The Secret to Selling in Today's Flooded Market

Published April 2023 by Houla Hound Creative 

The pet industry is projected to be worth $325.74 billion by 2028, that's a massive increase in a very short amount of time. Certainly where there is all this potential for growth, there is also potential for money being left on the table - but don't panic, there are some easy ways to make sure you are getting the the most out of this explosion! 

The pet industry was valued at $222.93 billion in 2021, so this projection would mean a 5.6% CAGR and a 46.12% overall increase. But we have to stop and ask "why is this happening?" With COVID-19 we saw a spike in the pet industry due largely to "Quarantine Adoptions," so suddenly more people were buying pets. But that was during 2020, and things are getting back to normal now and have been for some time. So what is going on? Are pet parents suddenly just throwing more money at their fur-babies? Well no, not exactly. See we have to look at who these pet parents are to find the root cause of this growth. 

Remember those pesky Millennials?  (It's okay, I am one of them so I can get away with saying that). The kids that grew up on Nickelodeon and debating whether NSYNC or the Backstreet Boys were a better band?  Seems like yesterday doesn't it? Well, now those kids are all grown up and the top reason for the pet industry explosion. There has been an increase in the number of Millennial pet parents and more often than not (in fact, almost always) this generation views their pets as family members (I am guilty as charged here!). So naturally, this comes with an increased willingness, or desire rather, to spend larger sums on their pets as compared to past generations. 

Great news right? More pet parents willing to spend more money on the pets - its a perfect scenario for the industry, right?! Maybe, but only if you are prepared. 

Think I am being dramatic? "ARE YOU PREPARED FOR THE MILLENNIALS?" Okay, so maybe it seems like all fun and games, but what if I told you that your previous marketing strategies and everything you've seen in the past 30 years, were no longer going to work? Sure, other generations are still around, and those methods may work for them, but let's be real, the world is constantly changing and so too must our creative strategies. Picture a Millennial, or even a Gen-Z. Seriously, close your eyes and picture them. Millennials with their skinny jeans, Gen-Z with the mom-jeans, the Jean War between the two of them (yes, that's really a thing). But what's that they both have in their hands? A cell phone you say? And what is it they are doing on there? Scrolling the social media world? TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, you name it, they are there. But where are you? Are you reaching your biggest customer base where they are? If you are, then great! But are you meeting them in a way that resonates and grabs their attention? The most effective avenue for this is through user-generated-content (UGC). Most brands aren't doing this - only a mere 16% of brands have created an effective UGC strategy. 

Traditional commercially produced ads are no longer as affective as they were with prior generations. The younger generations are looking to their peers when making purchasing decisions. In fact, all generations look to what existing customers have to say about products before committing to a purchase - 90% of all consumers find UGC to be useful and trust what the existing customers have to say over fancy promotional ads. Companies spend an average of $72,000 a year on professional ads, only to see they are ineffective, so why are they wasting their funds? Well, you don't know what you don't know - lucky for you, you now are in the know! 

So let's get back to the UGC. 35% of Gen-Z and 84% of Millennials (the largest group of online consumers currently) say that UGC influences their decisions to buy products, builds trust in the brand due to the content authenticity, and that they are more likely to purchase from brands using UGC than from those that are not. It all comes down to trust. Even Toyota saw an incredible increase in ad engagement on Facebook when using UGC as compared to non-UGC ads. How incredible you ask? A 440% increase in engagement! Bottomline is, UGC works and it works insanely well.

So let's pause to recap really quickly. The pet industry is projected to explode even more in the next few years, mainly due to younger generations becoming the largest consumer population in the space and treating their pets like family members. Traditional ads are not going to be as effective in reaching these individuals, which could mean you're leaving money on the table (and maybe even throwing away ad dollars on flashy ads). UGC is the way to get in front of these consumers in a way that they recognize and trust, ultimately resulting in you seeing an increase in ROAS. It's a no brainer!


McCain, Abby. “28+ Powerful Pet Industry Statistics [2023]: Trends, Facts, and Market Projections.” Zippia, 14 Mar. 2023, statistics/#:~:text=The%20average%20U.S.%20pet%20owner,industry%20is%20worth%20%2476.8%20billion.

Roberts, Reilly. ""Pet Industry Trends, Growth & Statistics in 2022 and Beyond: Unleashing Your ECommerce Pet Marketing Strategies." Common Thread Collective, 11, Jun. 2022,

Singal, Neeraj. “User-Generated Content(Ugc) Stats and Facts - 2023.” Taggbox Blog, 16 Jan. 2023,