The largest pet-owning demographic group in the United States, the millennials, buys pet food in different ways and from different retailers than previous generations. Data collected by GFK reflects the changing pet food retail trends influenced by millennials, said Natasha Davis, client service manager for GfK and self-identified millennial, during her presentation at Petfood Forum 2018. (see infographic below)
“So, why is the millennial group so important?” Davis said. “Well since 2014, millennials have made up the largest pet owning population in the US. Which means that we make up the majority of the purchases at the counter.”
Market research on millennial pet food purchases
GFK’s market researchers asked a representative nationwide sample of the US population about where they purchase their pet food. While millennials still follow some pet food shopping patterns established by their parents, the group also diverged in ways that may shape the future of pet food retailing.
“We asked millennials, ‘where do you purchase your pet food?’ and we give them the options to select as many locations that applied,” she said. “You’ll see from the chart that the majority of millennial still shop at the grocery store or pet specialty but this group of pet owners is seven percent more likely to shop online than any other generation.”
The top four locations where millennials purchase pet food were:
- Discount stores
Millennials also reported purchasing pet food at wholesale retailers, vet clinics and other pet specialty stores.
“Three years ago they became the largest pet owning population and when we look at our data over the last three years in pet specialty, we noticed a shift in dollar sales, in poundage sales and new premium trends in innovation,” Davis said.