The recession hasn't stopped people from spending exorbitantly on their pets: last year, Americans spent a record $56 billion on pet food, veterinary care, and other pet products -- but mostly on that first one, food. According to Quartz, pet food sales have nearly doubled since 2000, with pet-owners spending $14 billion on dog food alone last year -- and they weren't skimping on quality, either:
The market for premium dog food-the most expensive kinds, including pricey organic offerings and never-frozen meals-has grown by nearly 170% over the past 15 years. It now accounts for a bigger chunk of the market than medium- and low-priced varieties combined. Far more, in fact. So much so, that the most expensive chow now accounts for some 57% of the overall dog food market, compared to the 36% share it held back in 1999.
Part of the growth in sales comes from the fact that Americans share their homes with more dogs than ever (an estimated 83 million). But the rise in the sale of fancy dog food also has to do with changing attitudes towards pets; they're now part of the family: