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U.S. LGBT Households Make 16% More Shopping Trips than the U.S. Average
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U.S. LGBT Households Make 16% More Shopping Trips than the U.S. Average

By Graham Gee, Vice President, VP/GM, Home Entertainment, Nielsen

American same-sex partnered households have significant spending power. In fact, same-sex partnered households make 16 percent more shopping trips than the average U.S. household each year (173 average shopping trips vs. 149 average shopping trips for total U.S. households), according to a recent Nielsen report measuring the shopping habits of U.S. lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) households.

The additional shopping trips translate into a marked difference in total spending on consumer packaged goods (CPG). Same-sex partnered households spend an average of $8,651 each year on CPG, compared with $6,898 for the average U.S. household. Within the LGBT community, male same-sex partnered households shop more frequently than female same-sex households (182 trips vs. 163 trips), raising male same-sex household annual CPG spending to $8,943—nearly 30 percent higher than the average U.S. household.

Same-Sex Households are Frequent Warehouse Club, Pet Store Shoppers

In looking at the 52-week period ending July 6, 2012, shopping rates for same-sex partnered households were nearly the same as those for the average U.S. household in the three main traditional channels (grocery, mass merchandiser, and drug). However, same-sex households shop more than the average U.S. household in several other important retail channels, such as warehouse club stores, pet stores, online retailers, electronics stores and health food retailers.

Same-Sex Households Have Higher-than-U.S. Average Spending Habits on Pet Care Products

Both male and female same-sex partnered households spend more than the average U.S. home on an array of product categories. For example, male same-sex households spend 50 percent more than the U.S. average on pet care products, and same-sex female households purchase 32 percent more.

Male same-sex partnered households spend more than average households on alcoholic beverages, refrigerated meal starters and oral hygiene products, while female same-sex partnered households have higher-than-average spending habits on frozen baked goods, fresh produce and cottage cheese/sour cream.

Methodology and Notes 

Nielsen’s annual demographic survey, which is fielded to the Nielsen Homescan Consumer Panel in the U.S., was expanded to identify households on the panel in same-sex relationships. This expansion helps Nielsen understand the shopping and buying behavior of LGBT households. The insights in Nielsen’s State of the LGBT Consumer Report are derived from an analysis of participating same-sex partner households. Note that the survey identified panelists with two head of households that are either two men or two women and who have indicated that their relationship is a marriage, civil union or partner relationship. The insights do not represent all households that may identify as LGBT, including single LGBT individuals and LGBT couples who do not live together.