Seeking Wellness, Younger Pet “Parents” Spur Pet Food Growth Trends

Billy Roberts

April 1, 2024

Key Points

  • Pet food spending increased nearly 12% over the past year, according to Circana, primarily driven by price increases. Volume sales, however, fell 2.7% YoY as consumers stretched their pet food dollar.
  • Roughly two-thirds of U.S. households have at least one pet. Spending on pet food still has considerable room to grow, both in sales and households.
  • Younger generations (Millennials and Generation Z) now are as likely to have a pet as are older generations. Among all generations, GenZ spends the second-highest percentage of their income, suggesting they are prioritizing their pets’ needs.
  • As birth rates have dropped, the perception of pets as the new kids is taking hold. Pet health/wellness is foremost on the minds of pet “parents.” Pet foods and treats are showcasing a variety of functional benefits, ranging from dental health to weight management.
  • Pet foods brands have potential to build on wellness-oriented claims resonating with younger consumers, extending into the areas of calmness, plant-based options, weight control or healthy aging.

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