Though the 2011-2012
APPA National Pet Owners Survey shows an all-time high for pet ownership in
the US—72.9 million in 2010, a 2.1% rise since the last survey in 2009-2010—only
dogs and cats have enjoyed increases and those are small: 1.5% and 1.8%,
respectively. Nearly all other US pets, including birds, small animals,
reptiles, horses and freshwater fish, have declined.
Overall, the percentage of US
households owning pets has remained stagnant for a decade now. The survey,
unveiled by the American Pet Products Association during Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida, USA, in March, revealed
that in 1994, 56% of households had pets; the figure jumped to 59% in 1996,
then climbed a little more over the next few years (to 61% in 1998 and 62% in
2000). Since then, the percentage has been stuck at 62% or 63%.
APPA has previously expressed
concerns that demographic shifts in the US don’t portend well for pet
ownership, because the fastest growing segments of the population (Hispanics,
Blacks, Asians and children) represent lower incidences of owning pets,
according to Bob Vetere, APPA president.
So last year the association launched the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative
with the goal of producing more research proving the mental and physical health
benefits to humans of owning pets. During GPE, Vetere announced progress to
If you’d like to get involved,
During GPE, APPA also released its 2010 Pet Spending Figures. The report shows sales for the entire US
pet industry reached US$48.35 billion in 2010, a 6.2% increase over 2009, with
petfood accounting for US$18.76 billion, a 6.8% rise over the previous year.
For this year, APPA projects overall pet spending to grow another 5.1%, to
US$50.84 billion, with petfood ending the year at US$19.53 billion (4.1%
Packaged Facts is not
quite as bullish. Its latest report, Pet Food in
the US, 9th Edition (also
released in March), shows 2010 US petfood sales at US$18.35 billion but with
only 2.8% growth over 2009. Moreover, Packaged Facts projects US petfood sales
to grow just 3% this year (to about US$18.9 billion) and average only about
3.5% annual growth through 2015.
One thing the two groups agree on
is that veterinary/healthcare is the fastest growing segment of the US pet
industry. It now accounts for a bigger piece of the overall pet spending pie
than petfood, 36% vs. 33%. According to Packaged Facts, veterinary services in
the US reached US$19.69 billion in sales in 2010, a 7% increase over 2009. APPA
breaks down its data differently but still pegs year-over-year growth for
veterinary care spending at 8.1%.
Making health-related claims is a
tricky business under current US regulations, and some industry professionals
speculate the Food Safety Modernization Act could bring more restrictions. But
the more pet owners seek the same kind of healthy nutrition for their furry
children as they do for themselves, the more it might pay for petfood producers
to continue to research and develop functional products or ones with clear
more market information online.
Public meetings invited comments and provided updates
It gives more direct control to CVM in establishing and maintaining ingredient definitions
The mid-year meeting addressed several regulatory matters affecting petfoods
It's the finishing touch that can meet both owner and pet needs.
What is this quiet, unassuming ingredient, and should it be there?
The question is whether they provide additional benefit to the dog or cat
Now is the time for packagers, producers, marketers and manufacturers to capitalize on the traveling with pets trend
Read more of Dr. Mukund Parthasarathy's insights on the changing petfood retail market and how it affects petfood manufacturers large and small
While petfood shoppers continue to show strong brand loyalty, pet products have not been immune to the store brand swing
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