Recent studies have concluded that millennials have overtaken baby boomers as the largest and most attentive pet-owning generation in the country. In addition to loving their pets, millennials are also far more likely to pay more for food, treats, and toys – with many driven to serve organic, gluten-free, and free-range goodies to their beloved cats and dogs. Why has there been such a shift in the produce we buy for our pets?
According to Packaged Facts Research Director, David Sprinkle, millennials are spurred on by the personal values held by the products they buy. In an article for The Boston Globe, Sprinkle quoted the ingredients that many pet parents now look for when they buy food which include kale, blueberries, and pumpkin. Shoppers are also drawn to products that are organic, natural, and holistic in the hopes of feeding their pets with the same foods we often strive to eat ourselves. As well as hoping to mirror their own diets, millennials are often influenced by marketing and the safety concerns that surround mass-produced pet food. How many times have you heard about a product recall, or read an article questioning the health and safety of ingredients used in pet foods? When it comes to ensuring the very best for our pets, the lists of chemicals and additives that haunt pet food labels are enough to turn anyone's stomach.
Last year U.S. pet parents spent $5.4 billion on natural pet foods, which amounted to some 69% of food sales. A survey conducted by Packaged Facts found that many young people regard having a pet akin to raising a child – they don’t mind spending more to make sure that their four-legged baby is well cared for. It seems the trend is for pets to eat as humans would want to, and the marketing teams for big food brands have cottoned on to the fact.
Do you agree with feeding your pet the same foods that you'd eat? Do you pay over the odds to ensure that your furry companion's food is holistic, organic, and gluten-free? We'd love to hear from our own readers!