Americans increasingly treat pets as more than just an animal or belonging – we treat our pets as important members of the family. Pet owners now look for healthier choices and lifestyles for pet care, fundamentally shifting consumer behavior and spending. The pet care industry represents more than $20 billion in the U.S., and, according to Nielsen Research, 95% of pet owners consider their pets to be part of the family. This attitude carries over into shopping for food, treats, toys, and specialty items.
Therefore, it was just a matter of time for companies to develop new product so that humans could share celebrations and happy hour beverages with their pets. The newest category of product is faux wines for cats (and dogs, too)! With clever names and packaging, the category is expanding. People can buy their kitties bottles of “Catbernet,” “Pinot Meow,” and “Meowgarita” from Denver-based Apollo Peak. Or, buy “Dog Perignon” and “Dogtini” from Pet Winery in Fort Myers, Fla.
Of course, since alcohol can harm animals, these wines are actually alcohol-free. Using organic ingredients and catnip, the beverages are aimed at people who want to enjoy celebrations with their pets. But, as most cat owners know, cats can be quite finicky. In taste tests, some cats loved the products, while other cats simply showed their disdain.
Happy hour, meow?
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Poll students: How many have pets? How much do they spend on their pets?
- Show the Web site for Apollo Peak: http://www.apollopeak.com/
- Also show Pet Winery: https://www.petwinery.com/
- Videos can be viewed at:
- The Chew: https://youtu.be/4DiO8MZTmnU
- Divide students into teams.
- Using a market-product grid, have students develop target markets for pet owners. Then, put categories of products across the top (Ex: food, toys, treats, wine…)
- Which target markets represent the best opportunity for pet wines?
- How should the products be marketed?
Source: New York Times, Nielsen Research