Grocery Shoppers Don’t Scrimp When Buying Food for Their Pets

Grocery Shoppers Trade Down but Not for Their Pets

As ongoing macroeconomic challenges put pressure on consumers’ grocery shopping budgets, many are turning to lower-quality goods to save on cost, but few are willing to subject their pets to the same treatment.

By the Numbers

According to data from the latest installment of PYMNTS’ Consumer Inflation Sentiment series, “Consumer Inflation Sentiment Report: Consumers Cut Back by Trading Down,” which drew from an April survey of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers, 47% of all shoppers have switched to a less expensive merchant for at least one grocery product.

While 33% have traded down when it comes to their personal care products, and 32% have downgraded on their snacks, only 19% of grocery shoppers have switched to less expensive merchants for pet food and supplies.

Downgrading to cut costs

The Data in Action

Indeed, retailers that sell pet food are noting sales and loyalty growth. Take, for instance, retail chain Target. On the company’s most recent earnings call, Christina Hennington, executive vice president and chief growth officer, noted strength in the category despite shoppers making “difficult trade-off decisions” in other areas.

“Household essentials delivered low single-digit growth, reflecting notable strength in both the health and pet care categories,” Hennington noted.

Similarly, Walmart indicated on its own earnings call that it is seeing great potential in its pet supplies business.

“Pets is certainly exciting with some of the things that are coming,” John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., said.

Moreover, pet food and supplies retailer Petco noted Wednesday (May 24) that its loyal customers are coming even more frequently.

“Our customer loyalty programs continue to build momentum with our highest value customers, and Q1 marked an over 50% year-over-year increase in recurring customer revenue, building on our milestone of $1 billion reached in 2022,” CEO Ron Coughlin said on an earnings call with analysts.