Quotient, the leading digital media and promotions technology company, has released findings around the pet adoption boom fueled by the pandemic over the last year, and what it means for brands and retailers in the year ahead. In a survey of over 1,000 US cat and dog owners aged 18+, 33 percent noted that they adopted a pet during the pandemic. Quotient also pulled internal social and sales data revealing how consumers’ shopping habits for pet items during the pandemic had changed.
According to internal Quotient data, as people settled in to working from home with their pets, dog control products – such as bark control, harnesses, and gentle leads – saw a 113 percent increase in sales compared to pre-COVID. The survey shows that of the people who adopted pets during the pandemic, 52 percent were male and 48 percent were female. Additionally, the survey revealed that Millennials were the most likely to adopt during the pandemic, with 43 percent contributing to the fur baby boom. While Millennials mainly adopted pets for children/other family members who had been wanting one (40 percent), 32 percent of Gen Z adopted a pet to boost their mental health.
As pandemic restrictions eased across the US, Quotient asked dog and cat owners what top three items they plan to spend the most money on for their pet over the next 12 months. To no surprise, food (84 percent) and medicine/veterinary care (45 percent) are expected to cause the biggest hole in consumers’ wallets. 44 percent of dog and cat owners are also planning to pamper their pooches and kitties with the intent to purchase treats. And while standard dry food/wet food reigns supreme as the pet food most commonly eaten (80 percent), almost 17 percent of respondents noted that they cook for their pet. Of those who cook for their pet, more male respondents (55 percent) than female respondents (45 percent) do this.
“Gotcha day” (anniversary) is another important milestone and respondents who will celebrate it plan to spend an average of $87 on a gift to commemorate the occasion. This is notably higher than the amount of money consumers plan to spend on holiday gifts ($57), Halloween costumes ($59), or birthday gifts ($62). When asked where they usually shop for their dog and/or cat, pet superstores received the greatest number of responses (48 percent). Of Baby Boomers, 39 percent shop at pet superstores the most, but they also enjoy the shopping experience that big box retailers provide (31 percent). Millennials preferred local, boutique pet stores (24 percent) more than any other generation.
“With the adoption of furry companions during the pandemic, we found interesting consumer purchase trends for food, gifts, treats and more,” said Steven Boal, CEO of Quotient. “These animals have already and will continue to influence consumers’ purchasing behavior long after the pandemic is over. This provides retailers and brands with the opportunity to identify and provide value for the ongoing needs of their customers—and their pets.”
Visit here for more information about this survey.