Walmart, supermarket pet food shoppers pamper pets less

Walmart shoppers were more similar to those who buy pet foods from supermarkets than from pet superstores.

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(Javier Brosch |
(Javier Brosch |

Pet owners in the United States who purchased dog, cat and other animal foods at Walmart may be less likely to indulge their pets compared to shoppers at pet superstores, such as Petco and PetSmart, according to Packaged Facts’ January/February 2018 online survey. In the report “U.S Pet Market Focus: Walmart as Competitor,” Packaged Facts analysts noted that the differences in pet parenting-type behavior shouldn’t be exaggerated. However, survey results did indicate that Walmart shoppers were more similar to those who buy pet foods from supermarkets.

The online survey included approximately 2,000 people living in the United States and represented a range of ages, ethnicities, income levels and other demographic factors.

Statistical differences among pet food shoppers by retailer

Cat owners who shop at pet superstores were more likely to strongly agree that they enjoy buying products that pamper their pets. At 43 percent, this was a larger percentage than either Walmart pet food shoppers of whom 34 percent strongly agreed or supermarket shoppers at 33 percent.

The survey revealed similar numbers in the percentages of shoppers who strongly agreed that they were willing to pay more for healthier pet products. Thirty-three percent of pet owners who shop at Walmart strongly agreed with the statement that they are willing to pay more for products that are healthier for their pets. Similarly, 34 percent of supermarket pet food shoppers strongly agreed with the statement. On the other hand, 44 percent of pet superstore shoppers strongly agreed.

Among cat owners who shop at pet superstores, sixty-two somewhat or strongly agreed that concerns over pet food contamination and product safety were key considerations in the cat food they bought. That figured dropped to 57 percent among supermarket cat food buyers and 55 percent for those who purchased cat food at Walmart.

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