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An examination of the consumer buying behaviour of single-parent households

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conference contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by K Martin, R Ramsaran-Fowdar
With the rise in single-parent families, there is a need to determine whether there is a resulting change in family consumer behaviour and if marketers need to alter their strategies accordingly. The methodology used was a literature search on single parent families. Some of the interesting findings emerging from the literature review were that the single-mother family was the second most common type in the US; single mothers and married mothers behaved similarly in their buying behaviours, however single mothers took their children shopping more frequently; single mothers and single fathers were very different when it comes to product choice regarding food and beverages; children of single parents had more influence in the decision-making process than children of dual parents. They also shopped for the family more often; Working single parents and dual earners showed a similar behaviour when it came to grocery shopping and using convenience foods. Unemployed single parents differed to both in their buying behaviour; Single-parent families valued certain products more highly than intact families, such as holidays, traditions and family pets. It was concluded that the change in consumer behaviour due to the increase in single-parent families was minimal and inconsistent. Rather, there were similarities amongst members of the same socioeconomic class, rather than family type. Marketers would be unwise to adjust their strategies until more conclusive evidence is discovered. Instead, marketers could look at segmenting the group based on socioeconomic factors, particularly employment status as well as the quality of inter-family relationships.


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Marriott Hotel, Melbourne


World Business Institute

Place of Publication


Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • Yes

External Author Affiliations

Fraser Coast Training Employment Support Service; Not affiliated to a Research Institute; School of Business and Law (2013- );

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Name of Conference

International Business Research Conference