In January and February 2020, market research provider Euromonitor International conducted its annual Lifestyle Survey focusing on changing consumer behaviors. The survey coverage included 40 developed and emerging countries, and while it wasn’t pet food-focused it’s worth looking at in terms of determining what kind of consumer your brand attracts and how you can best target them — or, if you’re looking to gain an additional type of consumer, how you might best go about communicating with them.
According to Euromonitor’s published results, in “Understanding the Path to Purchase: 2020 Consumer Types,” there are 11 different types of consumers, all with their own habits, priorities, and influences. They are, in order of prevalence:
The “impulsive spender” makes up the largest percentage of the global consumer base, according to Euromonitor’s survey, and they carry with them many of the traits seen in the average pet food customer. They look for curated experiences catering to their specific tastes (not unlike the majority of pet owners, who want to feel like the food they’re giving their pets has been tailored to suit the individual animal). They will pay for convenience and are willing to shop multiple platforms to find the best avenue of purchase.
But additionally, they value the money-quality balance, and like pet owners who want to do what’s best for their pets but might not be able to shop in the higher-end premium or superpremium brackets, impulsive spenders are open to purchasing private label as well as branded products if the balance is right. They’re highly willing to try new products, though, and if you can offer a cross-channel shopping experience tailored to their needs, you will likely gain the attention of the impulsive spender.
COVID-19 won’t change much about this shopper, according to Euromonitor, except when it comes to the virtual space. We all know e-commerce is seeing a pandemic-related boom that is likely to become permanent, and for a shopper who prioritizes convenience and experience, an easy-to-navigate online portal that makes your products easily accessible is likely to win their favor.
Another type of consumer who seems to have found a home in the pet food space is the “empowered activist.” These people, according to Euromonitor’s survey, are concerned with global issues and try to ensure that everything they do — including purchasing products — is in line with their values. They often seek products with green and sustainability features or claims, and nearly 70% of those surveyed in this category agreed with the statement, “I only buy from companies and brands that I trust completely.”
This group of consumers is also very active online and enjoys convenience as long as it works within their value set. They like to shop locally and know exactly what they’re buying (clean labels are a plus here), and they fully expect the companies they do business with to share their values.
COVID-19 is likely to enhance the need to buy locally and support sustainability for the empowered activist, and they are the ones you’ll find giving back to their communities … and to most appreciate you doing so, as well.
The Euromonitor survey outlines a lot of the differences among the various consumer types, but there are some very clear overlaps in what the majority of all consumers are looking for. Unsurprisingly, these are all customer demands in the pet food space: