The American Pet Products Association (APPA) announced the official release of its newly expanded APPA National Pet Market Opportunity Study at the 2014 Global Pet Expo. The report focuses on previous pet owners and non-pet owners (individuals who have never owned a pet) and identifies new market opportunities as well as barriers to pet ownership. The study also explores comparisons between current, previous and non-pet owning households.
One of the key findings in the survey found that there are 84.6 million US households that are current pet owners, 26.6 million US households are previous pet owners and 11.4 million households have never owned a pet.
In exploring behaviors between the three pet ownership types—current, previous and non-pet owners—there are some notable demographic differences, according to the report. Current pet owners tend to live in more rural areas, have young children at home and larger households. They report somewhat lower average household incomes, are younger and own their own single family home. Conversely, previous pet owners tend to live in mid-size markets, do not have young children at home and have the highest average household incomes. They are slightly older and live in a single-family home they own with one other person (typically their spouse). Finally, non-pet owners tend to be urban dwellers who more often live alone, rent their residence (which has a higher likelihood of being a building for three or more families) and are least likely to be married.
New to this year’s study was a look at ownership by generation. One-third of current pet owners are Baby Boomers, while another one-quarter each are Gen Y and Gen X. Only 10% of current pet owners are from the Builder generation. Previous pet owners are far more likely to be Baby Boomers (43%), followed by Gen X (21%) and Builders (20%). Gen Y makes up the smallest number of previous pet owners. The non-pet owners group is composed of one-third Baby Boomers and nearly one-third Gen X respondents. One-quarter are Gen Y and the remaining are Builders.
The report also includes the impact of current economic conditions on pet ownership, as well as the influence of TV shows/videos about pets. Media habits, leisure activities, Internet usage and care of free-roaming animals are just a few of the other topics explored, according to APPA.