Successful Pet Products – It’s All About the Guilt
As 2017 comes to a close and 2018 begins, it is time to do some thinking about the pet industry. The big trend that everyone is talking about is the humanization of pets.
Pet humanization is primarily described as equating pet needs with human needs, a focus on safety and environmental friendliness in pet products, and on the health and convenience benefits of pet products. A good example of a product capitalizing on this trend is Nom Nom Now: this is a home delivery of fresh, gently cooked, human-grade, USA sourced dog food. See Dear Mishu’s Nom Nom Now review here. Nom Nom Now hits all of its marks: convenience, health, safety (USA sourced rather than imported), and human-grade.
The big question is: who will buy this type of products. After all, they are not cheap. While one might expect older people to dote on their pets and to have the disposable income to do so, they are less likely to make new purchases or to humanize their pets.
The age group most likely to treat a pet as a part of the family are 18-34 year olds. The people who spend the most on their pets are also in this age group: people with puppies or adolescent dogs and parents of small children. People of this generation are used to making family purchasing decisions where health and environmental safety are key, simply because they are more concerned about environmental and food-based toxins. It is natural that they extend this thinking to making purchases for their pets.
Another interesting factor to consider is that parents of young children are more likely to see a pet (especially a dog, which generally is more demanding on one’s time than a cat) as just another task or burden rather than as something that improves their quality of life.
So we’re left with a paradox: on one hand, people in their 30s with kids are more likely to treat a pet as a member of the family and more likely to spend money on their pets. On the other hand, the pleasure that they get from their pets is probably at its lowest compared to younger people without kids or people whose children are older. This makes sense, because having young children is an especially hectic time of one’s life and if the children are too small to take on pet responsibilities, a pet ads to the business and stress.
What can pet product suppliers learn from this? That pet parents – particularly those with young children in the house – have little spare time and want to do well by their pets, and as a result often have a tremendous amount of guilt about the attention or lack thereof their pet is getting. They may seek to make up for that guilt by spending on products that treat the pet well (healthy, natural foods, for example, or specialty pet beds), and are even more likely to spend on products that also offer convenience that makes the “burden” of pet ownership a little lighter. Thus, the success of pet product delivery , subscription pet boxes, and pet food delivery!