Aww….. They are so cute!
We do love our pups and pets. And there are more pet-parents than ever before thanks to the pandemic. According to the American Society for Prevention to Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), more than 23 million U.S. families have adopted a pet during the pandemic. And while there is lots of love to go around, there is also a lot of money being spent on pampering and caring for our little animal buddies.
How much money? Well, according to Statista.com the U.S. pet industry accounts for $103.6 billion, including $44.1 billion for pet food. Doggy daycare centers and veterinarians are booked solid these days. Plus dog walkers such as Wag are certainly in high demand. Pets even get treated like one of the family – massages and acupuncture, along with dental care, are not uncommon.
The pet business is booming. Target Corp. has started its own line of pet-food, branded Kindfull. General Mills re-entered the pet food market in 2018 when it purchased Blue Buffalo Pet Products for $8 billion. The company also spent $1.2 billion for a line of pet treats from Tyson Foods last year. Nestle Purina holds the largest share in dry pet food sales at nearly $3.5 billion. In retail, PetSmart and PETCO account for 40% of the market. That’s a lot of puppy chow!
Ready for some puppy love?
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Poll students: Who has a pet? How much did they spend last year on the pet?
- Bring up pet care sites such as Rover (https://www.rover.com/) and Wag (https://wagwalking.com/).
- Also show retail sites including Target (https://www.target.com/b/kindfull/-/N-q643le71aup?lnk=snav_rd_kindfull), PetSmart (https://www.petsmart.com/), and PETCO (https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore), and Chewy (https://www.chewy.com/).
- Have students do a search for pet health care and insurance rates.
- Compare rates at: https://quote.petinsurer.com/quote/ref=usnews?insurer=petsbest&subId1=other-products-in-table&subId2=https://www.usnews.com/insurance/pet-insurance&subId3=desktop&subID4=large
- Have students use their laptops to research different types of products and care for pets.
- Divide students into teams and have each team develop a profile of a target market for various types of pet owners.
- How should pet products be promoted to the target market?
Source: Bogage, J. (Feb. 12, 2022). The high cost of puppy love. Washington Post.; Sitaramiah, G. (Feb. 10, 2022). Twin Cities businesses benefit as pet owners spend like parents. Minneapolis Star Tribune.