Study: Pet owner nutrition beliefs fall into three types

Pet marketing agency explores connections between pet nutrition beliefs and products purchased.

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Photo by Yastremska |
Photo by Yastremska |

A recent national study showed distinct connections between pet owners’ attitudes and beliefs toward pet nutrition, and the products they purchased, according to Doug Barton, CEO of Trone, a pet marketing agency.

Barton is set to speak at Petfood Forum 2023 and share more information pertaining to the study.

“After applying a multivariate analysis, Trone identified three distinct category-engaged pet parent nutrition segments with differences in behaviors, beliefs and shopping preferences,” said Barton. “Two of these pet food shopper segments reported high levels of confidence in their own management of their pet’s nutrition. This encompassed multiple dimensions such as their ability to maintain their pet’s weight and diet to how they felt their veterinarian would rate their management of their pet’s nutrition. Brand loyalty and products purchased were quite different between these two segments.”

A newly engaged audience classified as “The Hopeful Explorers” represents a new opportunity for pet food, treat and supplement manufacturers to connect with consumers who are not as confident in their understanding of pet nutrition, according to Barton.

While the pet owner nutritional beliefs, values and purchase behavior is nothing new to the pet industry, it is something pet food, treat and supplement manufacturers will want to keep an eye on. These beliefs are always changing.

“Understanding pet parents’ view on nutrition will lead to better health for pets and help manufacturers better target and reach their key customers,” said Barton.

Future research on consumer input

Trone plans to launch a second wave of study in 2023 to explore and identify pet owner nutritional segments more in depth.

“We anticipate some evolution to occur due to inflation and other factors,” said Barton. “It is important to track and understand this evolution over time.”

Petfood Forum

Petfood Forum brings together pet food professionals from around the world to network, exchange ideas and move business forward with one another and with the industry's leading pet food manufacturers and suppliers.

The in-person event delivers the opportunity to learn about pet nutrition and ingredients, global pet food market growth, pet food safety, processing, packaging and more, all from leading, recognized pet food industry experts.

To register for Petfood Forum, visit

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