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New Study to Reveal Changes in US Pet Owner Attitudes and Behaviors

Starting in 2012, researchers, veterinarians and media outlets began to debate the impact of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis on the future of pet ownership.

Initial reports revealed declining US pet ownership. Yet, within the past two years, new data suggests growing pet ownership among the largest generational segment known as Millennials (Americans born between 1980-1995) as well as with Hispanic populations. The only certainty surrounding the future of pet ownership is that understanding the implications of the changing pet owner will be critical to the future success of the pet care and supply industries—including veterinarians, retailers and manufacturers.

Trone Brand Energy partnered with the foremost animal health industry consulting and research firm, Brakke Consulting, Inc., to field an exhaustive pet care industry study to examine the generational differences toward shifting US pet ownership attitudes, lifestyles and purchasing behaviors of Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers to better understand the implications on the future of pet ownership. Additionally, this study will include a significant sampling of Hispanic pet owners to explore shared and differentiating attitudes, perceptions and behaviors.

Keys areas of exploration will include:

Motivations for or against pet ownership

  • Current lifestyle and upcoming life stage changes
  • Past pet ownership experience
  • Level of pet ownership desire vs. intent
  • Factors impacting decision to own or not to own a pet

Criteria for selecting a specific pet

  • Emotional versus rational pet selection differences

Influencers, information sources and purchasing behaviors

  • Sources of pet-related information and the level of influence
  • Digital marketing influencer strategy
  • Level of trust and accessibility of veterinarians
  • Current veterinary care behavior and veterinary care preferences
  • Generational retail channel shopping behavior

Pet care industry implications for manufacturers and retailers

  • Brand communication and marketing
  • Research and development
  • Distribution channels
  • Veterinary clinics

The results of this study will help manufacturers and all who participate in the veterinary and pet supply industries better understand the evolution and convergence of pet owner life stages and lifestyles. The study will address how pet owners and the pet population could change, how to best communicate with these groups in the future as well as where pet owners will obtain information and who will influence their purchase decisions. This report will provide exceptional value and insight for industry executives as an unprecedented planning tool for use in generating marketing strategies and guiding R&D portfolios.

The full report will be made available starting in Q2 2016. To order a copy or learn more about the Changing Pet Ownership Study, please contact Kimberly Ness at 336-819-6933 or kness@trone.com. You may also contact David Goodnight with Brakke Consulting at 830-285-1259.

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