A "new normal" characterizes many facets of our culture today, notably politics, a changing middle class and most especially the changing face of the American family. Today’s households are less traditional — with “diverse” household compositions reflecting the new normal in terms of composition and ethnicity.
The American family many of us think we know — often some version of the “traditional” nuclear family with a married heterosexual couple with children — is no longer accurate. Nor will it ever be again. We would even go a step further and suggest that there really is no more a generalizable American family.
The American household is undergoing dynamic changes. The majority of American households, for example, are now child-free. If any single thing defines family structures today, it is diversity, and the fundamental lack of any one dominant type of family structure can be considered emblematic of the new normal.
Ours is now a melting pot of cultures, ethnicities, beliefs and values, and America’s households have come to reflect that diversity.
Changes within household structure reflect profound alterations in a variety of big demographic "W's": Who we are (including our values, ages, ethnicities, etc.), Who we live with (within households) and Where we live.
Logistically, we are seeing sweeping changes in How households operate; with more women having joined the workforce over the past 50 years, men’s and women’s domestic roles have changed dramatically, with resulting impact on a wide range of behaviors, including shopping.
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As leaders in the study of American food culture, The Hartman Group has been tracking how Americans shop for food since the 1990s. From one-stop shopping to multichannel shopping to online markets and click-and-collect, we continue to track consumers’ evolving perceptions, needs, habits and relationships with food retailers. New to the 2017 report is a special section on the expansion of the discount grocery channel, the emerging fresh-format channel and smaller-footprint retail formats.