Like an Irish Wolfhound puppy, the pet market just keeps on growing! And the Millennial’s passion their pets is only matched by their insatiable appetite for acquiring fashionable, luxurious accessories.

Even in these turbulent economic times, Brits will still put their pets’ wellbeing first.

Pet market’s shiny cold wet nose

In stark contrast to depressed High Street spending, the pet care market remains doggedly bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Consumers continue to spend their valuable disposable income on luxury pet accessories and treats. Unaffected by Brexit, the nation’s pets remain loyal to the sector; pets still needing feeding, grooming and caring for.

A recent Mintel investigation discovered 51% of British pet owners will cut back personal spending rather than scrimp on their four-legged friends. And this selflessness is strongest in young adults, the Millennials: 54% of those aged 19-38 will always put their pet’s needs first.

Dog’s best friend – the Millennial

Mintel’s report says 30% of these young pet owners feel it very important that their pet keeps up with all the latest trends in clothing and grooming styles.

The market grows steadily, increasing since 2015 from about £5.1 billion to £5.3 in 2019. Mintel’s predicts it will hit £5.5 billion by 2020 – and that there’ll still be more growth in those long legs.

The UK pet market is one of the largest in Europe. According to the 2019 PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report, half of UK adults own a pet with pet-centric Millennials making up a large percentage of all dog owners. (This age bracket is estimated to be 35 per cent of all pet owners in the US). Millennials view pets as an integral part of the family, even more so than their elders do.

As a result, they are big spenders on top quality premium products and services.

Let sleeping dogs lie…on memory foam!

Chana Baram, Retail Analyst at Mintel, said, “Pets increasingly become viewed as family members and are ‘humanised’. Pet owners offer them their own products and unique items, which often carry a higher price tag, and help to drive category growth. This ranges from animal-friendly pancakes to dog hiking boots, while the more pampered of pooches even enjoy dog beds with memory foam mattresses.

“Our research shows Millennials are particularly devoted to their furry companions. As the age of having children increases, we know some young people are opting to first get a pet and treat them as a family member. Additionally, there are many pet ‘influencers’ on social media, which are likely to appeal to the Millennial demographic, such as ‘Doug the Pug’, a dog with 3.6 million Instagram followers.

Four (legged) weddings & a funeral?

“There are already pet Christmas and birthday presents available from a number of retailers. The willingness to spend just as much on a pet as a friend shows an opportunity for retailers to offer more event-specific products. Pet products for seasonal events such as Valentine’s Day would likely prove popular with young consumers, and this could extend to other key events such as weddings or funerals.

“The pet food and pet care industry is growing well. It is underpinned by stable pet ownership. As they become more integral in the family, there is an increasing desire to ‘treat’ pets with premium food, products and services. Additionally, with pet ownership peaking among full-time workers, there is an opportunity to provide practical services such as dog walking and daycare.”

Increasingly dog owners don’t want to holiday without their pets. Pet-friendly accommodation has become more and more popular. Many Brits now opt to remain in the UK for their break rather than going abroad. According to a survey by Travelodge, ‘staycations’ helped boost the UK economy by £31 billion in summer 2018.

This market has legs, very long ones

UK pet food was a meaty £2.65 billion in 2017. The global pet grooming market looks glossy (compound annual growth of 4.7% forecast between 2015-2025). Pet accessories are pulling on the lead, too – tipped to top £900 million by 2021-2022. Pet superstore buyers will be needing ever more novel products to appeal to the expanding market.

Pets and their people are very significant consumers. Dogs don’t just share our favourite human names, they are at the very heart of our modern families.

For 29 years Pet Subjects has been the UK’s only pure pet product marketing agency. We can help you find customers as loyal to you as they are to their beloved best friends.

To find out how we do this take a look at our website www.petsubjects.co.uk or contact Graham Smith at graham@petsubjects.co.uk for a chat over a coffee!