The US pet market is expected to have sales of US$73 billion by the end of 2014, according to to a Packaged Facts report, "US Pet Market Outlook, 2014â€“2015." The driving factor for this number is pet humanization, which has given rise to premium pet product shoppers across all platforms, says the report.
The projection includes pet products such as petfood and nonfood pet supplies, such as toys and chews, cat litter, bedding, housebreaking and clean-up products, houses and carriers, grooming products, leashes and collars, feeding/watering devices, and apparel. It also encompasses services, such as veterinary services and nonmedical pet services like grooming, boarding and training.
Pet humanization not only includes giving pets human-quality products, but also veterinary procedures like chemotherapy, MRIs and hip replacements, as well as supplements like glucosamine and omega-3 fatty acids. Owners are also buying human-grade petfood containing super fruits, and designer beds, bowls and clothing. Finally, they are also purchasing luxury services like boarding options that are similar to hotel rooms.
A 2013 Packaged Facts survey found that 70% of pet owners would be willing to spend extra money to ensure the health of their pet. It also found that 30% of pet owners would prefer to shop at retailers that offer the best products available no matter what the increase in cost. According to the latest report, premium pet product shopping is most common among higher income households. US households earning US$70,000 or more account for 54% of pet market expenditure, and these consumers are responsible for a large share of the bill for premium pet products and services. These consumers are also more likely to have been less affected by economic downfalls and are recovering more quickly.
By Lindsay Beaton
As work continues on creating a new nutrition label that focuses on simplifying information for consumers, challenges remain.
By Tang Yu