Acosta Unleashes New Hot Topic Report About the Pet Parenting Boom

CPG Sales & Marketing Agency Finds Millennials and Boomers Lead the
Pack in Pet Spending

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AcostaPet–Nearly 80 million households in the U.S. own a pet, representing 60
percent of the entire population, and a large portion of consumer
spending, which is why Acosta
— a leading full-service sales and marketing agency in the consumer
packaged goods (CPG) industry — released today new research focused on
the growing pet industry. The Hot Topic Report, The
Pet Parenting Boom
, is the first full insights report from the
company solely dedicated to this nearly $30 billion industry.

“The pet category is an important one, as its total sales surpass
popular categories such as dairy and candy,” said Colin Stewart, Senior
Vice President at Acosta. “Fortunately for brands and retailers, the two
largest generations — Baby Boomers and Millennials — also represent the
two biggest age groups for pet ownership, which means we can expect
continued growth in this category, especially since Millennials are just
now entering their prime spending years.”

Acosta’s The Pet Parenting Boom also explores the category as not
just an economic trend, but a cultural one as well, providing insight on
the following:

Who are pet parents?

A deep emotional connection between consumers and their domestic animals
has helped steer the idea that pet owners are more like parents.

  • Ninety-four percent of pet owners indicate their pets are part of the
    family, with 80 percent treating them like children.
  • Forty-two percent of pet owners allow their animals to sleep in their
  • Ninety-four percent of Baby Boomers talk to their pets daily, versus
    64 percent of Gen Xers and only 47 percent of Millennials.
  • Sixty-seven percent of Millennials take photos of their pets
    regularly, and 63 percent upload the photos to social media.
  • Fifty percent of pet owners include their pets in family holiday cards.

What are pet parents buying?

When it comes to spending for pet owners, the well-being of their
animals plays an important role, but so does their own definition of
necessities. Boomers consider toys and treats nonessentials, while
Millennials — who are more likely to splurge on pet fashion — label them
as necessities.

  • Forty-six percent of pet owners report they purchase products they
    think will provide a wellness benefit to their pets.
  • Thirty-six percent of pet owners spend more than $500 annually on pet
    medical expenses and $200 per year on regular grooming.
  • Sixty percent of Millennials purchase nonessential pet items at least
    once a week, versus 28 percent of Gen Xers and 8 percent of Boomers.
  • Sixty percent of pet owners report celebrating their pets’ birthdays
    in some fashion, which for more than half of Millennial and 40 percent
    of Gen X pet owners means giving their animals birthday gifts.

Where are they shopping?

As pet families continue to grow, so does the retail pet channel. Nearly
half of pet owners will remain loyal to their preferred brand of pet
food, regardless of coupons or deals, but they do take advantage of
digital tools such as retailer websites or apps to search for sales.

  • Pet owners ranked Walmart, PetSmart,, Petco and grocery
    stores as their top five preferred destinations to shop for pet
    products other than food.
  • The top three drivers for pet owners’ retailer selection included
    price, variety of products and convenience.

“Pet owners shop for their animals much in the same way they shop for
themselves,” added Stewart. “Retailers can apply key best practices in
grocery to the retail pet channel as well, including appealing to
Millennials, emphasizing health and wellness, and improving convenience
to increase shopper loyalty.”

The Pet Parenting Boom was compiled using research conducted by
Acosta, as well as the company’s experience working with the nation’s
largest CPG manufacturers and retailers. To access additional pet
parenting insights, download the full Hot Topic Report by visiting

About Acosta

is the sales and marketing powerhouse behind most of the trusted brands
seen in stores every day. The company provides a range of outsourced
sales, marketing and retail merchandising services throughout the U.S.
and Canada. For almost 90 years, Acosta has led the industry in helping
consumer packaged goods companies move products off shelves and into
shoppers’ baskets. For more information, please visit


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Allie Artur, 610-455-2760