Retail Channel Monthly $ Update – October Final & November Advance

In November, Commodities prices actually deflated vs 2022. Although down from its peak, cumulative inflation still impacts consumer spending. The sales increase rate is lower than the inflation rate in a number of channels, which indicates a drop in the amount of product sold. The recovery continues but there is still a long road ahead, so we’ll continue to track the retail market with data from 2 reports provided by the Census Bureau and factor in a targeted CPI from US BLS data.

The Census Bureau Reports are the Monthly and the Advance Retail Sales Reports. Both are derived from sales data gathered from retailers across the U.S. and are published monthly at the same time. The Advance Report has a smaller sample size so it can be published quickly – about 2 weeks after month end. The Monthly Final Report includes data from all respondents, so it takes longer to compile the data – about 6 weeks. Although the sample size for the Advance report is smaller, the results over the years have proven it to be statistically accurate with the final monthly reports. The biggest difference is that the full sample in the Final report allows us to “drill” a little deeper into the retail channels.

We will begin with the October Final Report and then go to the Advance Report for November. Our focus is comparing to last year but also 2021 & 2019. We’ll show both actual and the “real” change in $ as we factor inflation into the data.

Both reports include the following:

  • Total Retail, Restaurants, Auto, Gas Stations and Relevant Retail (removing Restaurants, Auto and Gas)
  • Individual Channel Data – This will be more detailed in the “Final” reports, and we’ll focus on Pet Relevant Channels.

The data will be presented in detailed charts to facilitate visual comparison between groups/channels. The charts will show 11 separate measurements. To save space they will be displayed in a stacked bar format for the channel charts.

  • Current Month change – % & $ vs previous month
  • Current Month change – % & $ vs same month in 2022 and 2021.
    • Current Month Real change for 2023 vs 2022 and vs 2021 – % factoring in inflation
  • Current Ytd change – % & $ for 2023 vs 2022, 2021 and 2019.
    • Current Ytd Real change % for 2023 vs 2022, 2021 and 2019
  • Monthly & Ytd $ & CPIs for 22>23 and 21>23 which are targeted by channel will also be shown. (CPI Details are at the end of the report)

First, the October Final. All but Auto were up from September and all but Gas Stations were up vs 22, 21 & 19. When you consider inflation, the # of real drops vs 22 & 21 (6) was the same as September. Gas Stations are still really down vs 2019. A significant fact to note is that Relevant Retail is again “really” up monthly vs 22. ($ are Actual, Not Seasonally Adjusted)

The October Final is $1.8B less than the Advance. Specifically, Restaurants: No Chge; Auto: -$0.2B; Gas Stations: -$0.4B; Relevant Retail: -$1.3B. $ were up vs September for all but Auto and actual sales for all but Gas Stations were positive in all measurements vs 22, 21 & 19. Gas prices fell but Gas Stations sales were down again monthly & YTD vs 22. There were 7 “real” sales drops, 5 from Gas Stations. Restaurants and now Total Retail are the only groups with all positives. Monthly real sales for Relevant Retail vs 22 are up again but have been down in 15 of the last 20 months. Their YTD real measurement vs 22 is still negative. They are the top “real” performer vs 2019 but only 48% of their growth is real.

Now, let’s see how some Key Pet Relevant channels did in October in the Stacked Bar Graph Format

Overall– 10 were up from September, but vs 22, only 5 were up vs Oct and 8 YTD. 4 were “really” up monthly & 5 Ytd. Vs 21, 9 had increases but only 4 monthly & 3 Ytd were real. Vs 2019, Office/Gift/Souvenir & Discount Department Stores were really down.

  • Building Material Stores – The pandemic focus on home has produced sales growth of 34.3% since 2019. Prices for the Bldg/Matl group have inflated 14.7% since 2021 which is having an impact. HomeCtr/Hdwe stores are down monthly & Ytd vs 22 but up vs 21 &19. Farm Stores are only down vs October 22. However, both have all negative real numbers vs 2022 & 2021. Importantly, only 20.1% of their 19>23 lift was real. It was only this high because most of the lift came prior to the inflation wave. Avg 19>23 Growth: HomeCtr/Hdwe: 7.0%, Real: 1.1%; Farm: 11.4%, Real: 5.2%
  • Food & Drug – Both channels are truly essential. Except for the pandemic food binge buying, they tend to have smaller fluctuations in $. They have been very different in inflation and the situation has flipped as the Grocery rate is now 55% lower than Drug/Med products. Drug Stores are positive in all measurements and 73% of their growth since 2019 is real. Except vs Oct 22, the $ are all up for Supermarkets but their 23 real sales are down vs 22 & 21 and just slightly positive vs 2019. Only 7% is real growth. Avg 19>23 Growth: Supermarkets: +6.3%, Real: +0.5%; Drug Stores: +5.9%, Real: +4.3%.
  • Sporting Goods Stores – They also benefited from the pandemic in that consumers turned to self-entertainment, especially sports & outdoor activities. Sales are down -2.3% from September. Their only positives are YTD vs 22, monthly vs 21 and YTD vs 19. Prices are still deflating, -1.2% and YTD, -0.1%, a big change from +5.6% in 21>22 and +6.5% in 20>21. The result is that 60% of their 42.6% lift since 2019 is real. Their Avg 19>23 Growth Rate is: +9.3%; Real: +5.8%.
  • Gen Mdse Stores – All were up vs September. Actual sales vs 22, 21 & 19 were up for Clubs & $ stores but Disc Dept Stores were only up YTD vs 21 & 19. In real sales SupCtr/Clubs were down vs 22 & 21. $/Value Stores were only down YTD vs 21. Disc Dept Stores were down in all measurements, even vs 2019, -1.2%. The other channels average 35% In real growth. Avg 19>23 Growth: SupCtr/Club: 6.3%, Real: 2.4%; $/Value Strs: +6.8%, Real: +2.8%; Disc. Dept. Strs: +2.4%, Real: -0.3%
  • Office, Gift & Souvenir Stores – Actual sales are up 20.2% from September but down in all measurements but YTD vs 21 & 19. Their real sales numbers are all negative including -6.1% Ytd vs 2019. Their recovery started late, and their slow progress stalled in Jun>Sep. However, it may have restarted in October. Avg Growth Rate: +1.1%, Real: -1.6%
  • Internet/Mail Order – Sales are up 8.2% from September and again above $100B. All measurements are positive, but their growth is only 60% of their average since 2019. However, 79% of their 94.5% growth since 2019 is real. Avg Growth: +18.1%, Real: +15.0%. As expected, they are still by far the growth leaders since 2019.
  • A/O Miscellaneous – Pet Stores are 22>24% of total $. In May 2020 they began their recovery which reached a record level of $100B for the first time in 2021. In 2022 their sales dipped in January, July, Sept>Nov, rose in December, fell in Jan>Feb 23, grew Mar>May, fell in Jun>Aug, then rose in Sep/Oct. All measurements are positive. They remain in 2nd place in the % increase vs 2021 but 71% of their 54.5% growth since 2019 is real. Average 19>23 Growth: +11.5%, Real: +8.6%. They also moved back up to 2nd place in growth since 2019, only trailing the Internet.

Inflation remains an important factor in Retail. In actual $, 5 channels reported increases in sales vs 2022 and 9 vs 2021. When you factor in inflation, the number with “real” growth drops to 4 vs 2022 and vs 2021. Inflation’s impact may be slowing but it is still lowering sales increases. The October lift vs 2022 was less than 50% of Jan/Feb. The impact is also visible in specific retail channels. The commodities CPI deflated in November. Let’s look for any impact on Retail $ales.

In October, all but Auto & 3 small channels were up vs last month. November had  a similar pattern. Again, 3 small channels were down but in addition to Auto, sales in Gas Stations & Restaurants also fell. An Oct>Nov lift in Total Retail has happened in 75% of the years since 1992. The average increase was 2.2% so the 2.0% lift in 2023 was slightly below average. All actual $ measurements are again positive vs 22, 21 & 19 for all big groups but Gas Stations. Plus, the lifts vs 2022 are slightly larger than in October. Inflation is still a big factor. However, the national CPI slowed from 3.2% to 3.1% and the all commodities rate, which is the best pricing measure for Retail, fell from 0.4% to -0.05%. There is some significant “real” good news. The big groups have 20 “real” sales measurements vs 22 & 21. In November, only 4 were negative and 3 of those came from Gas Stations. Relevant Retail’s real monthly sales vs 22 have now been positive for 5 straight months, but the biggest news is that Relevant Retail is positive in all measurements for the 1st time in 2023.

Overall – Inflation Reality – For Total Retail, prices deflated, and all real sales are again positive. For Restaurants, inflation remains high, +5.3% but they are still really positive vs 22 & 21. Gas prices fell but that group is in true turmoil. Auto prices are down vs 22 but up 10.9% Ytd vs 21 which pushed their real sales down. Inflation is 0.7% for Relevant Retail and all of their monthly & ytd real sales are positive for the 1st time in 2023. They continue to make slow progress.

Total Retail – Since June 2020, every month but April 23 has set a monthly sales record. December 22 $ were $748.9B, a new all-time record. Sales have been on a rollercoaster. Up in July & Aug, down in September, then up in October & November. Prices deflated -0.05% but sales growth is still low. Sales are up 4.3% vs last year. That’s only 54% of their average 19>23 growth. All real sales measurements are positive again but only 35% of the 19>23 growth is real. Inflation in Total Retail has radically slowed vs 2022 but we still see its cumulative impact. Avg 2019>23 Growth: +7.9%, Real: +2.9%.

Restaurants – They were hit hard by the pandemic and didn’t begin recovery until March 2021. However, they have had strong growth since then, setting an all-time monthly record of $91B in December and exceeding $1T in 2022 for the 1st time. They have the biggest increases vs 22, 21 & 19 and all real sales are positive. Inflation slowed to 5.3% from 5.4% last month but is still +14.1% vs 21 and +22.4% vs 19. 36.7% of their 40.6% growth since 19 is real but they remain 2nd in performance behind Relevant Retail. Recovery started late but inflation started early. Avg 2019>23 Growth: +8.9%, Real: +3.5%. They just account for 13.1% of Total Retail $, but their performance improves the overall retail numbers.

Auto (Motor Vehicle & Parts Dealers) – They actively worked to overcome the stay-at-home attitude with great deals and a lot of advertising. They finished 2020 up 1% vs 2019 and hit a record $1.48T in 2021 but much of it was due to skyrocketing inflation. In 22 sales got on a rollercoaster. Inflation started to drop mid-year, but it caused 4 down months in actual sales which are the only reported sales negatives by any big group in 21>22. This is bad but their real 22 sales numbers were much worse, down -8.2% vs 2021 and -8.9% vs 2019. 2023 is a true rollercoaster. $ grew in Jan>Feb, fell Mar>Apr, grew in May, fell Jun>Jul, grew in Aug, fell in Sep, grew in Oct, then fell in Nov. Only Ytd real $ vs 21 are down. Prices vs 22 are -0.9% monthly & -1.5% Ytd. Only 5% of 19>23 growth is real. Avg 2019>23 Growth: +6.6%, Real: +0.4%.

Gas Stations – Gas Stations were also hit hard. If you stay home, you drive less and need less gas. They started recovery in March 2021 and inflation began. Sales got on a rollercoaster in 2022 but reached a record $583B. Inflation started to slow in August and prices slightly deflated in Dec & Feb, strongly dropped in Mar>Jul to -20.2%. In August they turned up to -3.7%. In Sep they were +2.7% but then fell to -9.2% in Oct/Nov. Pricing is a big factor in the actual sales drops vs 22 and only real sales vs Nov 21 are positive.  Avg 2019>23 Growth: +6.6%, Real: -1.2%. The numbers show the cumulative impact of inflation and demonstrate how strong deflation can be both a positive and a negative.

Relevant Retail – Less Auto, Gas and Restaurants – They account for 60+% of Total Retail $ in a variety of channels, so they took many different paths through the pandemic. However, their only down month was April 2020, and they led the way in Total Retail’s recovery. Sales got on a roller coaster in 2022 but all months in 2022 set new records with December reaching a new all-time high, $481B, and an annual record of $4.81T. In 2023, Jan & Feb had normal $ drops then grew in March, starting another roller coaster. Sales fell in Jun>Jul, turned up in Aug, fell in Sep, then grew in Oct/Nov. Actual sales are again up vs 22, 21 & 19. However, the big news is that all sales comparisons – both actual & real are positive for the 1st time in 2023. 48% of their 37.6% 19>23 growth is real – #1 in performance. Avg 2019>23 Growth is: +8.3%, Real: +4.2%. This is where America shops. A month of all positive sales vs 22, 21 & 19 is a great news.

Inflation is still low but the cumulative impact is still there. Sales increases are still small, but the fact that 94% of all Non-Gas Station real sales numbers vs 22 & 21 are still positive is a good sign. Restaurants are still doing well, and Auto is improving. Inflation/Deflation has caused turmoil in Gas Stations’ sales. The biggest positive is from Relevant Retail. For the 1st time in 2023, all sales measurements are positive. This means that as of November, consumers not only spent more $ monthly & Ytd in 2023 vs 22, 21 & 19, they bought more product. The turnaround continues to gain ground.

Here’s a more detailed look at November by Key Channels in the Stacked Bar Graph Format

  • Relevant Retail: Avg Growth Rate: +8.3%, Real: +4.2%. 8 of 11 were up from October and vs November 22 & 21. However, only 6 had a “real” increase vs 22 & 4 vs 21. Inflation continues to slow sales increases.
  • All Dept Stores – This group was struggling before the pandemic hit them hard. They began recovery in March 2020. Their Actual $ are up 19% from October but down for all comparisons vs 22, 21 & even 19. Their real sales are also down in all measurements. Avg 2019>23 Growth: -0.1%, Real: -2.7%.
  • Club/SuprCtr/$ – They fueled a big part of the overall recovery because they focus on value which has broad consumer appeal. $ales are up from October and in all other measurements. Their real sales are down Ytd vs 22 & 21. Only 35% of their 27.7% 19>23 lift is real – the impact of inflation. Avg Growth: +6.3%, Real: +2.4%.
  • Grocery- These stores depend on frequent purchases, so except for the binge buying in 2020, their changes are usually less radical. $ are up from October and in all measurements vs 22, 21 & 19. However, inflation hit them hard. Real sales are down for all but Ytd vs 2019 and only 6% of the growth since 2019 is real. Avg Growth: +6.2%, Real: +0.4%.
  • Health/Drug Stores – Many stores in this group are essential, but consumers visit far less frequently than Grocery stores. Sales are up from October and positive in all other measurements, actual and real vs 22, 21 & 19. Inflation has been relatively low so 73% of their 26.2% growth from 2019 is real. Avg 2019>23 Growth: +6.0%, Real: +4.4%.
  • Clothing and Accessories – Clothes initially mattered less when you stayed home. That changed in March 21 with strong growth through 2022. Actual $ales are up from October and monthly & Ytd vs 22, 21 &19. Real sales are down monthly and Ytd vs 21 & Ytd vs 22, but 64% of their 19>23 growth is real. Avg 2019>23 Growth: +3.8%, Real:+2.5%
  • Home Furnishings – In mid-2020 consumers’ focus turned to their homes and furniture became a priority. Prices are now deflating but they were high in 2022. Sales are up from October but negative in all other measurements but actual Ytd vs 2019. Their real sales are even down -4.1% vs 2019. Avg 2019>23 Growth: +2.8%, Real: -1.0%.
  • Electronic & Appliances – This channel has many problems. Sales fell in Apr>May of 2020 and didn’t reach 2019 levels until March 2021. $ales are up from October and now only down Ytd vs 22 & 21. Consistent deflation has caused real sales to be positive in all measurements. Avg 2019>23 Growth: +0.6%, Real: +2.9%.
  • Building Material, Farm & Garden & Hardware –They truly benefited from the consumers’ focus on home. In 2022 the lift slowed as inflation grew to double digits. Inflation has slowed to 2.8%. Sales are down from October, and they are again all negative vs 2022. They have the highest Ytd 22>23 Inflation rate of any channel so real sales are negative in all but Ytd vs 2019. Also, just 20% of their sales growth since 2019 is real. Avg 2019>23 Growth is: +7.7%, Real: +1.7%.
  • Sporting Goods, Hobby and Book Stores – Consumers turned their attention to recreation and Sporting Goods stores sales took off. Book & Hobby Stores recovered more slowly. Actual $ales are up from October and positive for all but vs Nov 22 & 21. Real sales are only down monthly & YTD vs 21. Prices deflated again and their inflation rate has been lower than most groups so 66.8% of their 29.5% growth since 2019 is real. Avg 2019>23 Growth: +6.7%, Real: +4.6%.
  • All Miscellaneous Stores – Pet Stores have been a key part of the strong and growing recovery of this group. They finished 2020 at +0.9% but sales took off in March 21 and have continued to grow. Sales are down vs October but positive in all other measurements – actual & real. They are 2nd to NonStore in increases vs 21 & 19. 65% of their 40.5% 19>23 growth and 45% of their 16.5% 21>23 growth is real. Their Avg 19>23 Growth is: 8.9%, Real: 6.0%.
  • NonStore Retailers – 90% of their volume comes from Internet/Mail Order/TV. The pandemic accelerated online spending. They ended 2020 +21.4%. The growth continued in 2021 as sales exceeded $100B for the 1st time and they broke the $1 Trillion barrier. Their growth slowed significantly in 2022 and now 2023. $ales are up from October and in all other measurements. 77.9% of their 86.6% growth since 2019 is real. Their Avg Growth: +16.9%, Real: +13.8%.

Note: Almost without exception, online sales by brick ‘n mortar retailers are recorded with their regular store sales.

Recap – The Retail recovery from the pandemic was largely driven by Relevant Retail and by the end of 2021 it had become very widespread. In 2022, there was a new challenge, the worst inflation in 40 years. Overall, inflation has slowed considerably from its peak in June 2022, which has helped the Retail Situation. Sales were up from October for Total Retail, Relevant Retail & most channels. Inflation is slowing in many channels and even deflating in a few. However, some channels like Gas Stations, Grocery and Bldg Material stores still have high cumulative inflation rates so they are still struggling. Only a few channels are doing well. The new problem is that the sales increase rate vs 2022 for many channels has slowed and is even below the lower inflation rate. Real monthly sales for Relevant Retail have been positive vs 22 for 6 of the last 7 months but are still negative for 5 of 11 channels. The big news is that Relevant Retail is positive in all measurements for the 1st time in 2023. The turnaround is a little more widespread, but November was again a mixed bag of pluses and minuses. We are definitely making progress but still have a long way to go for a full recovery.

Finally, here are the details and updated inflation rates for the CPIs used to calculate the impact of inflation on retail groups and channels. This includes special aggregate CPIs created with the instruction and guidance of personnel from the US BLS. I also researched data from the last Economic Census to review the share of sales by product category for the various channels to help in selecting what expenditures to include in specific aggregates. Of course, none of these specially created aggregates are 100% accurate but they are much closer than the overall CPI or available aggregates. The data also includes the CPI changes from 2021 to 2023 to show cumulative inflation.

Monthly 22>23 CPI changes of 0.2% or more are highlighted. (Green = lower; Pink = higher)

I’m sure that this list raises some questions. Here are some answers to some of the more obvious ones.

  1. Why is the group for Non-store different from the Internet?
    1. Non-store is not all internet. It also includes Fuel Oil Dealers, the non-motor fuel Energy Commodity.
  2. Why is there no Food at home included in Non-store or Internet?
    1. Online Grocery purchasing is becoming popular but almost all is from companies whose major business is brick ‘n mortar. These online sales are recorded under their primary channel.
  3. 6 Channels have the same CPI aggregate but represent a variety of business types.
    1. They also have a wide range of product types. Rather than try to build aggregates of a multitude of small expenditure categories, it seemed better to eliminate the biggest, influential groups that they don’t sell. This method is not perfect, but it is certainly closer than any existing aggregate.
  4. Why are Grocery and Supermarkets only tied to the Grocery CPI?
    1. According to the Economic Census, 76% of their sales comes from Grocery products. Grocery Products are the driver. The balance of their sales comes from a collection of a multitude of categories.
  5. What about Drug/Health Stores only being tied to Medical Commodities.
    1. An answer similar to the one for Grocery/Supermarkets. However, in this case Medical Commodities account for over 80% of these stores’ total sales.
  6. Why do SuperCtrs/Clubs and $ Stores have the same CPI?
    1. While the Big Stores sell much more fresh groceries, Groceries account for ¼ of $ Store sales. Both Channels generally offer most of the same product categories, but the actual product mix is different.

Petflation 2023 – November Update: Down to +4.3% vs 2022

Inflation continues to slow but is still far above the target rate. The huge YOY increases in the monthly Consumer Price Index peaked in June 2022 at 9.1% then began to slow until turning up in Jul/Aug 2023. Prices dropped in Oct & Nov and the November CPI  fell to +3.1% from +3.2% vs 2022. Grocery inflation also continued to slow. After 12 straight months of double-digit YOY monthly increases, grocery inflation is now down to +1.7%, 9 consecutive months below 10%. As we have learned, even minor price changes can affect consumer pet spending, especially in the discretionary pet segments, so we will continue to publish monthly reports to track petflation as it evolves in the market.

Petflation was +4.1% in December 2021 while the overall CPI was +7.0%. The gap narrowed as Petflation accelerated and reached 96.7% of the national rate in June 2022. National inflation has slowed considerably since June 2022, but Petflation generally increased until June 2023. It passed the National CPI in July 2022 and at 4.3% in November, it is still 38.7% above the national rate of 3.1%. We will look deeper into the numbers. This and future reports will include:

  • A rolling 24 month tracking of the CPI for all pet segments and the national CPI. The base number will be pre-pandemic December 2019 in this and future reports, which will facilitate comparisons.
  • Monthly comparisons of 23 vs 22 which will include Pet Segments and relevant Human spending categories. Plus
    1. CPI change from the previous month.
    2. Inflation changes for recent years (21>22, 20>21, 19>20, 18>19)
    3. Total Inflation for the current month in 2023 vs 2019 and now vs 2021 to see the full inflation surge.
    4. Average annual Year Over Year inflation rate from 2019 to 2023
  • YTD comparisons
    1. YTD numbers for the monthly comparisons #2>4 above

In our first graph we will track the monthly change in prices for the 24 months from November 21 to November 23. We will use December 2019 as a base number so we can track the progress from pre-pandemic times through an eventual recovery. This chart is designed to give you a visual image of the flow of pricing. You can see the similarities and differences in segment patterns and compare them to the overall U.S. CPI. The current numbers plus yearend and those from 12 and 24 months earlier are included. We also included and highlighted (pink) the cumulative price peak for each segment. In November, Pet prices were down from last month overall and in all segments but Food & Vet Services.

In November 21, the CPI was +8.2% and Pet prices were +3.5%. Like the CPI, prices in the Services segments generally inflated after mid-2020, while Product inflation stayed low until late 21. In 22 Petflation took off. Food prices grew consistently but the other segments had mixed patterns until July 22, when all increased. In Aug>Oct Petflation took off. In Nov>Dec, Services & Food prices continued to grow while Vet & Supplies prices stabilized. In Jan>Apr 23, prices grew every month except for 1 dip by Supplies. In May Products prices grew while Services slowed. In June/July this was reversed. In August all but Services fell. In Sep/Oct this was reversed. In November, all but Food & Veterinary Services fell driving down Total Pet prices, -0.2% vs October. Petflation has been above the CPI since Nov 22.

  • U.S. CPI – The inflation rate was below 2% through 2020. It turned up in January 21 and continued to grow until flattening out in Jul>Dec 22. Prices turned up Jan>Sep, then dipped in Oct/Nov, but 35% of the 19.5% increase in the 47 months since December 2019 happened in the 6 months from January>June 2022 – 13% of the time.
  • Pet Food – Prices were at or below Dec 2019 levels from Apr 20>Sep 21. They turned up and grew, peaking in May 23. In Jun>Aug they dipped but grew again in Sep>Nov. 93% of the 23.2% increase has occurred since 22.
  • Pet Supplies – Supplies prices were high in Dec 19 due to added tariffs. They then had a “deflated” roller coaster ride until mid-2021 when they returned to Dec 19 prices and essentially stayed there until 2022. They turned up in January and hit an all-time high, beating the 2009 record. They plateaued Feb>May, grew in June, flattened in July, then turned up in Aug>Oct setting a new record. Prices stabilized in Nov>Dec but turned up in Jan>Feb 23, a new record. They fell in March, peaked at a new record in May, fell in Jun>Aug, grew in Sep>Oct, then fell in Nov.
  • Pet Services– Normally inflation is 2+%. Perhaps due to closures, prices increased at a lower rate in 2020. In 2021 consumer demand increased but there were fewer outlets. Inflation grew in 2021 with the biggest lift in Jan>Apr. Inflation was stronger in 2022 but it got on a rollercoaster in Mar>June. It turned up again July 22>Mar 23 but the increase slowed to +0.1% in April. Prices fell -0.3% in May, turned up again, peaking in Aug, then fell in Sep>Nov.
  • Veterinary – Inflation has been consistent. Prices turned up in March 20 and grew through 21. A surge began in December 21 which put them above the overall CPI. In May 22 prices fell and stabilized in June causing them to fall below the National CPI. However, prices rose again and despite some dips they have stayed above the CPI since July 22. In 23 prices grew Jan>May, stabilized Jun>Jul, fell in Aug, then grew Sep>Nov to a new high.
  • Total Pet – Petflation is a sum of the segments. In Dec 21 the price surge began. In Mar>Jun 22 the segments had ups & downs, but Petflation grew again from Jul>Nov. It slowed in Dec, grew Jan>May 23 (peak), fell Jun>Aug, grew in Sep/Oct, then fell in Nov. Except for 5 monthly dips, prices in all segments increased monthly Jan>Jun 23. In Jul/Aug there 5 more dips, 2 in Sep/Oct, then 2 big ones in Nov. Petflation has been above the CPI since Nov 22

Next, we’ll turn our attention to the Year Over Year inflation rate change for November and compare it to last month, last year and to previous years. We will also show total inflation from 21>23 & 19>23. Petflation fell again to 4.3% in November, but it is still almost 1.4 times the National rate. The chart will allow you to compare the inflation rates of 22>23 to 21>22 and other years but also see how much of the total inflation since 2019 came from the current pricing surge. Again, we’ve included some human categories to put the pet numbers into perspective.

Overall, Prices were -0.2% from October but were +3.1% vs November 22, down from +3.2% in October. Grocery inflation is down again, to +1.7% from +2.1%. 5 of 9 categories had a price decrease from last month – National CPI, Total Pet, Groceries, Pet Supplies & Services. There were only 2 in October. That’s 3 months in a row for Pet Services. The national YOY monthly CPI rate of 3.1% is only 44% of the 21>22 rate. The 22>23 inflation rate is below 21>22 for all categories for the 3rd consecutive month. In our 2021>2023 measurement you also can see that over 65% of the cumulative inflation since 2019 occurred in only 4 segments – Total Pet, Pet Food, Pet Supplies and Veterinary – All Pet. We should also note that the segments with the lowest percentages are Haircuts, Pet Services and Medical Services. Service Segments have generally had higher inflation rates so there was a smaller pricing lift in the recent surge. Services expenditures account for 61.8% of the National CPI so they are very influential. We also see that Pet Products have a very different pattern. The 21>23 inflation surge provided 97.8% of their overall inflation since 2019. This happened because Pet Products prices in 2021 were just starting to recover from a deflationary period.

  • U.S. CPI– Prices are -0.2% from October. The YOY increase is 3.1%, down from 3.2%. It peaked at +9.1% back in June 2022. The targeted inflation rate is <2% so we are still 55% higher than the target. After 12 straight declines, we had 2 lifts, then a stable month and now 2 consecutive drops – good news! The current inflation rate is 56.3% below 21>22 but the 21>23 rate is still 10.5%. That is 54% of the total inflation since 2019, but down from 57% last month.
  • Pet Food– Prices are +0.01% vs October and +5.6% vs November 22, down from 6.5%. However, they are still 3.1 times the Food at Home inflation rate. The YOY increase of 5.6% is being measured against a time when prices were 16.3% above the 2019 level, but that increase is still 1.5 times the pre-pandemic 3.7% increase from 2018 to 2019. The 2021>2023 inflation surge has generated 96.9% of the total 22.9% inflation since 2019.
  • Food at Home – Prices are down -0.5% from October. The monthly YOY increase is 1.7%, down from 2.1% in October and radically lower than Jul>Sep 2022 when it exceeded 13%. The 25.4% Inflation for this category since 2019 is 31% more than the national CPI and remains 2nd to Veterinary. 54% of the inflation since 2019 occurred from 2021>2023. The pattern mirrors the national CPI, but we should note that Grocery prices began inflating in 2020>2021 then the rate accelerated. It appears that the pandemic supply chain issues in Food which contributed to higher prices started early and foreshadowed problems in other categories and the overall CPI tsunami.
  • Pets & Supplies– Prices were down -0.5% from October and -1.2% vs November 2022. They still have the lowest increase since 2019. As we noted, prices were deflated for much of 2021. However, even with recent price drops the 2021>2023 inflation surge accounted for 82% of the total price increase since 2019. They reached an all-time high in October 2022 then prices deflated. 3 months of increases pushed them to a new record high in February. Prices fell in March, bounced back in Apr/May to a new record high, fell in Jun>Aug, grew in Sep>Oct, then fell in November.
  • Veterinary Services – Prices are up +1.0% from October. They are +9.0% from 2022, again the highest rate in the Pet Industry. Plus, they are still the leader in the increase since 2019 with 30.0% compared to Food at home at 25.4%. For Veterinary Services, relatively high annual inflation is the norm. The rate did increase during the current surge so 70% of the 4 years’ worth of inflation occurred in the 2 years from 2021>2023.
  • Medical Services – Prices turned sharply up at the start of the pandemic but then inflation slowed and fell to a low rate in 20>21. Prices grew 0.3% from October but are -0.9% vs 22. Prices have now deflated for 7 straight months. Medical Services are not a big part of the current surge as only 39% of the 2019>23 increase happened from 21>23.
  • Pet Services – Inflation slowed in 2020 but began to grow in 2021. November 23 prices were -2.1% from October and only +1.4% vs 22, which is down 70% from 4.7% last month and 84% lower than 8.0% in March. Now, only 50% of their total 17.8% inflation since 2019 occurred from 21>23.
  • Haircuts/Other Personal Services – Prices are up 0.3% from October and +3.9% from 2022, down sharply from 5.0% last month. Inflation has been rather consistent as 51% of the inflation from 19>23 happened from 21>23.
  • Total Pet– Petflation is now 64% lower than the 21>22 rate, but still 1.4 times the U.S. CPI. For November, +4.3% is the 4th highest rate since 1997 (2022: 12.0%; 2008: 10.0%; 2007: 5.3%). Vs October, prices fell for Supplies & Services so Total Pet was -0.3%. An Oct>Nov drop has only happened in 6 of the last 24 years so it was a surprise. Veterinary & Food are still the Petflation leaders, but all segments have an influence. Pet Food has been immune to inflation as Pet Parents are used to paying a lot, but inflation can reduce purchase frequency in the other segments.

Now, let’s look at the YTD numbers

The increase from 22>23 is the biggest for 2 of 9 categories – both Pet, Pet Food & Veterinary. The 22>23 rates for Haircuts, Pet Services & Total Pet are slightly below 21>22. However, the CPI, Pet Supplies, Medical Services and Food at Home are significantly down from 21>22. The average annual increase since 2019 is 4.5%+ for all but Medical Services (2.7%) and Pet Supplies (2.5%).

  • U.S. CPI – The current increase is down 48% from 21>22 and 6.7% less than the average increase from 2019>2023, but it’s 72% more than the average annual increase from 2018>2021. 66% of the 19.2% inflation since 2019 occurred from 2021>23. Inflation is a big problem that started recently.
  • Pet Food – Strong inflation continues with the highest 22>23 & 21>23 rates on the chart. Deflation in the 1st half of 2021 kept YTD prices low then prices surged in 2022. 96% of the inflation since 2019 occurred from 2021>23.
  • Food at Home – The 2023 YTD inflation rate has slowed but still beat the U.S. CPI by 29%. You can see the impact of supply chain issues on the Grocery category as 69% of the inflation since 2019 occurred from 2021>23.
  • Pets & Pet Supplies – Prices fell in November and the YTD inflation rate is down to 2.9%. Prices deflated significantly in both 2020 & 2021 which helped to create a very unique situation. Prices are up 10.2% from 2019 but 105% of this increase happened from 2021>23. Prices are up 10.7% from their 2021 “bottom”.
  • Veterinary Services – They are still #1 in inflation since 2019 but they have only the 2nd highest rate since 2021. At +6.5%, they have the highest average annual inflation rate since 2019. Inflation was high and consistent, around 4% from 2019>2021. It took off in 2022. Regardless of the situation, strong Inflation is the norm in Veterinary Services.
  • Medical Services – Prices went up significantly at the beginning of the pandemic, but inflation slowed in 2021. In 2023 prices have generally been deflating and are now at -0.3% YTD, the only current deflation in any segment.
  • Pet Services – May 22 set a record for the biggest year over year monthly increase in history. Prices fell in June but began to grow again in July, reaching record highs in Sep>Apr 23. The January 2023 increase of 8.4% set a new record. Prices have dropped Sep>Nov and YTD November fell to 6.1% from 6.6% in October and 7.0% in August. Their price surge started in 2021 when inflation jumped to 4.7% from 2.5% in 2019 & 2020.
  • Haircuts & Personal Services – The services segments, essential & non-essential, were hit hardest by the pandemic. After a small decrease in March 22, prices turned up again. Since 2021 inflation has been a consistent 5+%, 89% higher than 18>19. Consumers are paying 21% more than in 2019, which usually reduces the purchase frequency.
  • Total Pet – There were two patterns. After 2019, Prices in the Services segments increased, and the rate grew into 2021. Pet products – Food and Supplies, took a different path. They deflated in 2020 and didn’t return to 2019 levels until mid-year 2021. Food prices began a slow increase, but Supplies remained stable until near yearend. In 2022, Food and Supplies prices turned sharply up. Food prices grew until Jun>Aug 23. Supplies prices stabilized Apr>May, grew Jun>Oct, fell in Nov, rose in Dec>Feb, fell in Mar, rose in Apr>May then fell in Jun>Aug. Both grew Sep/Oct. In November, Food was stable & Supplies fell. The Services segments have also had ups & downs but have generally inflated. The net is a YTD Petflation rate vs 2022 of 8.3%, about double the CPI. In May 22 it was 5.8% below the CPI.

Petflation is slowing, but still strong. Petflation dropped from 5.2% in October to 4.3% in November. This is 64% below the record 12.0% set in November 22, but still the 4th highest rate for the month. The last 6 months have all been <10% but 9 of 16 have been 10+%. The current 4.3% rate is still 2.7 times the 1.6% average rate from 2010>2021 and also 1.4 times the national rate. There is no doubt that the current pricing tsunami is a significant event in the history of the Pet Industry, but will it affect Pet Parents’ spending. In our demographic analysis of the annual Consumer Expenditure Survey which is conducted by the US BLS with help from the Census Bureau we have seen that Pet spending continues to move to higher income groups. However, the impact of inflation varies by segment. Supplies is the most affected as since 2009 many categories have become commoditized which makes them more price sensitive. Super Premium Food has become widespread because the perceived value has grown. Higher prices generally just push people to value shop. Veterinary prices have strongly inflated for years, resulting in a decrease in visit frequency. Spending in the Services segment is the most driven by higher incomes, so inflation is less impactful. This spending behavior of Pet Parents suggests that we should look a little deeper. Inflation is not just a singular event. It is cumulative. Total Pet Prices are up 4.3% from 2022 but they are up 16.9% from 2021 and 21.5% from 2019. That is a huge increase in a very short period. It puts tremendous monetary pressure on Pet Parents to prioritize their expenditures. We know that the needs of their pet children are always a high priority but let’s hope for a little relief – stabilized prices and even deflation. This is not likely in the Service segments, but it has happened before in Products. Pet Food inflation has slowed for 7 straight months, and Supplies prices have deflated in 3 of the last 4 months. It’s just a start. Let’s hope that it accelerates “down”.

2022 Total Pet Spending was $102.71B – Where did it come from…?

Total Pet Spending in the U.S. was $102.71B in 2021, a $2.73B (2.7%) increase from 2021. These figures and others in this report are calculated from data in the annual Consumer Expenditure Survey conducted by the US BLS. 2021 was tumultuous but it was almost all positive. The Food binge couldn’t be repeated so Food $ fell slightly but all other segments had record increases which produced the biggest Pet spending lift in history. 2022 had mixed results. Like the Food segment, the binge spending on Supplies and Veterinary Services was not repeated, so spending fell in both segments. However, Pet Food bounced back with a 12.5% increase and Services continued their spectacular growth. This produced only a small increase in Total Pet $ Spending but it certainly deserves a closer look.

The first question is, “Who is spending most of the $103 billion dollars?” There are of course multiple answers. We will look at Total Pet Spending in terms of 10 demographic categories. In each category we will identify the group that is responsible for most of the overall spending. Our goal was to find demographic segments in each category that account for 60% or more of the total. To get the finalists, we started with the biggest spending segment then bundled it with related groups until we reached at or near 60%.

Knowing the specific group within each demographic category that was responsible for generating the bulk of Total Pet $ is the first step in our analysis. Next, we will drill even deeper to show the best and worst performing demographic segments/groups and finally, the segments that generated the biggest dollar gains or losses in 2022.

In the chart that follows, the demographic categories are ranked by Total Pet market share from highest to lowest. We also included their share of total CU’s (Financially Independent Consumer Units) and their performance rating. Performance is their share of market vs their share of CU’s. This is an important number, not just for measuring the impact of a particular demographic group, but also in measuring the importance of the whole demographic category in Spending. All are large groups with a high market share. A performance score of 120+% means that this demographic is extremely important in generating increased Pet Spending. I have highlighted the 5 groups with 120+% performance.

The only group change from 2021 is that College Grads lost 6% in share and fell below the 60% threshold so Associate’s Degree> returned to the list. There were changes in the numbers and rankings. Homeowners moved up from 3rd to 2nd and the new Education group is 5th. College Grads were 7th in 2021. Again only 5 made the 120%+ club. Associate’s Degree> replaced College Grads in the club. Formal higher education matters. However, higher income remains the single most important factor in Total Pet Spending.

  1. Race/Ethnic – White, not Hispanic (83.9%) down from 84.2%. This is the 2nd largest group and has the largest share of Pet Spending. Their performance was down from 125.3% to 124.9% but they moved up from #4 to #3 in importance. Although this demographic, along with age, are 2 areas in which the consumers have no control, spending disparities within the group are enhanced by differences in other areas like Income, CU Composition and homeownership. There are also apparently cultural differences which impact Pet Spending. Asian Americans are first in income, education and total CU spending but they’re last in Pet Spending as a percentage of total spending – 0.40% vs a national average of 1.05%.
  2. Housing – Homeowners (81.2%) up from 80.0%. Controlling your “own space” is a key to larger pet families and more pet spending. 2022 was a good year for Homeowners, with & without Mtges. Homeowners spent $3.5B more and the group’s performance grew from 123.6% to 124.8%. Contributing to the increase was a 3.6% drop in spending by Renters. Homeowners moved up from 5th to 4th place in importance. The homeownership rate grew slightly to 65.1%. The lift came entirely from younger CUs as homeownership remained stable in the older groups.
  3. # in CU – 2+ people (80.8%) up from 80.6%. Singles remain the only group with under 100% performance. In 2022, there was a big increase in the number of singles, but they spent even less on their pets. At the same time, 3 person CUs spent $3.2B more. This explains the change in share and a performance increase from 115.9% to 117.1%.
  4. Area – Suburban & Rural (71.7%) down from 71.8% Homeownership is high and they have the “space” for pets. All areas spent more but Center City had the biggest % lift. This, in conjunction with more CUs, pushed Suburban/Rural’s performance down from 111.4% to 109.5%. Center City still has the worst performance at 82.1%
  5. Education – Associates Degree or more (71.5%) down from 74.7%. Higher Education is usually tied to higher income and Pet spending. It can also be a key factor in recognizing the value in product improvements. In 2021 College Grads binge spent $21.6B more on their pets. This was not repeated in 2022 so we returned to the Associates Degree or higher group. This group’s performance fell from 129.6% to 123.9% but they are #5 in importance. The drops are all due to College Grads. In 2022, the Associates Degree segment increased their share of Pet $ from 9.1% to 12.1% and their performance grew from 88.3% to 110.2%. They earned their spot.
  6. Income – Over $70K (67.5%) down from 68.2%. They lost a little share and their performance fell to 142.8% from 152.3%. However, CU income is still by far the most important factor in increased Pet Spending. Spending was again on a roller coaster: <$40K: -$0.5B; $40>69K: +$2.1B; $70>99K: -$1.2B; $100>199K: +$2.7B; $200K>: -$0.4B. Higher income is important. Consider: $100K> = 33.2% of CUs, 53.3% of Pet $; $150K> = 17..7% of CUs, 32.9% of Pet $
  7. # Earners – “Everyone Works” (66.8%) up from 66.4%. These are CUs of any size where all adults are employed. They gained share but their performance fell again, from 117.0% to 114.5%. They dropped out of the 120+% club in 2021 and are now only the 8th most important category. Income is important but # of Earners is less so. They gained share due to a +$2.77B lift from 2+ Earner CUs but their performance fell because they added 2.5 million more CUs.
  8. Occupation – All Wage & Salary Earners (65.7%) up from 63.2%. Their performance also grew from 106.5% to 109.0%. All but Service Workers spent more on their pets in 2022. Managers and Professionals (+$2.98B) and Blue Collar (+$1.43B) had the biggest spending increases. Blue Collar workers actually spent 30.2% more on their pets. Their gains were enhanced by a -$0.98B drop by Retirees and a -$1.2B decrease by “All Other”, which includes unemployed and those not working because of illness or attending school.
  9. CU Composition – Married Couples (61.8%) down from 62.7%. 2 people, committed to each other, is an ideal situation for Pet Parenting. In 2022, they lost share and their performance fell from 132.4% to 129.3%, but they moved up from 3rd to 2nd place in importance because College Grads dropped out. Their drops in share and performance were due to a -$2.6B decrease from those with an oldest child 6>17 and a big lift by single parents.
  10. Age – 35>64 (61.1%) up from 60.9%. They gained share and their performance grew from 116.2% to 117.2%. A $4.3B increase from 45>64 overwhelmed the $2.3B drop by the 35>44 yr-olds. <25 was +$0.77B while the 65> lift and 25>34 drop cancelled each other out. Pet Spending is slightly more balanced, and age stayed 7th in importance.

Total Pet Spending is a sum of the spending in all four industry segments. The “big demographic spenders” listed above are determined by the total pet numbers. The share of spending and performance of these groups varies between segments. In fact, in the Veterinary & Services segments we altered some groups to better reflect where most of the business is coming from. There’s was some turmoil but in 2022 Pet Spending returned to more normal behavior.

Performance is an important measurement. Any group that exceeds 120% indicates an increased concentration of the business which makes it easier for marketing to target the big spenders. Income over $70K is again the clear winner, but there are other strong performers. High performance also indicates the presence of segments within these categories that are seriously underperforming. These can be identified and targeted for improvement. However, 2022 is a bit more complicated. Many of the big drops in spending came from segments that binge bought Supplies & Vet Services in 2021. These big moves, up or down can affect the total group performance. We’re not there yet but we’re closer to normal.

Now, let’s drill deeper and look at 2022’s best and worst performing segments in each demographic category

Most of the best and worst performers are expected but there are 4 winners & 3 losers that are different from 21. Last year there were 9 new winners and 1 loser. The situation is becoming more normal. Changes from 2021 are “boxed”.

  • Income is important in Pet Spending, which is shown by the 195.5% performance by the $200K> group and wins by the high income 3 Earners, Mgrs/Prof, 45>54 and Adv College Degrees. All groups over $70K performed at 100+%.
  • Occupation – Mgrs/Professionals & Self-Employed are the only occupations with 100+% performance. Retirees edged out Service Workers (76.9%) for the bottom spot.
  • Age/Generation – Gen X won again but spending skewed towards their older members with the 45>54 win.
  • Region – The Midwest returned to the top. The West (the usual winner) also had 100+% performance.
  • CU Size/Composition – The importance of children was maintained with wins by 4 People and those with an Oldest Child over 18. Single Parents had a strong year and moved off the bottom. The “magic” CU number fell from 5 to 4.

The winners reflect the continued move back towards more normal spending patterns from slightly older CUs. In the next section we’ll look at the segments which literally made the biggest difference in spending in 2022.

We’ll “Show you the money”! This chart details the biggest $ changes in spending from 2021.

Like 2021, in 1 category, all segments spent more – Area Type. In 2021, it was # of Earners. Only 3 segments held their spot from 2021 while 9 switched from winner to loser or vice versa. There was considerable internal turmoil but much less than in 2021 when 17 flipped. However, 87.5% were different from last year, just a little better than 96% in 2021.

  • Region – The winner and loser both flipped. This only happened in the Region Category.
    • Winner – Midwest – Pet Spending: $25.36B; Up $6.39B (+33.7%)                                2021: West
    • Loser – West – Pet Spending: $26.32B; Down -$3.99B (-13.2%)                                     2021: Midwest
    • Comment – In 2021 the Midwest had the only decrease in Total Pet $. In 2022 they had double digit increases in all segments. The South also spent more, +$1.9B. The West spent less in all but Services.
  • Education – Adv College degrees flipped to last, but all College Grads spent less in every industry segment.
    • Winner – Associates Degree – Pet Spending: $12.41B; Up $3.33B (+36.7%)                       2021: Adv. College Degree
    • Loser – Adv. College Degree – Pet Spending: $28.70B; Down -$3.74B (-11.5%)                 2021: < HS Grads
    • Comment – All segments w/o a College Degree spent more but those with an Associate’s Degree had an especially strong year. Their Vet spending was only +5.8% but Services was +116.3% and Products was +47.5%.
  • Age – The 35>44 yr-olds flipped to the bottom as they “gave back” the 2021 big lifts in Supplies & Veterinary.
    • Winner – 45>54 yrs – Pet Spending: $21.80B; Up $3.29B (+17.8%)                              2021: 35>44 yrs
    • Loser – 35>44 yrs – Pet Spending: $19.05B; Down $2.34B (-10.9%)                             2021: 55>64 yrs
    • Comment: The high-income 45>54 yr-olds are back on top but only the 25>44 and 75+ groups spent less.
  • # in CU – A new winner and loser but no flips.
    • Winner – 3 People – Pet Spending: $17.73B; Up $3.23B (+22.2%)                                2021: 2 People
    • Loser – 5+ People – Pet Spending: $10.27B; Down -$1.21B (-10.6%)                            2021: 4 People
    • Comment: All groups spent more on Services but less on Veterinary. Only 2 People CUs spent less on Food while only 3 People CUs spent more on Supplies. However, only 2 & 5+ people CUs spent less Total Pet $.
  • Occupation – Retirees flipped from 1st to last.
    • Winner –– Managers & Professionals – Pet Spending: $37.57B; Up $2.98B (+8.6%)           2021: Retired
    • Loser – Retired – Pet Spending: $17.32B; Down -$0.98B (-55.3%)                                           2021: Self-Employed
    • Comment– Only Retirees, Service Workers & Unemployed/All other spent less. Blue & White collar spent more.
  • CU Composition – With big lifts in all but Veterinary, Married with an oldest child over 18 flipped from last to 1st.
    • Winner – Married, Oldest Child 18> – Pet Spending: $11.498; Up $2.70B (+30.7%)                       2021: Married, Couple Only
    • Loser – Married, Oldest Child 6>17 – Pet Spending: $14.52B; Down -$2.58B (-15.1%)                  2021: Married, Child 18>
    • Comment – Married, oldest child 6>17 spent more on Services but were the only group with a drop in Total Pet $
  • Income – With double digit increases in all but Veterinary, $100>149K flipped to the top.
    • Winner – $100>149K – Pet Spending: $20.99B; Up $2.49B (+13.4%)                              2021: $200K>
    • Loser – $70 to $99K – Pet Spending: $14.58B; Down -$1.16B (-7.3%)                             2021: $100>149K
    • Comment – There was no clear pattern. This category was on a spending rollercoaster. <$40K: -$0.54B; $40>69K: +$2.13B; $70>99K: -$1.16B; $100>199K: +$2.72B; $200K>: -$0.41B.
  • # Earners – After their surprising win in 2021, No Earner 2+ CUs flipped to the bottom.
    • Winner – 1 Earner, 2+ CU – Pet Spending: $19.01B; Up $2.17B (+12.9%)                        2021: No Earner, 2+ CU
    • Loser – No Earner, 2+ CU – Pet Spending: $7.67B; Down $2.53B (-24.8%)                      2021: 1 Earner, Single
    • Comment – 1 Earner, singles also spent less. All other groups including No Earner, Singles spent more.
  • Race/Ethnic – White, Not Hispanics stayed on top.
    • Winner – White, Not Hispanic – Pet Spending: $86.18B; Up $2.04B (+2.4%)                2021: White, Not Hispanic
    • Loser – Hispanic – Pet Spending: $9.45B; Down -$0.54B (-5.4%)                                     2021: African American
    • Comment – African Americans had a huge, +43.9% increase but Hispanics and Asians spent less.
  • Generation – In a true surprise, Gen Z is on top. They are “growing up” and Pet Parenting is radically increasing.
    • Winner Gen Z – Pet Spending: $3.48B; Up $1.84B (+112.6%)                                          2021: Gen X
    • Loser – Born <1946 – Pet Spending: $5.19B; Down -$1.46B (-22.0%)                               2021: Baby Boomers
    • Comment – Boomers had the 2nd biggest lift and only the oldest generations, born <1946 spent less.
  • Housing – Homeowners w/o Mtge flipped from last to 1st
    • Winner – Homeowner w/o Mtge – Pet Spending: $26.94B; Up $1.79B (+7.1%)             2021: Homeowner w/Mtge
    • Loser – Renter – Pet Spending: $19.27B; Down -$0.73B (-3.6%)                                       2021: Homeowner w/o Mtge
    • Comment – The win by Homeowners w/o Mtge was driven by CUs who have paid off their home but haven’t retired. They just edged out Homeowners w/Mtge, +$1.67B. Only Renters spent less.
  • Area Type – Both winner and loser held their positions and all segments spent more.
    • Winner – Suburbs 2500> – Pet Spending: $46.46B; Up $0.99B (+2.2%)                          2021: Suburbs 2500>
    • Loser – Areas <2500 – Pet Spending: $27.18B; Up $0.81B (+3.1%)                                  2021: Areas <2500
    • Comment – The Big Suburbs stayed in their usual spot at the top. Center City had a +$0.93B lift and Areas <2500 rebounded from a drop in 2021. The increases were pretty balanced, ranging from +2.2% to +3.3%.

We’ve seen the best overall performers and the “winners” and “losers” in terms of increase/decrease in Total Pet Spending $ for 12 Demographic Categories. Now, here are some segments that didn’t win an award, but they deserve….


It was not a good year for College Grads but it was a great year for those without a BA/BS. Associates had the biggest lift but those w/o a HS diploma more than doubled their Pet $. Single parents are often on the “bottom” in Pet Spending, but they spent 54% more in 2022. In 2021, African Americans had the only drop in spending by a racial/ethnic group. In 2022 they rebounded with a +43.9% increase, by far the biggest percentage lift of any group in the category. Not all Gen Zers are under 25 but all CUs below 25 are Gen Z. The <25 group have radically increased their Pet Parenting responsibility and spending. Pet Spending continues to be centered in the higher income groups but almost 70% of all CUs have pets. They are an important part of the family for all Pet Parents. Although they didn’t win any awards, the 28% Pet Spending increases by Blue Collar Workers and the low income $40>49K group clearly demonstrate the widespread importance of the Pet members of U.S. households.


To properly review 2022, we must put it into context with recent history. Total Pet Spending reached $78.60B in 2018, a $14.28B, 22.2% increase from 2014. However, it was not a steady rise, Total spending actually fell in 2016 and each segment had at least one down year. There were a number of factors driving both the growth and tumult within the industry. Two big positives were the movement to super premium pet foods and the rapid expansion of the number of outlets offering pet services. On the downside were value shopping, trading $ between segments and outside influences like the FDA dog food warning and tariffs. Pricing, inflation/deflation was also a negative/positive factor in some cases.

In 2019, the industry had another small decrease, -$0.16B (-0.2%) which was largely driven by a huge drop in spending in Supplies caused by Tarifflation. This affected virtually every demographic segment and caused Supplies $ to fall below 2014. Services spending also fell slightly as consumers value shopped. The good news was that Pet Food bounced back from the impact of the 2018 FDA warning to reach a new record high. Veterinary $ also increased 2.7%. Unfortunately, this was entirely due to a 4.1% increase in prices. The amount of Vet Services sold actually decreased.

That brings us to 2020 and the Pandemic turmoil. The effect was positive for Food and Veterinary, especially Food. Out of fear of shortages, many Pet Parents binge bought Pet Food. Spending also increased in Veterinary, as consumers focused on their Pets’ needs. The discretionary segments suffered. Supplies prices stayed high, so spending continued to decline. Services saw the biggest negative pandemic impact as many outlets were subject to closures and restrictions.

2021 was a new year and brought a change in attitude as the marketplace returned to “normal”. The Food binge buying wasn’t repeated but Pet Parents caught up with all their “children’s” wants and needs. This produced a record increase in Total Pet +$16.23B) and in all segments but Food. Gen X took back the top spot in $ and  Pet spending skewed younger and back to more traditional winners, like Homeowners w/Mtges and Incomes over $200K.

In 2022, the spending lift was much smaller. Food $ increased by 12.5% and Services had another record increase, +$3.26B. This was enough to overcome the big “binge drops” in Veterinary and Supplies and produce a 2.7% increase in Total Pet $. 72% of 96 demographic segments spent more on their pets. This is good but down considerably from 83% in 2021. The lift was not quite as widespread as 2021 but in some ways, spending became a little more balanced with strong performances by those without a college degree, Blue Collar workers, African Americans and Gen Z – to name a few. Income is still important as Gen X stayed on top. Spending also skewed a little older towards the oldest Gen Xers, 45>54 yr olds. Baby Boomers are still the “heart” of the Pet Industry, but Gen Xers are likely to stay on top in $ for a number of years, until they are eventually displaced by the Millennials.

Before we go…The Ultimate Total Pet Spending CU in 2022 has 4 people, a married couple with an oldest child 18>. They are 45>54 yrs-old. They are White, but not Hispanic. Both work and so does their oldest child. At least one has an Advanced College Degree and is a Mgr/Professional. They earn $200K+. They still have a mortgage on their house located in a small suburb in the Midwest.

2022 U.S. Pet Spending by Generation – Gen X Stays on Top!

In 2022 Americans spent $102.71B on our companion animals, 1.05% of $9.79T in total expenditures. Pet Spending was up $2.73B (+2.7%), much less than the $16.23B in 2021. In 2020 Consumers focused on the necessary segments – Food and Veterinary, including a Food buying binge. The discretionary segments, Supplies and Services, suffered until 2021 when Food $ fell but all other segments had record increases. In 2022, Supplies & Veterinary $ fell but Food spending grew by 12.5% and Services set a new record. This mixed performance produced the small 2.7% lift in Total Pet $.

In this report we will compare Pet Spending in 2022 vs 2021 for the most popular demographic measurement – by Generation. We will also include historical data going back to 2019 when Gen Z first had enough CUs to be recognized as a separate segment. All data comes from the US BLS Consumer Expenditure Survey.

We’ll start by defining the generations and looking at their share of U.S. Consumer Units (CUs are basically Households)


Gen Z: Born after 1996

In 2022, Age 25 or less

Millennials: Born 1981 to 1996

In 2022, Age 26 to 41

Gen X: Born 1965 to 1980

In 2022, Age 42 to 57

Baby Boomers: Born 1946 to 1964

In 2022 Age 58 to 76

Silent/Greatest: Born before 1946

In 2022, Age 77+

  • Baby Boomers still have the largest number of CU’s at 43.5M and 32.4% of the total. They had a slight decrease in 2022 and generally have been losing ground. In fact, they have 1.7M fewer CU’s than in 2016.
  • The Oldest Generations will continue to lose CUs primarily due to death or movement to permanent care facilities.
  • Gen X has the second most CUs and gained a little ground in 2022.
  • Millennials have the largest number of individuals, but they rank only third in the number of CU’s.
  • Gen Z gained 1.3M CUs as more of these youngsters established independent households.

Now let’s look at some key CU Characteristics (Note: Nationally, there were no changes from 2021.)

# Children: No Changes; CU size: Down for Boomers; # Earners: Millennials & Gen X up, Gen Z down; Homeownership: Up for Gen X & younger; No Mtge: Up for Gen X & Boomers but down for Gen Z & Silent/Greatest.

  • CU Size – Nationally, CU size stayed at 2.4. It was 2.5 back in 2020. CUs with 2+ people still account for 69.0% of all U.S. CUs (down from 69.5% in 2021) and 80.8% of pet $ (up from 80.6%) There were fewer 2+ CUs but they spent more on their pets. Millennials and now Gen Z are actively building their households. However, CU size, with all the related responsibilities, still peaks with the Gen Xers and then starts dropping. The Boomers’ CUs fell below 2.0 for the 1st time but the CU size for all other groups was the same as 2021.
  • # Children < 18 – 27.0% of U.S. CU’s have children, down from 27.1% and they generate 32.8% of Pet Spending, up slightly from 31.9%. The slight drop in CUs came from families with an oldest child under 6 and Single Parents. The increase in Total Pet Spending was more balanced. Married couples with an oldest child 6>17 spent $2.58B less. All other CUs, with or without children spent more. The net result was CUs with children spent $1.83B more while those without children only increased spending by $0.90B. Overall and in all generations, there was no change in the # of children per CU. Millennials are still the leader and the only generation to average more than 1 child per CU. Gen X is still #2, followed by Gen Z. Boomers fell from 0.2 to 0.1 in 2020. They should stay above zero for a few more years.
  • # Earners – Pet spending is often tied to the number of earners in a CU. In 2022, only No Earner 2+ CUs and Single, 1 Earner CUs spent less on their pets. 2+ earner CUs still spent the most and had the biggest increase, +$2.77B. No Earners are usually older and retired. This includes the oldest Boomers and the Silent/Greatest generations.
  • Homeownership – Owning and controlling your own space has always been a major factor in increased Pet Ownership and spending. In 2022 homeownership increased slightly to 65.09% from 64.72%. Gen Z, Millennials & Gen X had increases while the oldest groups were stable. The homeowners’ share of Total Pet Spending grew from 80.0% to 81.2%. The increase happened because Homeowners’ Pet Spending increased $3.46B (+4.3%), while Renters’ fell -$0.73B (-3.6%). We should also note that the percentage of homeowners w/no Mtge was unchanged overall and for Millennials. It grew slightly for Gen X & Boomers, but this was offset by small decreases from Gen Z and the Silent/Greatest generations.
    • As expected, Gen Z are the most common renters in society. Homeownership by Millennials has moved up to 51% but it is still only 78% of the national average.
    • Gen Xers have been above the national avg since 2018 and Homeownership continues to increase with age.

Next, we’ll compare the Generations to the National Avg.:

In Income, Total CU Spending, Total Pet Spending and the Pet Share of Total CU Spending

CU National Avg: Income – $94,003; Total CU Spending – $72,993; Total Pet Spending – $766.20; Pet Share – 1.05%

  • Income – The Gen Xers are still at the top, but their lead fell slightly. Compared to the national average, the income of Boomers fell but the Silent/Greatest grew. Millennials’ income beat the national average in 2020 and continues to grow. The income of Gen Z passed that of the oldest Americans in 2021 and as expected, continues to grow.
  • Total Spending – The Gen Xers make the most and spend the most but it’s not out of line with their income. The Millennials’ increase was slightly below the national lift but overall, it is still above the national average. Like their income, Boomers’ spending fell even further below the national average. Due to a big lift in spending in relation to income, the oldest group is once again deficit spending in relation to their after tax income. With an 8.7% increase in Income and an 8.3% increase in spending, the retail importance of Millennials continues to grow.
  • Pet Spending – Again only 2 groups exceeded the national average and Gen X stayed firmly on top. Millennials are still 3rd, 24% below Gen X but only 8% below Boomers. The oldest group replaced Gen Z at the bottom.
  • Pet Spending Share of Total Spending – The national number fell from 1.12% to 1.05%. The drop was driven by decreases from all groups but Gen Z. In 2020 Boomers were the only group to spend more than 1% of their total expenditures on their pets. In 2021 only Gen Z spent less than 1% of their total expenditures on their pets. In 2022, only Boomers and Gen X are above 1% but Millennials (0.97%) and Gen Z (0.96%) are very close.

Now, let’s look at Total Pet Spending by Generation in terms of market share as well as the actual annual $ spent for 2019 through 2022. The 2022 numbers are boxed in red (decrease) or green (increase) to note the change from 2021.

  • Gen X kept the top spot in Pet Spending but they only lead Boomers by $0.43B, 1.3%, down from $0.68B, 2.1% in 21.
  • There are a variety of spending patterns. Spending in the oldest group is low and had been slowly falling. It surged in 2021 then fell in 2022. Millennials are the only group with consistent annual growth. Gen X had also been growing every year… until 2020. However, they came back strong and moved to the top in 2021 & 2022. The Boomers have been on a rollercoaster ride because they have a strong reaction to trends and outside influences. In 2020 they were the primary group that panic bought Pet Food. In 2021 their spending fell due to a big drop in Food $. In 2022 it increased but is still below 2020. Interestingly, their pattern is the exact opposite of the oldest generation. Gen Z is just getting started. They’re the smallest group and spend the least but their spending more than doubled in 2022.
  • In 2022, only the Silent/Greatest generations spent less. Gen Z & Boomers had the biggest lifts.
    • Silent/Greatest: -$1.46B. Boomers: +1.05B. Gen X: +0.80B. Millennials: +$0.50B. Gen Z: +$1.84B.
  • Gen X – Ave CU spent $957.44 (+$15.57); 2022 Total Pet Spending = $34.43B, Up $0.80B (+2.4%)
    • 2019>2022: Up $8.68B Their annual Pet spending growth since 2015 had been strong and consistent until a drop in 2020. In 2021 and 2022 they were #1 in CU Pet spending and Total $. Their spending is up 34% from 2019.
  • Boomers – Ave CU spent $791.26 (+$26.58); 2022 Total Pet spending = $34.00B, Up $1.05B (+3.2%)
    • 2019>2022: Up $5.27B; They stayed on the roller coaster as spending turned up but it’s still -2.4% vs 2020.
  • Millennials – Ave CU spent $724.99 (+$8.48); 2022 Total Pet Spending = $25.61B, Up $0.50B (+2.0%)
    • 2019>2022: Up $9.18B; As the income and overall spending of Millennials grows, their pet spending has also grown every year. This younger group has the biggest increase in $ since 2019 of any group, $9.18B, +56%.
  • Silent + Greatest – Ave CU spent $425.85 (-$62.65); 2022 Total Pet Spending = $5.19B, Down $1.46B (-22.0%)
    • 2019>2022: Down $1.27B; Spending was down, and their CU count continues to fall, -9.5% from 2021 and -28% from 2019.
  • Gen Z – Ave CU spent $460.26 (+$188.99); 2022 Total Pet Spending= $3.48B, Up $1.84 (+112.6%)
    • 2019>2022: Up $2.41B; They’re just starting to build H/Hs but they “got on board” in Pet Parenting in 22 as Pet spending doubled.

Gen X held onto the top spot in Total Pet Spending, but all but the Silent/Greatest group spent more. Plus, spending took off for Gen Z. Unfortunately, with 8.9% inflation, all other groups really bought less Pet Products & Services in 2022.

Let’s look at the individual segments. First, Pet Food…

  • The Silent/Greatest generations had the only decrease. The Boomer rollercoaster turned up again, but the younger groups have had more consistent growth. Gen Z more than doubled their spending in 2022.
  • Since 2014, Millennials’ have led the way in food trends, and they are the only group with an annual increase every year since 2016.
  • Boomers – Ave CU spent $315.56 (+35.11); 2022 Pet Food spending = $13.32, Up $1.50B (+12.7%)
    • 2019>2022: Up $0.76B They are still #1 in Total Food $. They are below 2020 but finally passed their 2019 $.
  • Gen X – Ave CU spent $367.21 (+$60.94); 2022 Pet Food spending = $13.08B, Up $1.96B (+17.6%)
    • 2019>2022: Up $3.05B They reacted to the FDA warning by further upgrading their food. No pandemic panic buying. They value shopped. In 2021 and 2022 they spent more and became the leader in CU Pet Food Spending.
  • Millennials – Ave CU spent $243.54 (+$37.42); 2022 Pet Food Spending = $8.80B, Up $1.56B (+21.6%)
    • 2019>2022: Up $3.01B They are the only group with increased spending every year since 2016. Their income is growing as is a commitment to their pets. They often pioneer food upgrades and the pandemic had little impact.
  • Silent/Greatest – Ave CU spent $154.12 (-$107.88); 2022 Pet Food spending = $1.88B, Down $1.73B (-47.9%)
    • 2019>2022: Down $0.60B; CU count is falling, and high prices may have caused them to downgrade their food.
  • Gen Z – Ave CU spent $206.03 (+$101.59); 2022 Pet Food spending = $1.62B, Up $0.99B (+158.6%)
    • 2019>2022: Up $1.28B; Pets moved up in importance to these youngsters. Pet Food spending more than doubled

Pet Food Spending is driven by trends and outside influences like FDA warnings and COVID. 2022 was a more normal year. Even with 10.2% inflation, all but Silent/Greatest spent more $ and bought more food.  Now, Supplies Spending.

  • Only Gen X spent less but they kept their position at the top of Pet Supplies spending. Supplies spending used to be more skewed towards the younger groups. It has become more balanced. The oldest and youngest generations essentially have the same share and there is a difference of less than 10% in the $ of the 3 biggest spenders.
  • Gen X – Ave CU spent $194.64 (-$70.79); 2022 Pet Supplies spending = $7.04B, Down $2.36B (-25.1%)
    • 2016>2021: Up $1.57B; Gen Xers are again the leader in Supplies spending. They were affected by tarifflation in 2019 but held their ground in 2020. In 2021 spending exploded, +71% so the drop in 2022 was not unexpected.
  • Baby Boomers – Ave CU spent $156.31 (+$2.28); 2022 Pet Supplies spending = $6.79B, Up $0.08B (+1.1%)
    • 2019>2022: Up $0.89B In 2020 they focused on Food! In 2021 they made it back to 2018 $ and then had a small lift in 2022.
  • Millennials – Ave CU spent $181.77 (+$1.40); 2022 Pet Supplies spending = $6.35B, Up $0.03B (+0.5%)
    • 2019>2022: Up $2.43B; Millennials earn their share of Supplies $. They were the least impacted by the tariffs in 2019 and spent more in 2020. Their spending then took off in 2021, with a 53% increase. It stayed there in 2022.
  • Silent + Greatest – Ave CU spent $72.64 (+$8.37); 2022 Pet Supplies spending = $0.89B, Up $0.02B (+2.3%)
    • 2016>2021: Down $0.21B; They’re losing CUs & were hit hard by COVID & inflation but had small lifts in 21 & 22.
  • Gen Z – Ave CU spent $119.05 (+$36.10); 2022 Pet Supplies spending = $0.87B, Up $0.37B (+73.4%)
    • 2019>2022: Up $0.45B; With a huge increase in Food, their big lift in Supplies is not surprising, Pets need both.

In 2019, tarifflation drove spending down in all groups. In 2020 Millennials and Gen X spent a little more while the older groups spent a lot less. In 2021 spending took off in all groups. In 2022, only Gen X spent less, -$2.36B. However, considering 7.7% inflation, only Gen Z really bought more Supplies.

Next, we’ll turn our attention to the Service Segments. First, Non-Veterinary Pet Services

  • All groups spent more. Baby Boomers had the biggest increase and became #1 in Services $.
  • Baby Boomers – Ave CU spent $95.56 (+$25.50); 2022 Pet Services spending = $4.15B, Up $1.10B (+35.9%)
    • 2019>2022: Up $1.37B; The biggest $ drop in 2020 and the biggest lifts in 2021 & 2022. They moved to the top.
  • Gen X – Ave CU spent $110.26 (+$18.62); 2022 Pet Services spending = $3.99B, Up $0.74B (+22.9%)
    • 2019>2022: Up $0.95B; In 2020 they had a big drop. In 2021 and 2022 they had the 2nd biggest lifts but fell to #2 in 2022.
  • Millennials – Ave CU spent $95.50 (+$28.89); 2022 Pet Services spending = $3.34B, Up $1.00B (+43.0%)
    • 2019>2022: Up $1.54B; In 2020 they had the smallest decrease of any group and with the 2021 & 2022 lifts, they are now 86% ahead of their 2019 spending.
  • Silent + Greatest – Ave CU spent $50.25 (+$23.96); 2022 Pet Services spending = $0.61B, Up $0.26B (+73.1%)
    • 2016>2021: Down $0.34B; They definitely have the need. In 2022, they found the money. Spending was +73%.
  • Gen Z – Ave CU spent $37.35 (+$18.82); 2022 Pet Services spending = $0.27B, Up $0.16B (+143.5%)
    • 2019>2022: Up $0.21B; They still have the smallest share of the $ but their spending more than doubled in 2022.

This segment had slow annual growth until 2017 which saw a small drop in spending due to an extremely competitive environment. In 2018, the increased number of outlets really hit home, and spending exploded. 2019 brought another small decrease as Gen Xers & Millennials looked for and found a better deal. 2020 brought pandemic restrictions and closures. Fueled by the Big 3, 2021 produced a record lift which they exceeded in 2022. However, Boomers are now #1.

Now, Veterinary Services

  • Gen X & Gen Z had the only increases and Gen X moved to the top in both CU spending and total $.
  • Except for the 2022 drop by Millennials, the younger groups have had a growing commitment to this Pet Parenting responsibility. The combined Veterinary $ of Millennials, Gen Z & Gen Xers is up 47% from 2019 but 95% from 2017.
  • Gen X – Ave CU spent $285.33 (+$6.80); 2022 Veterinary spending= $10.32B, Up $0.46B (+4.6%)
    • 2019>2022: Up $3.11B; They have been at the top of CU Veterinary spending since 2018. They are the only group with an annual increase in Veterinary $ every year since 2019 and in 2022 they moved to the top in Total $.
  • Boomers – Ave CU spent $223.83 (-$36.31); 2022 Veterinary spending= $9.73B, Down $1.62B (-14.3%)
    • 2016>2021: Up $2.25B; In 2020, Boomers focused on Food & Veterinary. In 2021 they had a big drop in Food but a big lift in Veterinary. They have been the perennial leader in Vet $ until the big drop in 2022 pushed them down to #2.
  • Millennials – Ave CU spent $204.18 (-$59.23); 2022 Veterinary Spending $7.13B, Down $2.10B (-22.7%)
    • 2019>2022: Up $2.21B; They had the biggest lift in 21 and the biggest drop in 22 but Veterinary is still a priority.
  • Silent + Greatest – Ave CU spent $148.84 (+$12.90); 2022 Veterinary spending $1.81B, Down $0.02B (-0.9%)
    • 2016>2021: Down $0.12B; Their pets’ health is still a priority. Spending fell only because of a decrease in CUs.
  • Gen Z – Ave CU spent $97.84 (+$32.49); 2022 Veterinary spending = $0.72B, Up $0.32B (+80.9%)
    • 2019>2022: Up $0.47B; Their growing commitment to Pets includes Vet Services as spending rose over 80%.

Veterinary spending continues to be important to the 3 younger groups. Gen X moved to the top in $ and along with Gen Z, had the only increases. However, with 8.8% inflation, Vet spending really fell 16.4% and only Gen Z bought more.

One last chart to compare the share of spending to the share of total CU’s to see who is “earning their share”.

  • Gen X Performance – Total: 124.2%; Food: 125.3%; Supplies: 118.9%; Services: 119.6%; Veterinary: 128.8%
    • Gen Xers returned to the top spot in performance. They again earned their share in Total Pet and all industry segments. Except for the 2020 dip they increased their Total Pet Spending every year since 2016. In 2021 they had a big increase in every segment. In 2022 they had some spending dips but an overall increase as they stayed on top in Total Pet $. They are the performance leader in every segment. Gen Xers range in age from 42>57 so only the oldest are in their peak earning years. Expect their commitment and pet spending to continue to grow.
  • Baby Boomers Performance – Total: 102.1%; Food: 106.2%; Supplies: 95.5%; Services: 103.6%; Veterinary: 101.0%
    • Boomers led the way in building the industry but are no longer the “top dogs” in $. They earn their share in all but Supplies and are still the spending leader in Food & Services. They are also the most emotional Pet Parents, so their spending is subject to radical swings like 2020’s panic, binge buying of Pet Food. They should still be a major force in the Pet Industry for many more years, but the Gen Xers have now stepped up and the Millennials are also preparing to eventually take their turn at the top.
  • Millennials Performance – Total: 95.7%; Food: 87.3%; Supplies: 111.1%; Services: 103.6%; Veterinary: 92.1%
    • Millennials are now the only group to have increased their pet spending every year since 2016. Their spending is more evenly balanced, and their performance is stable at 95+% but their future as the Pet Parenting spending leaders is still a long way off. Their income, home ownership and pet spending are all increasing. They are educated and well connected. Indications are that they may lead the way in adopting new trends, especially in food. Their progress is good news, but in reality, their leadership is probably at least a decade away.
  • Gen Z Performance – Total: 62.0%; Food: 76.6%; Supplies: 72.8%; Services: 40.5%; Veterinary: 44.2%
    • They are just beginning so the numbers are low, but a strong year moved them past the oldest group.
  • Silent/Greatest Performance – Total: 55.6%; Food: 53.5%; Supplies: 44.4%; Services: 54.5%; Veterinary: 67.2%
    • Pet Parenting is more challenging in old age. Their overall performance fell from 66.1% in 2021 to 55.6% in 2022.

Baby Boomers are still the heart of the industry, but Gen Xers are the $ leaders. Expect Gen X’s growth to continue as they are pursued by Millennials. Both groups seem ready, willing and able to take their turn at the top. Pet Spending has become more balanced across the generations. This bodes well for the continued strong growth of the industry.