At least one demographic isn't feeling the burn of a tough economy: pets. Instead of cutting back, dogs and cats are living large—at least when it comes to fine dining. Pet food companies are offering meals fit for a king, such as egg soufflé for cats; a lobster consommé for dogs featuring chicken, brown rice, and sweet potato; and comfort food like "Grammy's Pot Pie" from the family firm Merrick, the New York Times reports.
Families making more than $100,000 a year "might cut back on a new car or taking a trip around the world, but they won’t skimp on their pets," says the head of a food company. Such treats account for just 5% of the pet-food market, but that represents a fair chunk of cash when you consider the market's size—some $19 billion. What's more, so-called "super premium" pet food can carry a 40% profit margin. The trend ranges from big firms like Purina to family companies that saw big dividends after 2007's pet food recall. Click through for the amusing full article.