SELAH, WASH. — Younger pet owners are more likely to show interest in plant-based pet food formulas, according to a recent report by Mintel and Tree Top Ingredients. The following data comes from an online survey of 1,463 pet food and treat purchasers by Kantar Profiles and Mintel conducted in April 2022.
Digestive health is also becoming a highly sought-after pet food attribute across age groups, with 47% of pet owners ages 18 to 54 claiming interest in these products, as well as 43% of pet owners age 55 and older. Pet owners are also interested in treats that address specific health issues, according to Mintel, with 36% of pet owners ages 18 to 54 claiming interest in this category, compared to 34% of those ages 55 and up.
A wider gap between generational interest is seen for pet food products that are sustainably sourced, with 28% of pet owners ages 18 to 34 interested in this category, compared to 27% of pet owners ages 35 to 54, and 19% of those age 55 and older.
Additionally, the rise of functional meal toppers is attracting interest from younger pet owners, with 25% of those ages 18 to 34 curious about these products, compared to 18% of pet owners ages 35 to 54, and 15% of those age 55 and up.
According to Mintel and Kantar Profiles, pet owners between the ages of 18 and 54 (19%) are more likely to show interest in pet foods formulated with plant-based proteins than their older counterparts (10% of those age 55 and older).
Regardless of perceived interest, pet food and treats with functional claims are taking the industry by storm, with 21% of new cat and dog treat launches in 2022 claiming oral benefits and tartar prevention. Additionally, 7% of new launches touted joint, bone and muscle support, and those claiming digestive benefits and skin and coat benefits both made up 6% of launches in 2022.