By Robert L. Mues   |   June 18th, 2016

Happy Father’s Day! How The Law Of Economics Relates To Fathers, And Their Purchasing Habits

Our law extern, Matthew Kimmel, penned this blog article. He took an interesting “twist” on Father’s Day! It is a humorous read…

father's day beer diapersOn a family law blog, legal discussions about topics such as child custody or divorce are the norm.  However, with Father’s Day approaching, we’re going to shift all the focus towards Dad. Instead of analyzing traditional laws relating to domestic relations, the focus of this article will instead be on a “law” of economics that relates to fathers, as well as another newly emerging fatherly trend.

There are a variety of “urban legends” or tall tales that have been told time and time again throughout history and seem to take on a life of their own. I am going to discuss a tale about a marketing phenomenon targeted at fathers .  This urban legend doesn’t deal with Elvis still being alive or a foreign prince trying to give away their fortunes to you (although if anyone out there wants to step up and pay my law school debt, be my guest).  Rather, it concerns the supposed purchasing habits of fathers and marketing efforts put forth to capitalize on those habits.

Some things just go together, so it makes sense that there are significant statistics of people purchasing these items together:  milk and cereal, peanut butter and jelly, beer and diapers.  Wait, what?  The story goes that at one time, Walmart (or other big name convenience store depending on the source) conducted a study that found that the sales of diapers and beer were directly correlated.  It was rumored that on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, between 5 and 7 pm (again, depending on the source) that the sales of beer and diapers both increased, or that the two items were frequently purchased together.

The explanation was that fathers would typically be sent out to get diapers at this time, or would stop and grab them on their way home from work.  However, in addition to the diapers, they would often grab a six pack of their favorite beer as well. Why not enjoy some cold beer at home after taking on the burden of stopping at the store to buy diapers? This falls in line with the theory that once you have kids, your friends disappear and your social life is over.  Having discovered this trend, stores supposedly began to strategically place their diapers next to their beer aisles, which led to a spike in beer sales.

Although this could seem plausible, it appears as though the legend of the beer and diapers correlation has been fabricated, with the data not supporting the claim.  It was noted by one source that the data correlation did not establish the age or gender of the buyers, so it is unclear who the consumers were. There was also further evidence that the store chains did not appear to have exploited any information by moving the products around. Having been at my local Walmart over the weekend, I can attest that the beer and diapers were not that close to each other.  Feel free to look around for the location of these items the next time you’re in your local “big box” store. In addition to the sources that have dispelled the rumor, the lack of consensus on the store that supposedly discovered this correlation as well as the variance regarding days and times lends credence to those claiming that the beer and diapers relationship is a myth.

Have no fear, as another related trend concerning dads, diapers, and beer as since emerged.  In recent years, there has been an increase in the popularity of “beer and diaper parties”, “dadchelor parties”, or men’s baby showers.  These parties  can include one last big night out with the guys or a hosted party where the guests bring diapers to exchange for drinks.  It is seen as a celebration of a big milestone in the life for the father-to-be as well as a farewell of sorts to close friends since the new father’s life will likely feature more time with the baby and less time out with the guys.  This change in lifestyle can then transition into the diapers and beer grocery store trips that were previously discussed.  It’s up to you to decide if you want to make the beer and diapers relationship a real thing.

So to all the fathers out there; don’t let these “trends” go to waste.  If you’re an expecting father, have a “dadchelor” party with the guys.  If you already have children, tell your lady that you’re running out to buy diapers and grab yourself some cold ones, regardless of how old your kids are. You earned it.

Happy Father’s Day!

From everyone at Holzfaster, Cecil, McKnight & Mues – Have a Happy Father’s Day!

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Robert L. MuesAbout The Author: Robert L. Mues
Robert Mues is the managing partner of Dayton, Ohio, law firm, Holzfaster, Cecil, McKnight & Mues, and has received the highest rating from the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability. Mr. Mues is also a founding member of the "International Academy of Attorneys for Divorce over 50" blog.

Father’s Day: Dad, Diapers, and Drinks!
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