China’s single economy and the silver-haired economy are actively stimulatingthe rise of the pet economy. The fast-paced urban life has allowed youngsingle people to regard the companionship of pets as the first spiritualsustenance, while the elderly rely on pets to relieve loneliness. Wheneveryone sets their sights on the post-90s and post-00s, they forgot thatthere is such a group of people who have time, free money, love to socialize,love to share, and love pets. They are the post-60s who triggered the silver-haired economy.
According to the “Intergenerational Consumption Insights Report” released bythe JD.com, Digital Research Institute, users born in the 60s have a hugemotivation in pet consumption, and their pet consumption preferences are 1.7times higher of those born in the 1980s. According to the “2019 Middle-agedand Elderly Online Consumption Trend Report”, the proportion of pet suppliesconsumed by elderly people over 60 years old is 22% higher than that of othercategories. Similar to the post-90s, pets also give elderly people a sense ofcompanionship, moreover, ease the loneliness of elderly life.
According to data from Tmall Supermarket in July 2020, the growth rate of petconsumption in third-tier and forth-tier cities has exceeded first second-tiercities in the past year. Among them, the growth rate of pet consumption by theelderly in third-tier and forth-tier cities reached 450% year-on-year, whichwas the fastest growth section of urban silver-haired consumption.
In recent years, the pet economy has been classified as a type of “lonelyeconomy”. We seek for emotional comfort in pets. At present, the proportion ofdomestic elderly people keeping pets is increasing, mainly due to the trend ofurbanization and the increase of empty-nest elderly people. There are threetypes of elderly people who keep pets: one is that elderly people like petsthemselves, and they decide and choose the breed of pets by themselves. Theyare owners, shoppers and decision-makers. Second, their children like pets.After impulse purchase, the parents complete the raising, and the children areresponsible for the daily expenses. Third, the elderly parents are responsiblefor the expenses and raising of the pets purchased by their children.
In developed countries, the selling of pets is strictly controlled by law, andthe volume of live transactions has been drastically reduced, where a verymature pet adoption mechanism has been formed. But in China, the pet livestocktrade is still at the stage of rapid development. According to the survey,43.9% of pet dogs are purchased in pet shops, 27% are given as gifts, and only11.8% are adopted dogs. 32.6% of cats are picked up on the street, 18% aregifts, and 25.3% are purchased in pet stops, adoptions only accounted for19.9%.
Under the current background of pet culture, basically 90% of pet keepingfamily in China choose pets mainly from dogs and cats. The underlying reasonis that cats and dogs are interactive pets, especially for elderly people wholive in a lonely environment and need emotional comfort. According to thesurvey, there are about 168 million pets in China, of which dogs account forthe highest proportion, accounting for 46.1%, followed by cats, accounting for30.7%, aquatic species also account for a certain proportion.
At present, the choice of pet breeds among elderly people has nothing to dowith the gender differences, but with social attributes: people who lovesocializing usually choose to keep dogs, while those don’t like to mingleusually keep cats.
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