Brakke Consulting Inc., an animal health industry consulting and research firm, and Trone Brand Energy, a pet category advertising and marketing insights company, have completed their latest research project, the Changing Pet Ownership Study. This study offers deeper insight into the three separate generations of current and future pet owners. The research also provides implications to veterinarians and the pet industry as a whole.
Key findings include:
- Baby boomers have driven the private veterinary practice to what it is today. However, the boomer generation is beginning to phase out and newer generations of pet owners have modified value systems and needs.
- The overall pet category is strong, but traditional veterinary practice models will require change. While overall category spending is not expected to change, the spending will be far more diversified. This study points to a number of different veterinary care models that are preferred in the near future.
- There are fewer differences between Hispanic and non-Hispanic pet owners than you might think. The millennial generation is especially similar across ethnic lines. The largest differences seen in various groups were in the older Boomer generation. It appears that generational differences will be the key driver of future pet owner needs.
- As business models evolve, diversification of trusted channels and resources will continue to expand. Millennials trust their veterinarian, but do not have the same level of trust that their predecessors (boomers) did. New information sources are more important to millennials and the industry needs to support these new channels.
- The pet industry and associated veterinary care must embrace change. This study has identified changes that will be important in the future especially for private practices. The traditional bricks and mortar model will require diversification of offerings.
“Pet owners are evolving and veterinarians, manufacturers and retailers must embrace this transformation to stay relevant and prosper,” said Doug Barton, president of Trone Brand Energy. “Implications found in this research lead to the need for transparency from the veterinary community, embracing technology and developing products and delivery methods that meet the needs of the new pet owner, not just the pet’s health.”