Despite a recession, the pet industry has seen continued growth in recent years as the trend of pet humanization has more pet owners purchasing human-grade, premium petfoods, luxury products and human-like medical care for their pets, according to a recent New York Times article.
Americans spent a record US$55 billion on their pets in 2010, driven by a 7% increase in veterinary services, according to Packaged Facts. This may be partially due to the fact that human medical technologies are increasingly being used for pets and prolonging their lifespan, the Times article says.
“Pet owners aren’t just looking to provide a home for their pets,” said Bob Vetere, president of the American Pet Products Association. “They are investing in their pets’ quality of life. Oftentimes they do this at their own expense, cutting personal expenses, but not those affecting their faithful companions.”
Consumers are also spending more on their pet's food, looking for human-grade products.
Jessica Taylor, managing editor of Petfood Industry, said that when she began at the magazine four years ago, the petfood industry lagged human trends by at least one year. Now, the industry is six months behind or less, Taylor said, predicting that blueberries and pomegranates will be the next trend in petfood, as they have recently been marketed to humans as powerful antioxidants. Another human food trend, natural and organic foods, have accounted for 7% of petfood sales, according to David Lummis, senior pet market analyst for Packaged Facts, who said that he expects to see even further growth in this sector.
See the full results of the survey sent to the Petfood
Industry audience on sustainability.
US trade data show petfood faring relatively
For more about sustainability in petfood, watch
Jan Hoijtink's Petfood Forum 2010 PowerPoint, "Corporate
social responsibility: from whim to a matter of
Public meetings invited comments and provided updates
The intent was to educate regulators and industry about the Model Pet Food Regulations
Committees discussed key proposals such as a possible shift in the oversight of animal feeds
Now is the time for packagers, producers, marketers and manufacturers to capitalize on the traveling with pets trend
While petfood shoppers continue to show strong brand loyalty, pet products have not been immune to the store brand swing
Read more of Dr. Mukund Parthasarathy's insights on the changing petfood retail market and how it affects petfood manufacturers large and small
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