Humanization and Premiumization Continue to Drive the U.S. Pet Market
The U.S. pet industry continues along a healthy growth trajectory, with sales rising almost 5 percent to top $90 billion in 2018 and growth projected over the next five years, according to U.S. Pet Market Outlook, 2019-2020, a new report by market research firm Packaged Facts.
Two overlapping trends—both in force for going on two decades and both primarily marketing-driven—continue to heavily influence industry growth through the infusion of new products and services into the U.S. pet market: humanization and premiumization. Potent as these market drivers might be, however, they are now par for the course, such that pet industry participants need to think increasingly outside the box.
“With so many pet-specialty-type products available online or in mass channels, and more showing up each day, the winning marketers, retailers and service providers of tomorrow will be those whose operations are technology-based, with e-commerce capabilities and product/packaging designs and service paradigms serving as make-or-break differentiators,” said David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts.
Top of the heap, according to research published in U.S. Pet Market Outlook, 2019-2020, will be:
- Products and services with demonstrable pet health and safety benefits, increasingly via tie-ins with veterinarians in terms of R&D and end-user support
- Omnichannel operations interweaving online operations and capabilities with brick-and-mortar innovation and familiarity.
- Products delivered via subscriptions (aka auto-replenishment) and services supported by monthly or annual subscriptions or membership plans (e.g., pet health monitoring systems, veterinary clinic wellness or membership plans)
- Products that link pet owners to vendors and petcare service providers via smartphone apps
- Linked soft and hard products such as pet food and smart feeders, and cat litter and smart litter boxes, with supplies being reordered automatically or via smartphone app
- Products designed to make life easier for pet owners by facilitating—if not outright performing—petcare tasks
Overall, as e-commerce advances and pet owners increasingly cross-shop or consolidate their business with a single source, most important of all will be products and services engineered to capture the holy grail of any product marketer, retailer, or service provider: customer loyalty.
U.S. Pet Market Outlook has long been the go-to source for a complete understanding of the U.S. pet industry. The report evaluates current trends and future directions for marketing and retailing, along with consumer patterns across the full spectrum of the market, including veterinary services, pet food, nonfood pet supplies and non-medical pet services (including grooming, boarding, training, and pet insurance). U.S. Pet Market Outlook forecasts market size and growth for each category (2019-2023), examines new product activity, surveys retail channel trends including cross-channel shopping vs. shopper loyalty, and analyzes trends and shifts in the needs of today’s pet parents. The report tabulates pet product sales channel by channel and projects channel shares through 2023.