Pets have been a beloved part of American households for generations and as the population of the United States continues to become more diverse, Multicultural segments are increasingly participating in pet ownership. In fact, the American Pet Products Association reports that pet ownership in the United States has increased from 56% in 1988 to 67% in 2019, with spending on pets totaling $95.7 billion in 2019 alone. Let’s take a closer look at how pets and Multicultural segments intersect and how these segments are contributing to the pet industry.
One significant driver of pet ownership among Multicultural segments is the increasing number of households with children. Many families see pets as a way to teach children responsibility, compassion, and empathy. Additionally, pets can provide companionship, reduce stress, and offer a sense of security for families, especially in multi-generational households. Hispanic and African American households have been shown to have a 20%+ higher likelihood of owning pets than non-Hispanic White households. In fact, according to a study by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the percentage of African American and Hispanic households owning pets is 54% and 52%, respectively, compared to 44% of non-Hispanic White households.
Multicultural wallets follow their hearts. Multicultural pet owners spend significantly more, 22-37% more on average on their furry friends. In 2019, Hispanic and African American households spent an average of $982 and $876 on their pets, respectively, compared to $717 spent by White Non-Hispanic households (“Nature’s Logic named to Inc. list of America’s fastest-growing privately held companies” 2020). Furthermore, Multicultural pet owners are more likely to purchase premium pet products, such as high-end pet food, pet clothing, and accessories. This trend is attributed to the fact that pets are most often seen as family members in many cultures, and owners want to provide the best care possible.
Effective communication is critical in reaching Multicultural pet owners. Brands benefit from authentic and culturally relevant marketing efforts and websites in different languages to better connect with their target audiences. Specifically, around 8 percent of US pet owners say Spanish is their preferred language (MRI-Simmons, 2023). Therefore, in-language communications are a must when engaging Hispanic Spanish Preferred audiences.
As a result of the rise of Multicultural pet ownership in the United States, the pet industry has seen financial gains throughout the category. However, businesses must recognize the unique cultural and linguistic differences that may exist and optimize their brand growth through culturally inclusive marketing strategies. By understanding these differences and investing in targeted marketing campaigns, businesses can effectively reach Multicultural pet owners and build strong relationships with this growing market.