In their new book, Trading Up: The New American Luxury (Portfolio, 2003), Michael Silverstein and Neil Fiske found that today's consumer is willing to spend more, or trade up, for goods and services with higher perceived quality levels.
Alex Martin was raised in a dog-friendly home. As a child, he shared a bedroom with his brother and a 60-lb Labrador retriever. Most of his family photos include various dogs the family owned over the years, but no cats are in the portraits. "Cats hung around the house, but were never considered part of the family," Martin says.
Our society is losing the war on obesity. And bad eating habits have spilled into the pet population. No matter how hard you preach, many clients don't seem to heed the warnings. In fact, client compliance with nutritional recommendations for therapeutic foods ranks at a dismal 12 percent compliance rate out of the the 59 percent of all dogs and cats that have visited a veterinarian and would benefit from treatment with a therapeutic diet, according to last year's American Animal Hospital Association's (AAHA) study. It was the worst compliance category. The survey estimates lost revenue in excess of $110,000 per veterinarian per year for therapeutic pet foods alone.