Chicago (April 13, 2011) – The traditional family was once regarded as two married parents, 2.5 kids, a dog and a white picket fence. However, the rise of the ‘modern family,’ made up of single parents, partners living together, or even older parents who have moved in with adult children shows that the definition of family is changing – and with it, how families spend their leisure time. Indeed, according to Mintel’s exclusive consumer research, respondents with children in the household who are not married but living with a partner report the highest number of hours spent with family each week (31.5 hours).

Moreover, 45% of survey respondents who are living with a partner say they are spending more time with family this year when compared to last year – the highest response from any group, and more than 12 percentage points more than married respondents.

“Given the increase in non-traditional family units, family leisure brands will do well to find ways to reach out to unconventional family groups,”says Fiona O’Donnell, senior analyst at Mintel. “Brands may want to consider how to appeal to these unique family segments, offering products that will attract mom, dad, children and grandparents, as they all may be living under the same roof. “

Fifty-four percent of unmarried parents who report spending more time with family this year say they’re doing so because they”made it a priority”to spend more time with loved ones. Meanwhile, 46% say they are spending less time at work and 37% say their children are spending more time at home than they did a year ago because they are less involved in afterschool activities.

“The recession may have prompted families to reassess what is most important in life and eliminate a certain amount of frivolous spending in favor of more meaningful activities,” adds Fiona O’Donnell. ” as the economy picks up slightly, families may be looking for ways to splurge a little and feel like they can once again spend money, but they will still be looking for great value for their dollar. “

Mintel research also found that 89% of those surveyed say they enjoy spending most of their time at home with family. Moreover, 80% say their family eats dinner together most nights and 65% agree they spend enough time with their family and children.

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