Pepsi-Cola North America
                                                                                                                  • Safeway Inc
                                                                                                                  • Sustainable Building Industry Council (SBIC)
                                                                                                                  • Trader Joe's Company Inc
                                                                                                                  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                  • U.S. Department of Transportation
                                                                                                                  • U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
                                                                                                                  • University of Michigan, The
                                                                                                                  • Video Software Dealers Association
                                                                                                                  • Walmart Stores (USA)
                                                                                                                  • Whole Foods Market Inc
                                                                                                                  • Yahoo! Inc
                                                                                                                  • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                  American Lifestyles - US - January 2009

                                                                                                                  US $3,995.00 (Excl.Tax)