Posted: Jan. 25, 2013, 5:30 p.m. EST
Big-box stores and supermarkets will devote more shelf space to healthier pet products, marketing consultant Leslie May predicted this month in her blog.
May, the owner of Dayton, Tenn.-based Pawsible Marketing, also said she expects to see more strategic mergers and acquisitions in the pet industry as well as an increased number of co-branding, licensing and private-label affiliations.
She identified other ongoing and emerging trends in the multibillion-dollar pet industry:
• A shift will occur in the pet-product-buying demographic from Baby Boomers to younger, more tech-savvy Gen Xers and Millenials.
Leslie May and two of her Pawsible Marketing cohorts.
• A flattening of the U.S. pet market will continue as Boomers age and forgo replacement animals when pets die.
• Younger pet owners, who are active on social media and have less brand loyalty, will look for companies that invite them into the development phase of products or services through social media interaction.
• Businesses outside the industry will increasingly offer their own pet offerings.
• More eco-friendly products and services will come to market.
• Pet products will see a greater use of technology.
• More intelligence-promoting pet toys
, such as puzzles, will be introduced.
• Demand for U.S.-made products will rise.
• A rise in complete wellness centers for pets will be part of a greater holistic approach to pet wellness.
• Owners will ask for more and better pet health care insurance.
• Services for aging pets, such as in-home hospice and senior care, will increase.
• Healthier organic pet foods and treats, as well as species- and lifestyle-appropriate foods, will be in demand.
• Pet services that offer convenience and one-stop shopping will be in greater demand.
• Pet retailers looking to compete better will build a strong online presence to go with their brick-and-mortar operations.
• U.S. pet product manufacturers will look to growing overseas markets, especially China, Japan, India, Brazil and Russia.
“Opportunity abounds for those willing to change, adapt, reinvent and think outside the box,” May
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