A growing middle class and urbanization in China is contributing to a boom inpet ownership among people over 65 years old and people under 30, according toa 2018 report from Euromonitor International. Disposable income has risenamong these two populations of pet owners, particularly in the country’slargest cities where pet ownership has increased. China’s populationdemographics, economy and cultural trends all play a role in the country’sunique and booming pet food market.

People over 65 years old accounted for more than one tenth of China’spopulation in 2017, according to Euromonitor. Desire for companionship andsufficient income have resulted in 61% of people in this age group owning apet. In addition, disposable income in China’s urban households has increasedevery year since 2010, according to a report released by the Polish Investmentand Trade Agency. China’s younger population, people between 20 and 30 yearsold, constitute the emerging middle class looking to own pets as their careersbegin in urban areas.

As the younger population focuses on financial security, the cost of raisingchildren is considerably less daunting than owning pets, even highly pamperedones. However, the economic boom in China’s urban areas comes at a cost to theyounger population. Possibly due to unstable work-life balance, the youngergeneration is spending less on dining out and recreation, according to aChinese Pet Industry White Paper released in 2017. The result is moredisposable income and an increased desire for companionship — good news forthe pet industry.

Perhaps capitalizing on pet ownership among the younger generation, China’sonline pet food sales are stronger than in more developed markets, accordingto the Polish Investment and Trade Agency. In 2017, 7% of U.S. pet food waspurchased online, compared to 38 percent in China. When purchasing pet food,Chinese pet owners are more concerned with the food’s nutritional value thanits palatability, indicating a growing market for premium and superpremium petfood.

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