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Younger Generations Spending More on Pets


November 29, 2017

According to John Gibbons of A GPS for Pet Businesses, $67.29 billion was spent on companion animals in 2016. Despite increases in three industry segments, overall pet spending fell $0.46 billion (-0.7 percent) in 2016, Gibbons reported in “2016 U.S. Pet Spending by Generation – The Younger Groups Step Up!”

“Our initial analysis indicated that much of the decrease can be attributed to pet parents value shopping for premium pet food,” Gibbons wrote in recently released report. “This shopping behavior which is so heavily driven by price has implications for all industry segments and retail channels. We will continue to monitor the situation and dig deeper into the pet spending demographics.”

Not only is overall pet spending slightly down, but so is the amount that baby boomers are spending in the industry. While the generation still dominates pet spending, its share has fallen from 47.5 percent in 2015 to 44.0 percent in 2016, according to the report.

In fact, the three oldest generations lost 4.4 percent in market share, but that was picked up by the millennials, +2.6 percent and Gen Xers, +1.8 percent.

“In terms of 2016 performance, it was all about the younger crowd,” Gibbons wrote. “Millennials and Gen Xers were up $2.79B. The older groups spent $3.25B less. Also, although boomer spending is up minimally, $0.14B since 2014, it was the $3.32B increase by millennials and Gen Xers that has fueled the industry’s growth over that period.”

For a full breakdown of how the generations spent within the pet industry, read Gibbons’ report here.

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