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Pet Food Market Trends
On March 9, 2016

How millennial pet owners are changing the industry

Millennials are integrating their pets into their daily lives as a matter of course—and influencing the pet market while they’re at it.

If Millennials (those age 18–34) are the thoroughly modern pet owners, what do their distinctive attitudes and behaviors indicate about the future of the pet products industry?

First and foremost, that pet ownership remains highly desirable. Nearly two-thirds of Millennials (62%) are pet owners, and even among those who aren’t, a fair share (43%) hope to have a pet in the future. Moreover, pet pampering is probably far from peaking. About two-thirds (64%) of Millennial pet owners indicate that they are spending more on pet products than they used to, compared with only half (49%) of pet owners age 35 or over (see Table 1). Similarly, 52% of Millennial pet owners claim that they would rather spend money on pet products than buy things for themselves, compared with only 39% of pet owners in the older brackets. To whatever degree that stated preference is borne out at cash registers, the propensity to pamper pets continues on the upswing.

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Collectively, Millennial pet parents are a significant pet product market driver, seeming more apt to spend money on their pets and be more active in integrating their pets into their daily lives.

Much of the pampering instinct among pet parents will be directed toward pet foods perceived as natural, safer and more values-driven. Two-thirds (64%) of Millennial pet parents make a priority of buying pet food with natural ingredients, compared with half (48%) of pet owners in older age brackets. Moreover, over half of Millennial pet parents actively factor food safety…

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