The past decade of US pet ownership demographic data reveal that Generation X was a lost opportunity for the pet food industry, reported David Sprinkle, publisher and research director at market analysis firm Packaged Facts, in Petfood Industry.
The statistics in the Simmons spring 2016 national consumer survey showed how much opportunity for the pet food industry may have been lost among Generation X pet owners, wrote Sprinkle. Although the US population of dog- or cat-owning households increased significantly over the past 10 years, the number of Generation X pet owners declined.
1. Generation X dog ownership declined
The number of dog-owning households with adults in the Generation X age group declined by 1.5 million (or 12%) compared to 2006. Generation X is currently aged 35 to 49 and sandwiched between the larger and much-marketed-to Boomer and Millennial generational peaks.
In 2006, there were 12.9 million Generation X households with dogs. That number declined to 11.4 million by 2016.
2. Lost potential Generation X dog households
Over the last decade, had Generation X dog owners followed the average pattern of the other generational cohorts, there would be 7.7 million additional dog-owning households in the US. Generation X dog owners would have numbered 19.1 million, rather than 11.4 million.
3. Cat ownership declined in Generation X
The same trend holds for Generation X cat owners. The number of cat-owning households with adults age 35 to 49 declined by 14% between 2006 and 2016.
Ten years ago, 9.2 Generation X households had cats. By 2016, there were only 7.9 million cat-owning households with Generation X adult members.
4. Lost potential Generation X cat households
If Generation X cat owners followed the average pattern of the other generations for cat ownership over the last ten years, there would be 2.7 million additional cat-owning households. That would mean 10.6 million Generation X cat owners, rather than 7.9 million.