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Gen Z and Their Pets

Gen Z is coming into adulthood, and they may have some different ideas about pet…

  • May 11, 2018

Gen Z is coming into adulthood, and they may have some different ideas about pet products that their immediate forebears, the Millennials, market research firm Packaged Facts reports

Millennials, now in their late 20s and 30s, have set new standards for bonding with and spending money on pets.

Packaged Facts found that Millennial pet owners routinely mark their pets’ birthdays, include them in holiday celebrations, take them on shopping trips and bring them to work.

These pet owners, especially millennials in higher-income brackets, also represent a pet market consumer segment offering exceptional opportunities for marketers of pet products and services.

In fact, Packaged Facts National Pet Owner Survey data indicate that Millennial pet owners with a household income of $75,000 or higher are more than twice as likely as all other pet owners to have spent $50 or more on pet products of any kind in the last 30 days.

However, the future of the pet industry in America lies not only in the hands of Millennials but also depends on their younger counterparts in Gen Z.

Gen Z Doesn’t Trust Advertising Claims

The vanguard of Gen Z is now in its late teens and early 20s.  These adult members of Gen Z have been digitally fluent for nearly their whole lives and are used to being inundated by waves of words, data and images on small screens.

Because they are adept at filtering through masses of information and detecting hyped or outright false claims, marketing experts tend to view Gen Z as being less trusting of brands than any previous generation.

Packaged Facts National Pet Owner Survey data hint at and confirm some of the challenges facing pet product marketers in building trust with Gen Z pet owners.

For example, compared to Millennial pet owners, Gen Z pet owners are less likely to trust the quality of pet foods produced by larger companies such as general-market brand leaders.

This finding may simply reflect Gen Z’s overall loss of trust in large corporations and governmental institutions in today’s chaotic world in this era of “fake news”.

Gen Z Doesn’t Even Trust Organic Company Claims

Packaged Facts also found that the attitudes of Gen Z pet owners toward pet products produced by smaller companies are more complex and, perhaps, surprising.

Gen Z pet owners are as likely as Millennial pet owners to trust the quality of pet foods produced by smaller companies such as regional or family-owned companies.

However, they are less likely to trust the pet foods produced by smaller natural/organic product companies.

This finding may be related to the fact that Gen Z pet owners are less likely than Millennial pet owners to consider natural/organic products to be safer or better than standard national-brand products.

The data support an overall conclusion that many Gen Z pet owners believe that claims made by natural/organic pet product marketers are no more trustworthy than those made by marketers of general-market pet products.

This suggests a need for brands to constantly prove themselves trustworthy by being honest and transparent about who they are and what they offer.

It is also likely that smaller marketers need to be prepared with something more compelling than a run-of-the mill message if they are to reach out successfully to Gen Z as well as Millennial pet owners.

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