YOUR FRIENDS OR YOUR FAMILY? - I’ll have both please say Brits’ as modern society evolves and a new social demographic emerges
A study of UK social networks has revealed the emergence of a new demographic – the Framily, this being a combination of our friends and family.
The Dolmio® Framily Findings Report – an in-depth study into British group behaviour during everyday life – has revealed that the boundaries between friends and family have blurred to such an extent that most Brits have a mixture of both in their core social support networks.
While traditionally, society rules that the family is the foundation of Brits’ everyday life, the study has uncovered that 16% of Brits’ spend just as much time with friends as family, and one in four spend more time with their friends than their blood relatives.
This is demonstrated by 67% of Brits saying that they consider their best friend to be a family member…while 54% reveal that their best friend is actually a sibling or cousin. And our families and friendships have become so intertwined that almost 60% of people today consider their parents a friend over and above their parent / guardian role.
The study of over 1000 adults show that the new British Framily is the primary group of family and friends with whom you regularly share evening meals, with 15% cooking and eating main meals together more than five times a fortnight.
It is a stark contrast to 25 years ago, when almost 50% of those questioned suggested that friends only joined family meals on special occasions - equating to approximately once a month.
Jenni Trent Hughes, spokesperson on behalf of Dolmio, says that Framilies embrace all the best bits of a traditional family unit and by acknowledging and welcoming friends to join this unit enhances our lives and feelings of acceptance.
“Demands on modern day life means that it is not always as easy to bring the family together so rather than missing out on everyday family moments, Brits have evolved their lives to create Framilies. As a behavioural observationist, I see framilies of all shapes and sizes and experience how they evolve as we all grow.”
The Dolmio Framily Findings Report also reveals the flexibility of Framilies and how they can evolve. Throughout their lives, many Brits belong to more than one Framily, with 51% belonging to up to three Framily units, often at the same time. This is because different partners can introduce different Framilies; different Framilies can form around people with different interests and often because of geographical reasons.
The average size of a Framily is approximately five, although 3% of Brits suggest that their Framily extends up to 20!
How To Build A Framily:
Trent Hughes says that the beauty of a Framily is that no one consciously sets out to create one – it is simply a natural evolution for individuals who enjoy each others company to gravitate together as part of their everyday life.
The study reveals that you never stop creating or adapting to our Framilies as well as demonstrating just how diverse your Framily can be.
Meals As A Bonding Experience:
Evening meals appear to be the centre of the Framily day and it is clear that for the Framily, sharing the day and social interaction is the most important thing on the menu. 96% of those questioned revealed that their Framily meals are about telling stories, talking about their day and having a laugh – not preparing or experiencing time intensive, sophisticated cuisine but instead simple, tasty and hearty meals.
While 91% said that the Framily meal is eaten around the dining room table, the food needs to reflect the warmth and all embracing personality of the Framily with pasta and sauce (56%), lasagne (45%) and casserole or a stew (54%) being the top Framily meals. Over time the main meal remains the constant pulling force which simply brings Framilies together to care and share.
In conclusion – Families and Framilies, It’s The People That Matter
Trent Hughes says that Framilies are not going to replace families – they are simply a natural evolution to ensure that we all surround ourselves with people we love and who love us.
“To have family and friends who can join together to share our everyday lives – such as cooking and eating – enriches us all and make our lives enjoyable,” she says.
“This new social trend embraces our family and friends – and brings them together in one big, happy Framily.”
Notes to Editors:
• Dolmio® is a registered trademark. © Masterfoods 2006
• Research sources include:
- Survey by GFK NOP 2005
• For further media information, regional statistics or interviews with DOLMIO please contact Ketchum:
Jane Alcock - 020 7611 3508 / 07799 662293
Olivia Schwarz- 020 7611 3612 / 07775 607 378
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