Heightened spending on pets, including durable pet products as well as pet foods and consumables, is the result of two overarching factors: affluent households accounting for most pet spending and the nearly universal “pets as family” mindset.
Long a key market driver behind the pricier fare underpinning much of the pet industry’s dollar growth, higher-income households have been better equipped to handle the coronavirus, including by being broadband-connected and able to work from home, able to shelter at home comfortably due to larger living spaces, and able to tap into savings and other financial fallbacks as the need arises.
Even before pandemic-related financial insecurity, loss of human contact, and anxiety over personal health increased Americans’ dependence on pets for companionship and comfort, a large majority of pet owners considered their pets to be full-fledged family members. In Packaged Facts’ January 2022 Survey of Pet Owners, 92%-96% of pet owners agreed that they “consider [their] pets to be part of the family.”
On top of being family members, pets are at the heart of the home for most pet owners. Among dog owners, 90% agree that pets are central to their home life, with 87% of cat owners and 85% of other pet owners agreeing to the same. This level of devotion indicates how thoroughly pets have been incorporated into the daily lives of pet owners, impacting not only what they purchase but what they do and where they go. The increasing importance of pets in the home has a pronounced impact in the durable pet products market, where so many of the products can be considered household furnishings or expressions of personal style, such as beds, bowls/waterers, and crates/pens.
The “pets as family” attitude has grown to such an extent that it is now accepted as a given among both pet owners and marketers alike.
For more information, see the newly published report Durable Dog and Cat Pet Care Products in the U.S., 4th Edition.
About the blogger: Shannon Brown is a Senior Analyst and Consultant focusing on the U.S. pet market for Packaged Facts.