The humanization of pets is a trend that many publications love to write about. In fact, we have written several articles on it already. While it may seem like overkill, there's a reason why the humanization of pets is so important: It's affecting every single one of us in the pet industry right now.
Consumers are treating their pets more and more like family and their shopping behavior reflects that. It's crucial for both manufacturers and retailers alike to listen and follow along with what the consumer wants or they will be left behind in the dust. Here are three of the ways that the pet industry is becoming more humane, especially within the pet containment and pet food categories.
1) Designing and Manufacturing Humane Pet Containment
As the pet humanization trend continues, pet owners are starting to demand much more out of pet containment product manufacturers. With the help of social media, blogs and forums, pet owners are discovering what makes their pets happy and they are sharing these discoveries with their respective communities. Terms and trends such as #ahutchisnotenough start showing up on social media, and many manufacturers are acknowledging that they can no longer ignore the growing demand for more humane pet containment products.
This is where companies such as Advantek come in to play. Over a year ago, the organization began to recognize this trend in what their consumer were yearning for habitats and information surrounding humane housing standards. By reading reviews, forums such as backyardchickens.com, and blogs such as justrabbits.com, Advantek understood that they needed to take it upon themselves to learn exactly what these pets need for humane shelter, and then bring such humane shelter and facts to the people.
After many months of intensive research, Advantek released a set of humane chicken coop standards that they strongly encourage every other manufacturer to implement as well. These humane chicken coop standards include the following considerations:
- 2-3 square feet per chicken for roosting and space. 1 square foot on the roosting bar
- 12” x 12” x 12” for a nesting box per 1-3 chickens max
- 3-6 square feet of running space
Additionally, Advantek is about to release four chicken coops and two rabbit hutches which are designed to humanely contain a higher number of pets and their current products do. The Arts & Crafts collection for chicken coops is 30% larger than their original sizes, and the Bloom collection for rabbit hutches is 50% larger than their original sizes.
Although the trend is still in the early adopter stage, it's clear that with chicken coops and the humanization of pets both on the rise, there will soon be a collision and Advantek will be proud to be ahead of the curve. However, Advantek didn't just complete this in-depth research to increase sales. Advantek understands that, unsurprisingly, chickens living in humane situations are healthier, live longer, and produce more eggs. Chickens stress very easily (this can’t be emphasized enough) and when stressed, egg production may cease and chickens could become ill.
Advantek is currently in the middle of researching and implementing similar standards to rabbit hutches. If you would like to contribute, feel free to reach out to us and we will get your tips over to the research team.
2) Offering More Pet Food Options with Natural and Limited Ingredients
Pet containment products are certainly not the only sector of the pet industry which is currently being impacted by the humanization of pets. Pet food and treat manufacturers are constantly under the demand for 100% natural pet food and treats. In fact, according to a recent Nielsen study, 72% of cat and dog owners prefer foods without genetically modified ingredients and 58% of cat owners (66% dog) prefer foods with organic ingredients.
We recently published an article that discusses the benefits of having limited ingredients in pet food. In the article, you'll find that Applaws offers cat and dog food that is 100% natural, without any of the additives you might find in other pet foods. This means there is no Guar Gum, Dicalcium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, or any other ingredients that aren't part of a cat's natural diet. Each of their products contains 75% meat with three or four additional natural ingredients (such as pumpkin or shrimp, for example).
Having pet food with natural ingredients is also likely to lower the number of ingredients in the food by eliminating the chemicals that are hard for the pet to digest. The food is then much easier on the pet's digestive tract as there are no chemically processed or produced ingredients. This means there is less for the pet's digestive system to break down, or break through, and allows the pet to gain the nutrition from the meat and natural ingredients themselves.
Applaws isn't the only company that makes natural pet foods. Fruitables offers a wide selection of pet treats that are all 100% natural and organic. Aroma, taste, texture, and design were crafted specifically to make sure that pet owners can enjoy the feeding experience just as much as their pets enjoy eating them. The best part is that these treats are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, fruits, and vegetables to ensure that pets live healthier, fitter, and longer lives.
3) Catering to Pet Owners' Personal Tastes
As the view of pets as ‘family members’ is growing, pet owners are further applying their personal buying habits to their pets. This applies to all categories within the pet industry, from pet food to pet containment and toys. In fact, consumers are even increasing their spend on Halloween costumes for their pets, similar to how parents dress up their kids for the holiday.
How can you make sure you're catering to your customers who are shopping for their pets using their personal tastes? Well one way is to find out who your customer is. For example, are you located in a cool, hip neighborhood and have a lot of Millennials coming to your store? You'll want to make sure you're marketing to them correctly and offering the right products.
Ferplast is a fairly new company to the United States that offers modern, Italian-designed chic products that aren't really found anywhere else in the country. Since Millennials aren't necessarily brand loyal, they love new products and new brands that allow them to show off their lifestyle in a fun and unique way. Additionally, Millennials are great targets for new products as they are known to be early adopters.
As you can see in this chart by HAPI, Millennials are often associated with the innovators and early adopter stages. So, if you're targeting this crowd, then you'll want to be at the forefront of new and innovative products by offering brands such as Ferplast within your store.
Ashley Hoffman – E-Commerce & Digital Marketing Manager joined the All Points family in April of 2015. Ashley brings a fresh outlook to the marketing industry as well as a constant desire for learning something new. She is dedicated to consistently improving her skills and efficiency in the marketing industry and using those skills to promote APM and all brands we represent. Ashley has grown up with many animals throughout her life and is currently the loving owner of two cats.
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