Where Are They Now? Loner Living

At the beginning of the year, our expert analysts explored the Top 10 Global Consumer Trends that would have the biggest impact on consumer behaviour in 2019. Today, we are looking back at one trend in particular, Loner Living, to learn how it is playing out. 

Globally, the number of single-person households will outpace the growth of all other household sizes, and baby boomers are expected to comprise a large share of this growth. While baby boomers may have been well known for the high rate of divorce among their cohort, many of those in the younger generations have rejected marriage and cohabitation altogether. They are setting the stage for a trend that is bound to outdate their generation. People across the world are bucking the stigma of living alone and embracing their independent lifestyles and enjoying Loner Living.  

Companies adapted their products and services to better cater to single households in 2019, focusing on affordability, sensibility and convenience. The rise of single households, both among younger and older consumers, is shifting the business paradigm beyond sensible as ideas about how the typical consumer shops and which products they aspire to own are upended. 

Although food delivery has catered to empty stomachs for decades, competition among digital delivery companies, like Uber Eats and Door Dash heated up in 2019 to serve this market. Uber Eats now approaches restaurants to open “virtual restaurants” that exclusively deliver meals, many of which are sent to single, busy households. 

Germany’s Book-n-Drive recently partnered with the property company ABG to focus its car-sharing company on renters and single households. By providing priority access and parking for its rentable cars, Book-n-Drive is targeting consumers who lack families or live in urban areas, factors which make car ownership less sensible. 

Procter & Gamble recently released its Charmin “Forever Roll”, a single-user toilet paper whose diameter is over twice the length of a standard toilet paper roll. The roll is targeted toward single households who may not have the means to purchase and store large packs of toilet paper in their homes. Other CPG companies recently released products that are adapted to lower storage spaces and smaller appliances.