Double-Digit Growth Predicted for Pet Medications
The combined U.S. market for pet medications, including those sold through veterinarians, retailers and websites, was nearly $5 billion in 2007, up 11 percent over 2006, according to New York-based Packaged Facts, a unit of MarketResearch.com. The market research group projects continued double-digit growth in the sector for the foreseeable future, with sales hitting $8.6 billion by 2012—an annual growth rate of 11.6 percent.
By comparison, the pet medications market grew at an annual rate of 12.5 percent between 2003 and 2007.
The prime mover of the market: the aging pet population, according to the research firm, which released “The U.S. Market for Pet Medications: Prescription and Over-The-Counter Remedies as Consumer Products” report in October. Older pets presumably use more medications because they have age-related conditions, notably joint issues.
The report cites American Veterinary Medical Association data showing the percentage of U.S. dogs aged over 6 years increased slightly from 42.4 percent in 1996 to 43.9 percent in 2006 and the percentage of cats older than 6 years increased sharply to 44.1 percent from 37.4 percent during that timeframe.
An increasing number of overweight pets also boosts pet medication usage, as conditions associated with excessive weight include osteoarthritis, cardiac disease, respiratory conditions, dermatological issues and compromised immune function, according to the report.
Despite the influence of older pets, antiparasitics, including flea and tick treatments and heartworm preventives, “dominate the market,” Packaged Facts reported. Veterinary channel products account for about three-quarters of antiparasitic sales, the research firm estimated.
Seventy-nine percent of dog-owning households use heartworm products and 64 percent use flea medications, compared to 22 percent of cat-owning households using heartworm products and 49 percent using flea medications, according to the report.
Today’s economic situation could provide opportunities for “value-positioned OTC and private-label pet products, both in pet specialty stores and in trip-saving formats such as supercenters and price-shaving outlets such as club stores,” according to the report.
For example, users of Merial’s Frontline are slightly more likely than average pet owners to believe OTC store brands are as effective as advertised brands (32.6 percent to 30.9 percent), according to Simmons Market Research Bureau, cited in the report. <HOME>
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