Choosing pet food
Pets are often considered part of the family and this explains why pet owners will go the extra mile to see to it that these pets are well-fed, and cared for. This among other factors has influences the purchasing patterns of pet owners.
The Humanization of Pets
- Pet owners have humanized their pets and this has influenced their purchasing patterns. Dog owners, for instance, are likely to buy expensive food, not only for themselves but also for their dogs. This is also influenced by the fact that these pet owners are more concerned about the health of their pets.
- Several studies have been carried out to establish the connection between humanization of pets and expenditure. A US study, for instance, revealed that pet owners who are attached to their pets not only invest in more vet visits but will also invest in the emotional wellness of their pets.
- This study further revealed that pet owners that consider their pets as family members are willing to spend and accrue financial costs to keep their animals alive. As a result, these consumers are driving the exponential growth of pet cremation business and cemeteries. There are over 500 pet cemeteries in the US today.
- More research shows that pet humanization has increased the pet food expenditure, in addition to various pet care products.
- Consumer patterns are always evolving and these changing behaviors have fueled and expanded the pet nutrition segment. Today, more households pwn pets, and even seasoned pet owners are prioritizing their pets as part of the family.
- Studies revealed that 68% of American households owned a pet in 2018. The survey further indicates that 76% of pet owners considered pets as a family member.
- With millennials blogging and posting pictures of their pets, the demands and pressure to give pets a better life continue to increase. Thus, pet owners are mirroring their lifestyles on their animals. This includes dietary preferences and supplement subscription, among others.
- In 2018, it was estimated by the Pet Obesity Prevention Association that 56% of dogs and 60% of cats in American households were obese.
- With these statistics in mind, more pet owners have prioritized health and wellness, active nutrition and weight management for their pets, and this is transitioning the purchasing behavior, especially in the pet health industry.
- The fact that pets in most American households are becoming obese, also proves that their owners are overfeeding their pets, just to keep them happy. Through nutritional intervention, these problems can be addressed, but at a cost and this continues to influence purchasing patterns among pet owners.
The market Place
- Over the years, the pet nutrition market has continued to grow and through current trends such as humanizing pets and preimmunization, the market is expected to grow even more significantly.
- Innovation in the pet nutrition market has been influenced by the role of pets in American households. Pet owners continue to be more aware of the products and ingredients used to manufacture their pets’ food. This concern by pet owners comes from the need to care for their pets through a healthy and long life.
- After manufacturers learned that more pet owners are more concerned about their pets, more pet food companies and manufacturers are differentiating themselves through innovation, to exploit the marketplace. However, these manufacturers are also restricted by safety and transparency regulations.
- Trends have undeniably influenced consumer habits and patterns, among pet owners. For instance, dog owners may meet during dog walks, in dog parks and other dog shows and events. During these events, these owners may discuss things such as dog commodities, and other popular pet trends.
- Online platforms have also continued to escalate the trends. For instance, various pet pages connect pet owners and make them feel like part of a community. This can help in spreading trends among dog owns, for instance.
- Websites such as "For the Love of Dog," which discuss all matters dogs in terms of breeds, region-specific, and product-specific, have continued to influence consumer behavior and patterns, among pet owners.
Age of Pet Owner
- Pet owners who have experience in living with pets have different reasoning compared to new-time pet owners. For instance, most boomers in the US may be considered seasoned pet owners compared to millennials, who mostly own pets for the first time.
- Pet owners under 40 have raised interest among pet industry marketers, because, even though they are yet to reach their ideal earning capacity, they are spending significantly on pet products and services.
- The market research also shows that 37 million millennial pet owners, constitute 27% of overall pet owners. More studies, however, reveal that there are substantial pet food and product opportunities among older pet owners. In the past decade, it was established that pet owners between 55 and 74 years, also known as Baby Boomers, have also had a growth of pet ownership moving to 54%, from 50%.
Age of Pets
- Compared to the older generation, millennials own younger pets that require more care and attention. Studies show that pet owners aged 25-39, are likely to keep younger pets acquired recently.
- The combination of recently acquired puppies or kittens, in turn, creates the need for millennial pet owners to have an urgent need for more propensity. This can influence buying habits that include purchasing a wide variety of pet products.
- Other than adopting young pets, the research further indicates that the millennials are not limited to just cats and dogs, as one in three pet owners has other varying pets such as fish, hamsters, rabbits, birds, and gerbils, among others.
Growth of Childless Families
- Today, more families are opting to lead a childless life due to various personal reasons. This has, in turn, increased the need to not only own a pet, but to treat it as a baby. Married couples, without children, for instance, are proof of how consumer behavior has continued to change among pet owners.
- Studies show that married couples without children are more likely to not only become dog owners but also spend money buying products to pamper their dogs, as they would children.
- As this trend continues, marketers continue to position their products and services to take advantage of this trend. These marketers aim to attract more indulgent pet owners through a wide variety of dog care products.
Dog Owners Versus Cat Owners
- Research has been established that cat owners have a lower income compared to dog owners. However, the former category tends to spend more on their pets compared to the latter. Dog owners spend more of their pet budget on food and treats, as well as prescriptions, while cat owners splurge more on an assortment of pet supplies, mostly cat litter.
- Studies reveal that cat owners tend to buy their pet purchases in bulk, compared to dog owners. Dog owners are more of small-item shoppers. These shopping habits have consequences on the stores shopped, whether online or physical pet stores.
- Dog owners are more likely to shop online, compared to cat owners. This explains why dog supply online stores are more successful and among the best performing pet category on virtual platforms. Dog supplies comprise three times more overall share when it comes to pet sales digital platforms.
- Categories such as food and treats, for both cats and dogs, make up the larger category, both online and offline.