Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pets USA Revisited

I recently read an interesting tidbit – Americans spent $17.6 billion on pet food in 2009. This figure reminded me of last summer’s blog
Pets USA. Time to revisit what is going on with pet ownership.

Read On:
According to the American Pet Products Association, the number of U.S. households that own a pet is still 71.4 million, but spending will increase to an estimated $47.7 billion in 2010 versus $45.4 billion in 2009. Detailed below are some new products/services now available to dog owners:

· PAW SpotLight GPS Pet Locator – Your dog can now wear a business card size device on their collar and you will be notified via text message on your mobile device if he or she leaves one of the zones you have designated. You can then track your dog on your phone to relocate or call AKC Car, a 24/7 recovery service that has partnered with
PAW; a monthly service for only $20.

· Maybe the reason your dog wanders is because he or she is wound up. For $17.50 per ounce you can buy HomeoPet’s anti-anxiety formula and spike their water.

· Maybe the reason your dog wanders is because he or she is getting old. May I recommend Purina One Vibrant 7+ Senior Formula, a remixed formula with botanical oils that increases brain function in older dogs – $45 for a 34-pound bag? Better yet, may I suggest you start early with healthy habits by feeding your puppies
Stella & Chewy's line of food made from organic fruits and vegetables and meats that are free of antibiotics and hormones. Don’t forget to get a PetZen dog treadmill for $500 to $900 to keep your dog in shape so he or she does not get obese. The American Veterinary Medical Association reported that 40% of U.S. dogs are overweight.

· Want to make a good investment for potential carpet mishaps? Look at companies marketing pet cleaning devices: Proctor & Gamble’s line of Swiffer products (e.g., SweeperVac for dog hairs) or Bissell (e.g., SpotBot Deep Cleaner, a steam cleaner for tough spots). Arm & Hammer’s carpet deodorizer OXICLEAN® still works for those on a tight budget

The anticipated $2.3 billion increase in pet spending represents a 5.1% increase in a down economy. Bow Wow!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cell Me The Snacks

Today’s post is the first of my annual summer series under the umbrella theme of What’s Next USA? I will start with M-Commerce – Cell Me The Snacks! Other blogs that will follow:

- Pets USA Revisited
- Anticipation
- Integrated Generosity
- Senior Boomers
- Flip Flops

Read On:
I debuted my new stump speech titled Millennial Marketing last month in Boston. Later that evening, I went into Cambridge to treat myself to dinner at Legal Sea Foods. When I looked around the restaurant, I observed several teenagers with their parents, disengaged, busy texting away with their flying fingers. They only validated what I had presented earlier in the day; M-Commerce is ready to explode to the next level.

As a marketing geek, I always enjoy reviewing/evaluating data. Detailed below are some key highlights from my speech that corroborate how M-Commerce is ready to positively impact the foodservice industry:

· According to Nielsen, 13 to 17 year olds now text on average 2,899 times per month. If my math is correct, that equates to 93.5 text messages a day. Given that an average teenager sleeps 8.3 hours per day, do the text math per hour. Earlier in the year, the Kaiser Family Foundation report on media usage for 8 to 18 year olds revealed 118 text messages per day for this group. More importantly, only 14% had parental controls for the amount of time they could spend texting. Apparently there were no parental controls at Legal Sea Foods last month.

· The same Kaiser Family Foundation report revealed that this group packs 10.45 hours of media usage into 7-1/2 hours per day. Imagine their multi-tasking skills in five years time.

· One of my leading sources eMarketer predicts that 49.4% of mobile users will be accessing the Internet from their smartphones by 2013. In the past six months they indicated 40% of smartphone users purchased something besides an application via their units. Age was not factored into these numbers. Personally I think these numbers are light, given that Juniper reported that there were 2.4 billion applications in 2009 and this figure will jump to 36 billion by 2014.

· A study conducted by one of the major contract feeders in America indicated that 35% of the meals eaten by Millennials were snacks; they eat on average 4.3 times a day.

What is the implication for the restaurant industry? A blurring of dayparts – operators need to begin planning their current menus beyond breakfast, lunch and dinner. They will need to develop convenient (grab & go), portion control (400 calories or less) snack items to address the grazing eating habits of our mobile/wired, 24/7 Millennials. M-Commerce will be a great way to drive traffic via SMS promotions, videos, loyalty programs, etc. Cell Me The Snacks!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


I am not surprised that I am now beginning to read numerous articles about social media addiction. Given the approach of the July 4th holiday weekend signaling the beginning of summer vacations, now is a good time to re-evaluate how much time you spend on social media. Suggestion: Time to disconnect.

Read On:
By the numbers:

· Facebook with its 400 million plus community would now rank as the fifth largest country in the world, behind China, India, United States and Indonesia. The ongoing Retrevo Gadegetology Report indicated that 56% of its members check in everyday, 12% every couple of hours. The under 25 crowd revealed that 19% of those surveyed definitely check in if they wake up in the middle of the night, 32% as soon as they wake up. No surprise given that the Pew Research Center indicated 83% of Millennials sleep with their mobile phones.

· For those reading this blog over 25, according to the same Retrevo survey, 20% sometimes check their Facebook account if they wake up in the middle of the night, 21% as soon as they get up.

· Experian Simmons just released their
2010 Social Networking Report last week which indicated that 43% of adult Americans check their networking sites multiple times a day.

· The only relevant Twitter numbers I found for this blog was comScore who now estimates that the number of tweets per day has gone from 20 million per day in July of 2009, to over an estimated 50 million per day this year same time.

In closing, my personal Millennial guru, Sharalyn Hartwell wrote a great post earlier this month about a study conducted at the
University of Maryland to determine students connection to media. Two hundred students were asked to go without media (mobile phones, laptops, iPods, television, etc.) for twenty-four hours. Conclusion: They felt withdrawn, isolated, dysfunctional, unwilling to be without their links to the world.

So now I challenge everyone to disconnect over the holiday weekend. Take timeout to enjoy your family time, the beach, barbecues, etc. At the end of the weekend ask yourself that tough question: Have I become too addicted to social media? I will be interested in your feedback.