Will Pet Owners Still Be Willing to Spend on Pet Food?

Will Pet Owners Still Be Willing to Spend on Pet Food?

A stark indication of the massive economic pressures being brought to bear, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) climbed 7% in 2021, the largest 12-month gain since 1982 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although the economy remains a perennial x-factor, most analysts expect inflationary conditions to persist into 2023, meaning that full recovery is likely delayed until further notice.

Historically, pet owners have shown themselves willing to spend even in the face of a true recession, as seen during the 2007-2008 period. As of September 2022, although sales in other pet market categories have slipped dramatically since 2021, pet food sales remain strong. Data from Packaged Facts August 2022 Survey of Pet Owners shows that among a dozen household expenditures, pet products and services appear to be one of the least impacted by household spending cutbacks, second only to spending on medicines and healthcare products.

More specifically, the survey found spending on pet food increased between January 2022 and August 2022 in 28% of pet-owning households, second only to pet medications at 32%. Conversely, only 5% of households had reduced their spending on pet food during the same time period.

For the time being, pet owners are still willing to spend more on premium and superpremium products, the segments that primarily drive sales growth in the pet food market. But that could change if inflation continues unabated and causes even more well-off owners to reconsider how much they spend on pet food.

For more information about this industry trend and other important pet market retailing developments to watch, see the newly published Packaged Facts report Pet Food in the U.S., 16th Edition.

About the author: Shannon Brown is a Senior Analyst and Consultant focusing on the U.S. pet market for Packaged Facts.