Americans don’t see their close family anymore


One in four Americans have a close family member they haven’t seen in over ten years, according to new research.

A new study of 2,000 people delved into the tradition of family reunions and holiday get-togethers to identify how families stay in touch. The results? Americans want more family time.

Of those polled, 22 percent have never had a proper family reunion and 74 percent sadly felt that they had a close family member they had lost touch with that they’d like to be reunited with.

An infographic about family reunions

The study, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Pit Boss Grills, aims to get Americans firing up the grill this fall and reuniting with family over great food.

Currently, only 68 percent of those polled have ever managed to conduct a proper family reunion — but 28 percent say they get everybody together each and every year.

In today’s hustle-and-bustle world, catching up with extended family can be difficult, but folks value family time and are looking forward to reuniting. In fact, more than 58 percent of Americans reported being excited and looking forward to the opportunity to gather everyone together.

Reunions and family parties are also historically a hotbed for great food, and it’s nearly impossible to picture one without seeing a big plate of corn on the cob. The clear majority of respondents (87 percent) feel that food is important in bringing the family together. In fact, 48 percent even reported expecting to eat way too much food.

“Gathering around the grill is the perfect way to bring the family together,” said Jeff Thiessen, president of Pit Boss Grills. “Whether you’re making burgers or preparing your Thanksgiving meal on the grill, you’re making memories together, preparing something that can be shared and that’s special.”

Nearly every respondent agreed that good food was “essential” to a good family party (84 percent), with grilling (42 percent) and games (33 percent) also the most popular essential activities at any get-together.

An infographic about family reunions

What do people expect beyond good grub at family get-togethers? Chats reminiscing about old times (50 percent), and some good, old-fashioned awkward politics banter (28 percent).

Let’s not forget those awkward conversations either. The average American endures six awkward jokes at a family get-together with uncles taking home the crown of “worst joke tellers.” Strange questions aren’t exempt either as Americans also report being asked two awkward questions about their love life.

An infographic about family reunions

Whether you’re firing up the grill for a football tailgate or getting ready for the holidays, family bonding is a staple of the season and grilling is the best way to make that happen. Don’t be part of the statistic that’s missing family this season, fire up the grill and host an event that will bring the family together.

“We are social beings, and not only does food bring us together, it keeps us together,” continued Thiessen. “Our entire lineup of Pit Boss grills allows for every family to create great food that keeps people coming back together. This holiday season we encourage everyone to fire up the grill and bring those you love the most together.”

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