Mother’s Day this year, on May 11, brought a new update to the rather predictable greeting card scene: cards for families with two moms. Consumer reactions to this happening will likely predict the upcoming cards available for Father’s Day, which rolls around on June 15.
The update came from one of the country’s largest card retailers, Hallmark Cards. The company had two cards specifically made for same-sex families. One read, “Moms are second to none,” with the inside reading, “How does anyone ever get by with just one?” Another is for a mother to give to another mother using the phrasing, “for my partner.”
Many cards made for mother’s day, of course, do not differentiate what type of relationship mothers are in, if indeed they are even in a relationship at all. Hallmark’s decision to openly appeal to these families, though, represents a turning point in the card industry — an industry that is always looking for more opportunities to celebrate.
According to the industry’s trade group, the Greeting Card Association, these cards are a sign of changing perceptions and demands on the part of consumers. The market for cards catering to LGBTQ communities is growing, and quickly. Already, Hallmark and American Greetings have cards celebrating same-sex anniversaries and weddings.
Brandon Ruiz, an analyst at IBISWorld, sees this as a good move on Hallmark’s part. “They’ve been the trend-setter in the industry,” he points out, when it comes to adopting cards for specific familial situations like stepmothers.
It might also be an effort to make amends as well. Last year, Hallmark angered some consumers when it changed the lyrics of “Deck the Halls” on its Christmas ornaments, changing the word “gay” to “fun.” They later apologized for this move, claiming no desire to “make political statements with their products.” While some, like the Illinois Family Institute, issued objections to the new cards, most consumers were happy to accept them as part of a new marketplace model friendly to all family types.