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Time to Spoil our Furry Friends: The State of Pet Retail in 2022 

Thanks to the boom in pet ownership brought on by the pandemic, US pet owners will spend nearly $110B on their pets this year​. How will they spend this money on Bark Ruffalo and Pico de Gato? This Trend Time has the insights your brand needs to help reach pet owners, create awareness, and capture market share.  

Meredith Cunningham Published: August 18, 2022

As the saying goes, “there’s a special place in heaven for animal lovers.” Thanks to the pandemic, the number of animal lovers – and pet owners – has grown as more families added loyal companions, mental health supporters, and furry friends to their brood.  

In fact, it’s not surprising that 67% of Americans own pets, which means 85 million families have at least one pet in the household. As a result, US pet owners will spend nearly $110B on their pets this year. Additionally, the total revenue of the pet store industry was $22.1b in 2021, with a projected annual growth of +1.2% by 2026.​ 

Pet owners are sparing no expense for their pets this year. Though pets gain a lot of goodies, this is also beneficial for those who own businesses in the pet industry as well. ​Let’s chow down and learn more about these pet owners and how they plan to spend this money on their fur babies.  

Pet Owners as a Target Audience 

Research from Pet Keen shows that millennials are the largest generation of pet owners, as 35% (one in three) of all the generation has an animal at home. They’re followed by 32% of Gen Z, and 27% of Baby Boomers. To top it off, roughly 65% of 16 to 34-year-olds plan to add a pet to their family in the next five years.​ 

Pet Owners’ Preferences: Keeping Pets Healthy 

Not only have Americans become more health-conscious about themselves in recent years, but also there has been an increased focus on health and wellness for our animal companions. After all, ​pet owners also want to keep their furry friends around as long as possible.   

New IRI research reveals that consumers are comfortable investing in healthy food for them but also want to ensure that their pets enjoy their meals. ​ 

  • In neighborhood pet stores, 70% of their sales come from natural, specialty, and wellness products. ​
     
  • More than half of consumers shopping for pet food consider health and nutritional standards before purchasing, while 46% consider pets’ taste preferences. ​ 
  • Many pet owners anticipate different pet needs throughout the next year, with about 1 in 5 planning to buy different treats for their pets​. 

CBD Supplements  

​Just like how people have been increasingly integrating CBD topical and consumable products in our daily regimes, this supplement is also making an appearance in the pet industry for joint pain and anxiety. Pet owners want to ensure their cats and dogs are as comfortable and pain-free as possible. The IRI also found 

  • 32% of CBD sales came from vitamins and supplements 
  • 68% came from treats​ 

Pet Accessories: Get Ready for Howl-O-Ween 

During 2022-2025, the pet accessories market is expected to grow by $9.2 billion, which shows that the increased spending in the pet industry is not limited to health and wellness. Consumers are also allocating a lot of money to ensure their pets are ready for any occasion – especially Halloween. Pet Keen estimates $490 million will be spent on pet Halloween costumes alone.  

Don’t Bite the Mailman​ 

When shopping for their pets, 44% of pet owners purchase their products online, thanks to good value and free shipping. Additionally, Pet Keen found:  

  • Roughly 40% of pet owners buy their pet food and treats online. 
  • ​Over 86% of pet owners said they will continue to buy their pet products online and through subscription services in the future. ​ 

How Should Your Brand Reach Pet Owners?  

Data from MRI Simmons shows that 64% of retail consumers watch local TV news, and 19% are likely to be influenced by TV ads. Additionally: 

  • 39% are likely to be influenced by display ads 
  • 32% are likely to be influenced by video ads 
  • 20% are likely to be influenced by native ads 

 Sound Good?  

With 64 broadcast stations in 51 markets across the country, TEGNA has a unique ability to reach pet owners across Linear TV, OTT streaming, and digital solutions. We work with 3,000+ retail brands like yours looking to reach target audiences. If your brand wants to reach pet owners, now is the perfect time to amplify your creative ideas with TEGNA. Contact us to learn how we can help teach your brand-new tricks.

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