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Only-Child and Stay-at-Home Husbands Emerge as New Consumer Groups

Only-Child and Stay-at-Home Husbands Emerge as New Consumer Groups

Posted April. 30, 2008 06:23,   


As the population ages, birth rates drop, and the nuclear family are increasingly prevalent, only-child, the middle-aged and the elderly are emerging as the new consumer group. Those in their 20s and 30s pursuing luxury lifestyles and stay-at-home husbands are also gaining attention.

The Korea National Statistical Office released on Tuesday seven kinds of “Bluesumers,” those part of a promising consumer group. Bluesumer is a newly coined word combining the words “Blue Ocean,” referring to a differentiated market, and “consumer.”

○ ‘Gold Kids’ and Unsafe Children

According to the statistical office, 53.5 percent of new borns last year were first-born children, up 6.3 percentage points from 47.2 percent in 2000. Accordingly, the number of second- and third-born children has declined. That means the number of only-child, so-called ‘gold kids,’ are increasing where the birth rate is the world’s lowest.

Against this backdrop, items targeting only-child are becoming high-end, trying to cash in on parents’ desire to raise their only child better than others. Those luxury items include imported baby strollers worth over one million won, birthday parties at hotels, and financial packages for the child.

With heinous crimes against children, such as abduction and sexual abuse, frequently occurring, businesses for child safety are also seen to be promising.

Growth in the number of nuclear families and aging of the population are expected to lead to increased demand for caregivers who can act as a friend that the elderly can walk with and talk to.

○ 2030 Generation and Stay-at-Home Husbands

Entrepreneurs should also take notice of those in their 20s and 30s trying to follow a rich lifestyle without hesitation to spend money on whatever they want. Statistics show that, as of May 2006, 66.7 percent of households with family heads in their 20s and 30s possessed cars, a 14.4 percentage point rise from 52.3 percent in 2000. According to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association, among imported car owners, the share of those in their 20s and 30s is increasing, while the proportion of those in their 40s and older is decreasing.

With women actively engaging in economic activities, the number of males who manage households is also growing, giving rise to another niche market. At the end of 2007, the number of men who solely engaged in housekeeping and childrearing reached 143,000, up 35 percent from 106,000 in 2003. Large-sized household rubber gloves and diaper bags that look like knapsacks have hit store shelves due to these social changes. Other services targeting stay-at-home husbands, such as cooking classes for fathers, are enjoying popularity, as well.

○ Couples-only Households and Elderly Enjoying Leisure Activities

Middle-aged and elderly people are lavish spenders, who enjoy travel and leisure activities. According to statistics compiled in 2007, among people who traveled overseas in the recent year, those in their 50s ranked first with 17.5 percent. Brain boosting game consoles promising to ward off dementia and advertisements featuring elderly couples reflect this trend.

Parents living apart from their children also constitute another new consumer group. Parent-only households were just 14.2 percent in 2005 but they are expected to grow to 20.7 percent by 2030, according to the Korea National Statistical Office.

Goods and services aiming at those parents include “Remind Wedding” packages that help renew marriage life for couples, cruises, and financial packages for elderly couples.