The pandemic pandemic pet adoption provides long-term opportunities for retailers and brands to wag their tails
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., July 27, 2021 – (BUSINESS WIRE) – Quotient (NYSE: QUOT), the leading digital media and advertising technology company, today released results on the pet adoption boom fueled by last year’s pandemic and what it means for brands and retailers in the coming year. In a survey of over 1,000 U.S. cat and dog owners aged 18 and over, 33% said they adopted a pet during the pandemic. To get a significant cross-section of the data, Quotient also pulled in internal social and sales data showing how consumer shopping habits for pet products had changed during the pandemic.
According to internal quotient data, dog control products – like bark control, harnesses, and soft leashes – saw sales increase 113% compared to pre-COVID as people got used to working from home with their pets. The survey shows that of the people who adopted pets during the pandemic, 52% were male and 48% were female. Additionally, the survey found that millennials (ages 24-42) were the most likely to adopt during the pandemic, with 43% contributing to the fur baby boom. While Millennials mostly adopted pets for children / other family members who had wanted one (40%), 32% of Generation Z (18-23 years old) adopted a pet to improve their mental health.
“With the introduction of furry companions during the pandemic, we saw interesting consumer buying trends for groceries, gifts, treats and more,” said Steven Boal, CEO of Quotient. “These animals have and will influence consumer purchasing behavior long after the end of the pandemic. This gives retailers and brands an opportunity to understand the ongoing needs of their customers – and their pets – and provide them with value. “
When pandemic restrictions in the US were eased, Quotient asked dog and cat owners which top 3 products they would like to spend the most money on on their pet in the next 12 months. Unsurprisingly, food (84%) and medicine / veterinary (45%) will be the biggest holes in consumer wallets. 44% of dog and cat owners also plan to pamper their pooches and kittens to buy treats. And while standard dry / wet food is the most commonly consumed pet food (80%), nearly 17% of respondents said they cook for their pet. Of those who cook for their pets, more male respondents (55%) than female respondents (45%) do so.
The story goes on
The past year has been a time when many consumers stayed home and spent less, but that didn’t necessarily apply to pet owners. Just under a sixth (16%) of respondents usually feed their dogs and cats with gourmet and / or subscription services. Younger generations are even more willing to feed their pets premium strains (21% of Millennials and Generation Z). This supports Quotient’s internal data, which also showed that pets eat premium. Sales of non-dry dog food – including wet and moist dog foods, which tend to be more expensive – has increased by 25% compared to pre-COVID.
While most pet owners expect necessities like food and health care to dominate their spending, 11% believe clothing and accessories will be the most expensive in the next 12 months. This is not surprising as 78% of respondents consider their pet to be their best friend or family member. Their love and affection lingers through the different seasons of gift giving, with nearly half (42%) of those surveyed planning to treat their pooch with a Christmas surprise. Almost as many plan to pick up a birthday present (40%). Gotcha Day is another major milestone, and respondents celebrating it plan to spend an average of $ 87 on a gift to remember the occasion. This is significantly higher than what consumers would want to spend on Christmas gifts ($ 57), Halloween costumes ($ 59), or birthday gifts ($ 62).
When asked where they usually buy their dog and / or cat, pet stores got the most responses (48%). Of baby boomers (ages 55-73), 39% shop most often from pet stores, but they also enjoy the shopping experience that large retailers offer (31%). Millennials preferred local pet shops (24%) more than any other generation.
With the increase in dog and cat adoptions during the pandemic, consumer shopping habits will change for the foreseeable future. This gives retailers and CPGs a unique opportunity to identify their customers’ new shopping needs. To learn more about this survey, visit: https://www.quotient.com/blog/quotient-survey-pandemic-pet-parents/.
The study was conducted by Censuswide of 1,017 dog and / or cat owners in the United States over the age of 18 from June 7-9, 2021. Censuswide adheres to and employs members of the Market Research Society, which is based on the ESOMAR principles.
Quotient (NYSE: QUOT) is the leading digital media and promotions technology company for advertisers, retailers and consumers. Our omnichannel platform relies on exclusive consumer spend, location and purchase intent data to reach millions of shoppers every day for measurable, incremental sales.
Quotient works with leading advertisers and retailers including Clorox, Procter & Gamble, General Mills, Unilever, Albertsons Companies, CVS, Dollar General and Peapod Digital Labs, an Ahold Delhaize USA company. Quotient is headquartered in Mountain View, California, and has offices in the United States, as well as Bangalore, Paris, London and Tel Aviv. More information is available at www.quotient.com.
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Brands2Life on behalf of Quotient