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Party Planning and Home Entertaining - US - February 2016

"Home entertaining is a common activity for Americans. Holiday celebrations and birthdays are both popular reasons to entertain, but casual events such as poker nights or book club meetings also prompt in-home socializing. Social media is an important component of an at-home event, as those who plan get-togethers are using these platforms for inspiration, to invite guests, and share post-party pictures. However, the prevalence of social media may also be adding to stress."
- Dana Macke, Lifestyles & Leisure Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • Formal entertaining at home is less appealing
  • Entertaining can be a stressful prospect
  • Women are planning more than their fair share
  • Party planners are likely working parents

For the purposes of this report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

Home entertaining involves any special event inside the home to which non-resident guests are invited. This includes formal and informal events that are planned in advance, including holiday parties, dinner parties, religious celebrations, birthday parties, game-watches, and informal get-togethers such as poker nights or book club meetings.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

          • Figure 1: Any event hosted in the last three years/last year, by age, October 2015
        • The issues
          • Formal entertaining at home is less appealing
            • Figure 2: Types of events planned, by gender, October 2015
          • Entertaining can be a stressful prospect
            • Figure 3: Attitudes toward entertaining – Party stress, October 2015
          • Women are planning more than their fair share
            • Figure 4: Responsibility for planning, by gender, October 2015
          • Party planners are likely working parents
            • Figure 5: Responsibility for planning, by employment status, October 2015
          • The opportunities
            • Text message may be the new mode for party invites
              • Figure 6: Party planning tasks, October 2015
            • Hispanic consumers over index as party hosts and purchasers
              • Figure 7: Types of events hosted in the last three years, by Hispanic origin, October 2015
            • Grocery retailers may want to step-up the party aisle
              • Figure 8: Party supply retailers, October 2015
            • Black party hosts are ready to “go all out”
              • Figure 9: Attitudes toward entertaining – Party preparation, by race, October 2015
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • At-home events are common for most
                • Entertaining at home remains culturally relevant
                  • Demographic factors have opposing impact
                  • Who Are Party Planners

                      • Figure 10: Any event hosted in the last three years, by key demographics, October 2015
                    • Sentiment toward at-home entertaining remains stable
                      • Figure 11: Enjoyment of entertaining, July 2014-September 2015
                    • Married women aged 25-34 most likely to enjoy entertaining
                      • Figure 12: Enjoyment of entertaining, by gender, age, race, and marital status, July 2014-September 2015
                  • Market Perspective

                    • Declining costs increase sales of high-quality televisions
                      • Abundance of available alternatives create barriers to entertaining
                        • Figure 13: Communication activities conducted online in past three months, July 2013 versus April 2015
                        • Figure 14: Subscription to pay TV, DVR, internet, 2013-15
                      • Dining out grows in popularity, fueled by low gas prices
                        • Figure 15: Food sales at home and away from home, January 2003-December 2015
                      • Social media drives visibility of home entertaining
                        • Figure 16: Social media use, 2012-15
                      • Culinary arts see a revival in popularity
                        • Figure 17: Interest in dining out and cooking for fun, 2008-15
                    • Market Factors

                      • Improving economy may relax entertainment budgets
                        • Figure 18: Consumer Sentiment Index, January 2007-December 2015
                      • Delay in marriage and children slow entertaining in younger age groups
                        • Growth in Hispanic population a boon for entertaining
                          • Figure 19: Total US population growth trends, by race/Hispanic origin, 2010-20, 2010-15, and 2015-20
                        • Rise in single-person households
                          • Figure 20: US households by number of persons in household, 2013
                          • Figure 21: Hosted an at-home event in the last three years, by household size, October 2015
                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                        • Walmart and grocery are lead retailers
                          • At-home entertaining sustains as party types evolve
                            • Parties for kids continue to impress
                              • Food remains the center of at-home events
                              • Retailer Overview

                                • Walmart
                                  • Overview
                                    • Demographics
                                      • Figure 22: Profile of party hosts – Demographic index, Walmart, October 2015
                                    • Grocery stores
                                      • Overview
                                        • Demographics
                                          • Figure 23: Profile of party hosts – Demographic index, grocery stores, October 2015
                                        • Target
                                          • Overview
                                            • Demographics
                                              • Figure 24: Profile of party hosts – Demographic index, Target, October 2015
                                            • Party stores
                                              • Overview
                                                • Demographics
                                                  • Figure 25: Profile of party hosts – Demographic index, party stores, October 2015
                                                • Dollar/discount stores
                                                  • Overview
                                                    • Demographics
                                                      • Figure 26: Profile of party hosts – Demographic index, discount/dollar stores, October 2015
                                                    • Online retailers
                                                      • Overview
                                                        • Demographics
                                                          • Figure 27: Profile of party hosts – Demographic index, online stores October 2015
                                                      • What’s In

                                                        • Types of at-home events
                                                          • Viewing parties
                                                            • Millennials drive resurgence of board games for adults
                                                              • Gender reveal parties add another occasion for mothers to-be
                                                                • Children’s party trends
                                                                  • Kids’ parties can be created from scratch or ordered online
                                                                    • Figure 28: Potentially popular themes for kids’ parties: Dolls owned, action figures owned, movies watched, April 2014-June 2015
                                                                  • Accessible entertaining advice for all
                                                                    • Hotel Commonwealth offers courses in the art of entertaining
                                                                      • Lifestyle blogs drive the category
                                                                        • Magazines remain relevant in the entertainment space
                                                                        • What’s Out

                                                                          • Traditional notions of entertaining fade
                                                                            • Young consumers more likely to start and end a party online
                                                                              • No need for a playlist
                                                                                • Direct selling companies find new channels
                                                                                • What’s Next?

                                                                                  • Kids’ parties grow up
                                                                                    • The extravagance continues, with a touch more sophistication
                                                                                      • Kid parties become family parties
                                                                                        • Food and drink solutions unburden hosts
                                                                                          • Deconstructed DIY
                                                                                            • Pay-share is the new potluck
                                                                                              • At-home events get creative
                                                                                                • At-home painting parties
                                                                                                  • Brands join your at-home parties
                                                                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                    • Majority of adults have hosted an at-home event
                                                                                                      • Women do more of the planning
                                                                                                        • Planners are purchasing party supplies at grocery retailers
                                                                                                          • Impressing guests leads to stress
                                                                                                            • Four distinct types of party hosts identified
                                                                                                              • Black party hosts “go all out”
                                                                                                              • Types of Events Hosted

                                                                                                                  • Three in four respondents have hosted a party in their home
                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Types of events hosted in the last three years, October 2015
                                                                                                                  • Informal events the most common in the last year
                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Types of events hosted in the last year, by gender, October 2015
                                                                                                                    • 25-34s are a key demographic
                                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Any event hosted in the last year, by age, October 2015
                                                                                                                    • Formal ceremonies less likely to be hosted at home
                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Select types of events hosted in the last three years, October 2015
                                                                                                                    • Hispanic consumers an important demographic
                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Types of events hosted in the last three years, by Hispanic origin, October 2015
                                                                                                                  • Responsibility for Event Planning

                                                                                                                      • Men are hosting, but women are planning
                                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Responsibility for planning, by gender, October 2015
                                                                                                                      • Party planners are busy adults
                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Responsibility for planning, by employment status, October 2015
                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Responsibility for planning, by gender and parental status, October 2015
                                                                                                                    • Event Planning Tasks

                                                                                                                        • Invitations and inspiration often come from online sources
                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Party planning tasks, October 2015
                                                                                                                          • Most are reluctant to hire professional help
                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Party planning tasks, by gender, October 2015
                                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Party planning tasks, by age, October 2015
                                                                                                                              • Figure 40: Party planning tasks – Hired professional services, by household income, October 2015
                                                                                                                          • Party Purchases

                                                                                                                              • Primary party supplies: Beer, wine, cups
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Party purchases, October 2015
                                                                                                                                • Beer and wine are must-haves; hard alcohol is a nice-to-have
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Party purchases – Alcohol, by age, October 2015
                                                                                                                                • Alcohol purchases more common among higher income brackets
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Party purchases – Alcohol, by gender, October 2015
                                                                                                                                • Women more focused on cake and decorations
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Party purchases, by gender, October 2015
                                                                                                                                • Party favors and games more popular with younger hosts
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Party purchases – Favors and games, by age, October 2015
                                                                                                                              • Party Supply Retailers

                                                                                                                                  • Party City loses out to other retailers
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Purchase locations, October 2015
                                                                                                                                  • Women more likely to choose a discount store
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Purchase locations, by gender, October 2015
                                                                                                                                  • Walmart attracts Millennials
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Purchase locations, by generations, October 2015
                                                                                                                                • Attitudes toward Entertaining

                                                                                                                                    • Party hosts look to impress their guests
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Attitudes toward entertaining – Party preferences, October 2015
                                                                                                                                    • Entertaining is stressful for some
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Attitudes toward entertaining – Party stress, October 2015
                                                                                                                                      • Older consumers less prone to party stress
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 51: Smirnoff video – What kind of night is it? October 2015
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 52: Attitudes toward entertaining – Worry that others won’t have a good time, by age, October 2015
                                                                                                                                      • Hosts aged 25-34 enjoy taking and sharing photos
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 53: Attitudes toward entertaining – Photo sharing, by age, October 2015
                                                                                                                                      • Black party hosts make a good impression
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 54: Attitudes toward entertaining – Party preferences, by race, October 2015
                                                                                                                                    • Types of Party Hosts (Consumer Segmentation)

                                                                                                                                        • Factors
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 55: Party host segments, October 2015
                                                                                                                                          • Segment 1: Agreeable Entertainer (27%)
                                                                                                                                            • Demographics
                                                                                                                                              • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                  • Segment 2: Couch Potato (26%)
                                                                                                                                                    • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                      • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                        • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                          • Segment 3: Party Pooper (26%)
                                                                                                                                                            • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                              • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                  • Segment 4: Host with the Most (21%)
                                                                                                                                                                    • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                      • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                        • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 56: Party planning/home entertaining segments, October 2105
                                                                                                                                                                        • Key Drivers Analysis – Who Goes All Out?

                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 57: Key demographic drivers of attitudes toward entertaining – Key driver output, November 2015
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 58: Key demographic drivers of attitudes toward entertaining, behaviors – Key driver output, November 2015
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 59: Key drivers of attitudes toward entertaining, demographics and attitudes November 2015
                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                                                            • Data sources
                                                                                                                                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Direct marketing creative
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Market

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 60: Social media use, 2012-15
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Interest in dining out and cooking for fun, 2008-15
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 62: Subscription to pay TV, DVR, internet, 2013-15
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 63: Enjoyment of entertaining, by gender, age, race, and marital status, July 2014-September 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 64: Enjoyment of entertaining, July 2014-September 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 65: Potentially popular themes for kids’ parties: dolls owned, action figures owned, movies watched, April 2014-June 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Consumer Segmentation

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 66: Attitudes toward entertaining – Any agree, by target groups, October 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Key Driver Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Interpretation of results
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 67: Key drivers of attitudes toward entertaining – Key driver output, November 2015

                                                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                        To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Party Planning and Home Entertaining - US - February 2016

                                                                                                                                                                                        £3,277.28 (Excl.Tax)