Hispanics as pet owners are dramatically rising, a trend that has been gaining momentum over the past 10 years, according to a report by Packaged Facts.
The robust growth in Hispanic pet ownership seen in the past decade will continue unabated. The overriding dynamic that will continue to propel above-average growth in the number of Latino pet owners results from the interplay of three key variables: rapid Hispanic population growth; increasing acculturation of the Latino population; and an increase in the rate of pet ownership due to the high correlation between acculturation and Hispanic pet ownership.
“As acculturated Hispanics continue to make up a larger and larger share of the rapidly expanding Hispanic population in the United States, the number of Hispanic pet owners will continue to grow exponentially,” predicts David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts.
Against this background, Packaged Facts projects that the Hispanic share of the pet-owner population will increase from almost 15% in 2016 to 17% in 2021 as the number of Latino pet owners grows from slightly above 20 million to just over 24 million. Between 2016 and 2021, the growth rate in the number of Hispanic pet owners will be more than six times higher than that of non-Hispanic pet owners (19% vs. 3%), and Latinos will account for half of the growth in the number of pet owners in the United States.
Focus on Millennials
Looking ahead, when marketing to Latinos involved in the pet industry, Packaged Facts found that Millennials deserve special attention. The relatively young age structure of the Hispanic population translates into a Latino pet-owner population that is significantly younger than the population of non-Hispanic pet owners. More than four in 10 (43%) Latino pet owners are younger than age 35, compared to just 30% of non-Hispanic pet owners.
Marketers should also be aware that Hispanics hold the key to expanding the pet industry beyond just dogs and cats. Over the past decade, Latinos have been responsible for salvaging the market for products for pets with lower profiles, such as fish, birds, and reptiles. For example, between 2007 and 2016, the number of Hispanic bird owners jumped by 1 million, while the number of non-Hispanic bird owners dropped by 3.1 million.