Pet Care is Recession-Proof

BY Rachel Cagle
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With more Americans adopting pets instead of having children as well as caring for their furry friends as if they were their own offspring, pet care has proven to be recession-​proof. More than three quarters of Americans own a pet and they continue to spend more on their fur babies each year, especially when it comes to healthy pet food.

"Pet care is a rapidly growing $75 billion industry, with pet food sales up more than six percent versus last year," said Colin Stewart, Executive Vice President, Business Intelligence at Acosta. "With this growth, we're seeing spending behaviors shift to reflect more hassle-​free buying options and more interest in healthy options for their pets that include real, natural ingredients."

Acosta's research provides insight into pet ownership by generation as well as purchasing habits and factors that drive decision-​making when it comes to pet food. A healthy diet is a considerable part of pet care. And pet care is recession-proof.

  • Pet ownership is most common among millennials and members of Gen X, with 59% of households across both of these generations owning at least one dog.
  • Millennials are also the generation most likely to own more than one dog (42% of households).
  • Dog owners want real and natural ingredients to make up their beloved pet's food, especially millennial dog owners.
  • Shoppers primarily purchase pet food at either mass or pet retailers. Also, shopping for their pet's needs at several different retailers is a common practice among dog owners. In fact, 32% of dog owners reported shopping at four or more retailers.
  • In the past year, grocery retailers have grown pet food dollars (+5%), while food sales for pet retailers are in decline (-1.7%). This change in spending location is primarily due to the fact that premium brands have entering grocery stores. This entrance makes it more convenient for pet owners to purchase food at their local groceries stores instead of making a special trip to a nearby pet store, which saves time, gas, and wear and tear on their vehicles. Additionally, pet food prices at grocery stores are often comparable or even lower than those available at pet stores.
  • eCommerce is surging. In the past year, 54% of millennials chose to purchase their food and supplies for their dogs online instead of in a store, cutting back on time and the effort it takes to lug potentially heavy and cumbersome bags of dog food around the store, to the car, and then into their homes.

Advertising How Pet Care is Recession-Proof

With many Dog Owners purchasing food online, it only makes sense to put advertisements for healthier dog food options there, as well. According to AudienceSCAN, last year, these consumers took action after seeing ads on social networks, seeing sponsored search results and ads on daily deals sites such as Groupon.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. In addition, AdMall contains industry profiles on pet stores and pet food producers, as well as lead lists at the local level. Media companies, sales reps and agencies can access this data with a subscription to AdMall from SalesFuel.