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These Consumers are Most Likely to Buy Puppy Foods, Report Finds


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Karen Warfel from Pixabay

There’s room for more effective marketing of superpremium and specialty brand puppy foods, according to a new report by Rockville, Md.-based Packaged Facts. U.S. Pet Market Focus: New Dog and Cat Owners zeros in on the evolving consumer demographics of puppy food purchasers.

For instance, the report found that two-thirds of those indicating household use of puppy food are women. This share, however, represents less of a tilt toward female shoppers than in the dog food category overall, where women account for nearly three-fourths, according to Packaged Facts officials.

“Even so, women have been gaining in share over the last 10 years as puppy food buyers, a product formulation option that previously had a slightly disproportionate appeal among households with men,” officials said.

Households with non-Hispanic whites account for somewhat over half of puppy food buyers, compared with their two-thirds share of U.S households overall, and with three-fourths of households with dogs, according to the report.

African-American and Hispanic households, in turn, each account for more than a fourth of overall puppy food buyers, such that African-Americans and Hispanics are twice as likely as average to be purchasers of this pet food product type, according to the report.

When looking at city versus country, puppy food usage rates varied much more significantly than by broad geographic region, according to the report. Dog-owning households outside top metropolitan areas are a third more likely than average to buy puppy food formulations, and they are also significantly more likely to have larger dogs—at 51 percent of rural dog owners versus 32 percent of urbanites, as shown by Packaged Facts December 2018 survey data—thereby increasing volume consumption of pet food even at the puppy life stage.

“Even more significantly than for country versus city, though partly in alignment with that pattern, puppy food usage rates vary dramatically by level of educational attainment,” officials said. “Puppy formula use among dog owners drops from 29 percent for those without a high school degree to only 8 percent among those with a college or graduate degree.

“Given that the distinctive nutritional and developmental needs of puppies are a legitimate focus for specialty pet food formulations, and that the puppy formula usage pattern by educational level is the reverse of new dog adoption patterns, there is room in the dog food category for more effective marketing of superpremium and specialty brand puppy foods,” officials added.

 

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