Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pet Owners Spend More On Their Pets Than Alcohol: Useful Marketing Data For Sellers Of Food, Products And Services To Pet Owners from BLS

Posted by Milton Recht:

From Bureau of Labor Statistics, Beyond the Numbers, "Spending on pets: 'Tails' from the Consumer Expenditure Survey" by Steve Henderson:
Nearly three-quarters of U.S. households own pets. There are about 218 million pets in the United States, not counting several million fish. Pet ownership crosses many demographic boundaries, with Americans of different ages and levels of wealth reporting spending on pets. Further, Americans spend a substantial amount of money on the care and feeding of their animals. Americans spent approximately $61.4 billion in total on their pets in 2011. On average, each U.S. household spent just over $500 on pets. This amounts to about 1 percent of total spending per year for the average household.

Expenditures on pets include pet food, pet purchases, supplies and medicine, pet services, and veterinarian services. BLS data show the following:
  • In 2011, households spent more on their pets annually than they spent on alcohol ($456), residential landline phone bills ($381), or men and boys clothing ($404).
  • Average household spending on pet food alone was $183 in 2011. This was more than the amount spent on candy ($87), bread ($107), chicken ($124), cereal ($175), or reading materials ($115).
  • Even when spending at restaurants dropped during the recent recession (December 2007–June 2009), spending on pet food stayed constant. (See chart 1.)
  • In 2011, one-sixth of U.S. households purchased pet food each week, based on entries in the CE Diary.
  • Married couples without children living at home spent the most on their pets.
  • Homeowners spent almost three times as much on pets as renters did.
The BLS article has more useful marketing data showing the breakdown of purchases, and average spending by demographics, such as by household size, household composition, owner vs renter, rural vs urban, age of owner/renter, etc.

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