It seems interest in rewarding, and even spoiling, pets may be encouraging higher spending on treats among American pet owners. New research from Mintel reveals that sales of pet treats have outpaced both dog and cat food over the last five years, with treats sales increasing by 29 percent between 2012-17 to reach $4.39 billion. Meanwhile, dog food sales grew eight percent between 2012-17 to reach $11.8 billion, while cat food sales increased 11 percent to reach $6.83 billion during the same timeframe.
“Salt therapy, also known as halotherapy, a venerable treatment in Central Europe and Asia, is now being offered at spas, resorts and stand-alone facilities in the United States in the form of salt beds, salt rooms and salt booths,” The New York Times reports. “Floors and walls that are lined with salt blocks and salt crystals, and zero-gravity chairs (recliners designed to relax the back), are the norm.
Although gambling on professional sports is illegal in most states, one in five fans have placed a bet and 73 percent of those who did so said it made watching the games more interesting, according to the results of a national UMass Lowell-Washington Post poll.
With more people celebrating, Americans will splurge on costumes, candy and pumpkins for a record $9.1 billion in Halloween spending this year, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. The figure is up 8.3 percent from last year’s previous record of $8.4 billion.
The Lennox Home Energy Report Survey finds homeowners are making the grade when it comes to energy efficiency. The research demonstrates the importance of energy efficiency for keeping comfort levels high and bills low – the majority of homeowners would opt to remove garments to avoid calling an A/C repairman if their cooling systems stopped working.
The next step for a successful single- to two-unit restaurant, an independent restaurant, is to grow into a micro-chain of three to 19 units. Although total independent restaurant unit counts have declined by 4 percent from a year ago, micro-chain units are increasing in major U.S. cities, reports The NPD Group, a global information company.
Hotel and tourist area restaurants have been open on Thanksgiving for years, but consumer demand is pushing more local eateries and chains to open, experts who study the industry are saying.
According to global information provider The NPD Group, through the end of July 2017, print travel books have experienced 2 percent growth in unit sales, and an overall compound annual growth rate of 1 percent from 2014 to 2016 in the U.S. This is a notable turnaround after a steep 44 percent decline from 2010-2014, and proof that readers are returning to print guidebooks even in the digital age.
Mintel’s Winter Holiday Shopping U.S. 2017 market report reveals that iGeneration winter holiday shoppers are the most likely (42 percent) to say they like to shop in stores on Black Friday, nearly double the amount of holiday shoppers overall (23 percent).
“Millennials, as it turns out, do want a home of their own—if only so their dogs are more comfortable,” the American Kennel Club reports. In spite of reports that Generation Y is avoiding purchasing homes, a report by CNN Money showed millennials (and their pooches) were the largest group of homebuyers in 2016.
People 55 and older own 53 percent of U.S. owner-occupied houses, the biggest share since the government started collecting data in 1900, according to real estate website Trulia. That’s up from 43 percent a decade ago. Those ages 18 to 34 possess just 11 percent. When they were that age, baby boomers had homes at almost twice that level.
“Investing is different and more involved today than ever before,” Jordan Kasteler writes for Inc.com. “Savvy investors who are planning for retirement should be aware of the evolving landscape. The following are three significant economic trends that will change financial planning for consumers in 2017.”