Pet owners switched brands to save money in categories other than pet products at a much higher than anticipated rate.
In 2008, a number of survey participants estimated that they’d spend less in all product categories—groceries, personal items, children’s items, and pet products—in 2009 by switching to less expensive brands. As it turns out, many more consumers switched brands to save money than anticipated. But, of the four categories, pet products saw the smallest switch with a mere 3 percent increase. This indicates that consumer spending on pet products has been dramatically more stable than consumer spending in other key categories—which suggests consumers are more bonded to pet products.
“No matter what the economy is doing, consumers tend to buy the best they can afford so long as they believe in the product and see the value of it,” says Karyn Gavzer, MBA, CVPM, a veterinary business consultant. “When forced to make changes for economic reasons, consumers tend to make the easy changes first. They eat out less or eat at less expensive restaurants. They buy generic commodity items, such as laundry soap or dish detergent. They buy in bulk or, conversely, in small sizes that fit their budget, and they delay big ticket purchases like cars or appliances.”
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