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On April 9, 2014

Superpremium sales potential through veterinarians

Number of pet owners who buy petfood through vets is growing, say data

Veterinarians' pet health and wellness expertise and ability to recommend products have yet to be leveraged to full advantage across much of the pet products market. Although the level and sophistication of pet product retailing varies from one veterinary office to the next, such efforts will typically be anchored by high-grade foods, with a focus on specialized diets. This business got a push back in 2011 when the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association released guidelines calling for the nutritional assessment of pets as part of routine physical examinations, making nutritional recommendations the "5th Vital Assessment" in pet healthcare alongside temperature, pulse, respiration and pain.

Even so, nutritional therapy is still a relatively new concept, and the therapeutic petfood segment is capable of significant growth as traditional veterinarians become more enthusiastic about recommending specialized foods, as holistic veterinarians routinely do. Moreover, the growing range of petfood delivery services, and particularly subscription deliveries, could be a perfect fit and logistics simplifier for veterinarians and for their pet parent and dog and cat clients alike.

Purchasing pet products through  veterinarians may be back on the upswing after notching downward in previous years, according to Packaged Facts' upcoming Pet Market Outlook 2014-2015, based on Simmons national consumer survey data from Experian Marketing Services. In absolute numbers, according to these Simmons data, nearly 8.9 million dog or cat owners are buying pet products from their veterinarians. Among multi-pet owners with dogs as well as cats, in…

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