Having children is a natural progression for most people. Find a job, find a significant other, have an extravagant wedding or two and, finally, expand the franchise with a few kids. For Millennials, a new trend in this cycle is emerging. Millennials are subbing in woofers for kids at a staggering rate. A study from Gale, a business solutions agency, shows that 44 percent of individuals from the most glorious of generations view their pets as practice for eventual child rearing. The Washington Post reported that three-fourths of people in their 30s own a dog or a cat.
What does this mean for retailers?
Kibbles are worth their weight in gold. Seriously. These dog and cat owners are looking for healthy, high-end foods to pamper their puppers and grandpa’s bag o’ biscuits isn’t making the cut. From Netflix documentaries that uncover unhealthy and sometimes dangerous truths about popular pet food brands to transitions to raw food diets for pets, dogs and cats are trending out of the “temporary part of our lives” category and tracking their dirty paws all over the area that our 2.5 children should be occupying.
They’re getting social with these brands as well.
If Fido’s daily dose of grass-fed, cage-free, nuclear powered jet fuel doesn’t live up to the hype, expect to see feedback on social media channels. Ninety percent of Millennials have a social media presence and the messages/products that brands showcase WILL be seen by interested parties.
Small batch bakeries are popping up that cater to healthy snacks for pets, marketing of dog and cat food is mimicking popular soda brands and cost is overlooked in favor of quality, health and presentation. These shoppers are more conscious of allergies and weight fluctuations in their pets than previous generations, leading to higher spending on BPA-free, natural, organic and hypoallergenic products.
Millennials make up 35 percent of the population and are following dog food trends like blue chip stocks on Wall Street, it’s time to give ‘em what they’re asking for.