July 25, 2018

For the 12-month period ending on June 30, 2017, people spent $45.87 billion on pet products, according to John Gibbons, president of A GPS For Pet Businesses. This was an increase of $2.41 billion, or 5.5 percent, over the previous year’s spending. Pet product spending has quite an impact on the total U.S. spending, as well. For the same 12-month period, total U.S. spending was $7.58 trillion, up $320B (+4.4 percent), and pet products spending exceeded the pace of total U.S. spending, Gibbons explained in his most recent report, “Pet Products Spending by Generation: Mid-Year 2017 Update.”

Breaking down this June 2016-June 2017 spending into generations, it looks as though the younger groups are starting to be a bigger player. In fact, Generation Xers’ spending was up 2.33 billion. And while boomers still have the largest share of spending, it has decreased and is now less than the combined share of millennials and Gen X, according to Gibbons.

“Baby boomers built today’s pet industry, but they are getting old. What happens next? Most of the conversation revolves around millennials. They are obviously the future, but they are still young and a long way from spending ‘maturity.’ This means that we can’t ignore the Gen Xers. They don’t get much publicity, but they are next in line to the boomers,” Gibbons said.

Gen Xers accounted for 28.6 percent of food sales, increasing their spending by $1.11 billion from June 2015-June 2016, the report stated. This increase in spending can partly be attributed to the upgrading of food. However, the move to super premium is stemming from millennials, who had 16.9 percent of the food spending share.

For pet supplies, Gen Xers had a consistent and even stronger increase than the boomers. The two generations were the biggest drivers, accounting for $2.4 billion (93.4 percent) of the total $2.59 billion increase.

While millennials are the future of the industry (though that’s a ways off) and Gen X are next in line, the pet industry’s financial success is still heavily reliant on baby boomers.

For a full look at the report, go here.

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