Millennials Are Treating Pets Like ‘Their Firstborn Child,’ And It’s Reportedly Causing Problems For Some Of The Best-Known Pet Food Brands

Do you have any fur children? Do you treat them like they were your actual children?

It seems it is common among millennials to treat their pets like they were their firstborn children. It’s understandable if you ask me. Fur children play an important part in our lives. We love them.

How does this affect pet food brands though? Have you thought about that?

Popular Pet Brands Are Suffering As Millenials Choose Premium Pet Food

It turns out that millennials are not only emotionally invested in their pets, but also feed them with expensive food. This trend seems to be causing problems for some of the industry’s household names.
According to a recent article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal, popular pet-food brands such as Mars’ Pedigree, Nestle’s Purina, and Smucker’s Gravy Train and Kibbles ‘n Bits are experiencing dropping sales and are suffering as more and more pet owners shift towards premium pet food products.

The demographic that is opting for premium brands is overwhelmingly filled with millennials. While past generations hurried to get married and have children, millennials are waiting much longer to get married, have children, or buy a house. While having a family with children and a married partner may not be on their minds just yet, they are still seeking someone to love and take care of. They love animals. Instead of children, they are instead choosing to become pet parents.

While previous generations love their pets too, millennials are particularly invested and treat them like they were their firstborn children.

This is apparent in how much they spend on their pets, including pet food. 

More Pet Food Brands Are Hitting The Shelves While Pet Food Prices Are Increasing

It is shocking to know that the annual household spending on pet food among pet owners increased 36% between 2007 and 2017.

It is not only the inflation either. More and more pet food brands have entered the market in the past 10 years. Many are selling premium food, ‘human-grade’ snacks, gluten-free meals, high-end ingredients, organic options, and even vegan food.

In 2017 alone, more than 4,500 new pet-food products have been introduced. This is a 45% increase from 2016. The average food price has also increased from $1.71 a pound in 2011 to $2.55 a pound in 2017. This greatly affects pet owners who are experiencing an increase in spending. The American Pet Products Association (APPA) has found that US pet owners spent $69.5 billion on their pets last year, up from $66.75 billion in 2016 and $41.2 billion in 2007.

Many pet owners are incredibly concerned about the health of their pets and choose organic options with raw or otherwise nutritious ingredients. Millennials are especially concerned about unhealthy ingredients in both their own and their pets’ food. Of course, some may also love flashy marketing campaigns, trends, and social media images selling more expensive, new pet food products.

In the meantime, conventional brands are suffering, while some high-quality and more expensive brands are winning.

Is that a problem?

Premium Pet Food May Be A Better Option For Pets

If you ask me, the concern of millennial and non-millennial pet parents should be the health of their pets. More nutritious, organic brands may cost more now, however, if one can afford it, it is a good investment in any pet’s health.

Every pet deserves good health. If you want them to be healthy, you need to invest in their health, which means feeding them with high-quality, nutritious, organic food that is designed for their body.


However, when shopping for pet food, it is also important to look at the ingredients. Some expensive pet foods may have the bling, catchy words, and all the marketing, yet may not be that healthy or right for your pet. However, there are some excellent high-quality, organic, nutrient-dense options for your pet that are affordable. Let’s face it, organic, high-quality food is never the cheapest – not for humans and not for pets – but there are options in the mid-price range. Remember, what you pay now in food, you save later in vet bills.

Voting with their dollars and buying high-quality pet food, pet health-conscious pet owners can drive the prices of these healthier options down over time and encourage conventional brands to create more premium options.

What do you think about this? Do you treat your pets like your children? Do you think that expensive premium pet food is important? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments. We would love to hear from you.


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