Petfood Industry - February 2018 - 50
50 | www.PetfoodIndustry.com
MARKET REPORT David Sprinkle
What influences pet owner
shopping channel choices?
double-digit shares of pet
food retail sales not only
span the mass versus class
divide - supercenters/
discount stores led by
Walmart, pet specialty
chains and grocery
stores - but now include
the internet, which now
accounts for an estimated
11 percent of pet sales,
as reported in Packaged
Facts' Pet Food in the US
Patterns also diverge by
type of pet. A far higher
percentage of cat owners
(34 percent) than dog
owners (25 percent) buy pet food at supermarkets. Compared with dog owners, moreover, cat owners are significantly more likely
to shop at Walmart or other supercenters/
discount stores such as Target, while somewhat less likely to buy pet food on Amazon.
com (see Table 1).
Channel choices also are shaped by
generational demographics, and not just
in terms of propensity to shop online. For
example, Simmons Research Summer 2017
data show that the percentage of dog or cat
owners who are pet supply customers falls
by nearly half across generational brackets
for Petco, at 32 percent of millennials age
18-34, but only 17 percent of seniors age
There are several different
factors that influence pet
food shoppers, all of which
create a complex picture of
pet owner shopping habits.
Last month's column, "US pet food
market to reach US$27 billion in 2018,"
noted that, for pet owners, as for US
consumers in general, spending management leads to strategic retail behavior
including retail channel choice - or rather
choices, with many shopping across multiple
channels and retailers for bargains, brickand-mortar and online, as well as trading
up for priority products such as pet food and
trading down for pet supplies segments seen
as more discretionary or less impactful on
pet health and wellness.
Influencers of pet food
shopping channel choices
Therefore, the channels that claim
David Sprinkle is the publisher and research director at Packaged Facts, a leading supplier of market research on the US pet industry.