📈 Feeding the Pets, Ourselves, and Moochers

We're defending dog people, milk alternatives, and mom's password

Welcome to Trendlines!

Many of you are aware we’re big donut fans, so it probably comes as no surprise that a certain Super Bowl commercial left us cheering louder than the game did (or would have, if our mouths weren’t stuffed with rings of fried dough). As delectable as we found the DunKings spot featuring Ben Affleck (and famous friends) singing about donuts, we’ve already pledged our fealty to another king: the monarch known as data. Thus, this week, we’re giving you a sprinkle of some timeless, data-decreed insights we’d love to see you try to poke a hole in:

  • Some Americans have no preference when it comes to cats or dogs. We’re as shocked as a cat jumping on tinfoil.

  • Despite what your preachy coworker says, they’re not buying almond milk to be more eco-friendly. 

  • If a presidential candidate ran on a platform supporting mooching your great Aunt Sylvia’s Hulu password, they’d win.

Enjoy reading!


You Are What You Feed

People often describe their personalities (and sometimes that of their ex-partner) in terms of animals: “Curious like a cat,” or “Loyal like a dog.” This got us wondering how personalities are correlated with pet preference.

Most Americans (53%) consider themselves a dog person—unsurprising, considering dogs are the most popular household pet. The rest of America is split into cat people (22%) and those who hold no firm preference for either animal (24%). It’s always possible the latter are lying and we could design a private opinion research survey to determine if they really do have a preference.

Married Americans are significantly more likely to identify as dog people (and signal their preference through Christmas card photos and car decals), while the unmarried among us are more likely to cuddle up with a feline companion. Can we ask Beyoncé to change some lyrics? Let’s hear it for, “I’m a single lady (with a cat)!”

After declaring their feline, canine, or untethered allegiance, we asked a representative sample of Americans to complete the Big Five personality test.

Both dog and cat people over-index on openness to experiences compared to those with no furry allegiance. You have to be really open-minded to routinely bag dog poop and sift out used kitty litter.

Dog people are more often the outgoing, social, tail-wagging extroverts you’d expect, while cat people tend to be more neurotic and prone to skittishness (back arched and hair raised). They’re called scaredy cats for a reason.

Regardless of furry friend preference, Americans generally have agreeable and conscientious personalities: 60% reveal they are kind and trusting, while 64% reveal they are self-disciplined & motivated. Maybe America isn’t the dog-eat-dog world it’s sometimes made out to be.

Do you have an awesome Trendlines story idea we should know about? We want you to tell us about it!


Got Plant-Based Milk?

In late 2021 we reported a bowel-shattering statistic: One in five Americans describe themselves as lactose intolerant. That’s right, 20% associate dairy with dairy-rhea. For all those looking to cash in on America’s intolerance (looking at you, insert politician name here) and start a plant-based milk company, we’ve got you covered.

In the golden age of milk, where nipples aren’t a prerequisite, there are many considerations for the burgeoning milk manager. First, figuring out which type of plant-based milk is best to produce. Almost all Americans have tried (74%) or would consider trying (22%) almond milk, so the nutty beverage appears to be the safest bet. However, for those looking to tap into expanding markets like they’re a creamy keg, macadamia milk is the way to go: Only 15% of Americans who've tried plant-based milk have tasted the macadamia variety, yet a whopping 66% are willing to try the real Hawaiian punch.

Next, you'll need to identify any competitors in order to plant fear in the roots of their infrastructure. During the past three months, Americans in the plant-based milk market were most likely to purchase products from Almond Breeze (43%) or Silk (41%). Milk our words, Almond Breeze’s reign at the top will soon expire.

Lastly, you’ll need to know which brand equities to focus on so your full market takeover doesn’t go sour. To udder-stand which attributes are most important for moo-ving plant-based milk, we conducted a sales driver analysis. When it comes to driving purchase and consideration rates, the taste, coolness, and affordability of plant-based milk are the most influential drivers. For some valuable coolness points consider making Bart Simpson your spokesperson with the tagline "Don’t have a cow, man."

Want to see the data? Curious about the methodology? Just reply to this email.


Is That Still Mom’s Password?

Moochers, the embodiment of “Hey, are you done with that?” Whether you’ve done the mooching or been mooched from, you’ve likely experienced the awkwardness of sending a text asking, “Hey, can you sign out of your Netflix account? The latest Love Is Blind live reunion starts soon.”

To call out both the moochers from the moochees, we asked Americans who pays for their services and subscriptions: themselves, a family member, or someone else. More than half of adults (59%) currently mooch off someone else for one of the below services or subscriptions.

Life essentials and common family bundles, like cell phone service, internet service, and health insurance, are the most frequently mooched services. It’s no surprise that Netflix is cracking down on password-sharing—25% of Americans mooch a Netflix login from someone else, yet only 16% of Americans admit to sharing their Netflix account with anyone else for free 🤔.

That’s a wrap, folks

We'd love to hear from you. Do you have any comments, suggestions, or other pieces of feedback? Please don't hesitate to respond to this email, we don't bite!

Do you have an idea for a research story? Want to see it in (digital) print? You can submit your own ideas for upcoming stories to our Trendlines idea repository.

Can't wait for more? Take a look at our public roadmap to see what's in store and vote on potential future Trendlines stories.

Do you know someone who’ll love this?

About Gradient

In a continuously changing world, intuition isn't enough. To address this, Gradient partners with startups, Fortune 100 brands, consulting firms, and political campaigns who aren’t confident answering strategic and directional questions. Through our partnership we help these organizations achieve objective clarity by providing custom and actionable insights based on statistical rigor. Want to learn more? Visit our website!

Join the conversation

or to participate.