For the last 25 years, SPINS has watched the pet industry grow steadily, evolving from a simple but sizeable industry into a complex, booming one. American pet owners have increased their year-over-year spend, resulting in a 450% increase, over the 25-year period. Today, pet owners spend $49 billion on pet care products per year, which includes food, treats, and supplies.
Throughout 2020, SPINS has continued to ramp up its investment in infrastructure and expand its data offerings including the industry’s newest, most comprehensive neighborhood pet channel. SPINS Neighborhood Pet channel brings a united voice to independent Pet retailers.
These retailers bring forward innovative pet food and products, and their focus on natural and wellness along with pet lifestyles makes them a destination for holistic pet needs.
While the SPINS Neighborhood Pet Channel provides retailers with the insights that will give them the answers they need to grow their business and differentiate in the crowded market, it also gives pet manufacturers the fuel they need to grow, innovate, and scale their offerings.
“SPINS continues to make substantial investments in the Natural Product Industry’s full ecosystem of innovation by supporting brands and retailers through access to market, benchmark, and product intelligence data,” said Tony Olson, owner and CEO of SPINS. “Now, with the introduction of our Neighborhood Pet Channel, SPINS builds upon our mission to increase the presence and accessibility of Natural and better-for-you products through education for pets owners, which also translates into success for both pet brands and retailers.”
SPINS PET TRENDS 2020
While some of this year’s trends are newer, others have been on our radar for years and are finally becoming more mainstream. No matter what, they indicate that the days of transactional relationships with customers are over. Succeeding in the pet industry now means showing customers that you not only understand animals but that you care about them as if they were your own. Trends to watch through the end of the year include:
Trend 1: The Rise of Natural– Perhaps no trend reflects pet owners’ care for their pets more than the rising sales of natural products. While the pandemic has disrupted shopping habits this year, shoppers are exploring natural products and causing retailers and brands to take notice. Neighborhood pet specialty stores understand the effect this trend is having on business, as over 70% of their dollar sales come from natural, specialty, and wellness products.
Trend 2: Customizing the Pet Diet – When they’re reading labels for their pets, shoppers are often looking for the same attributes that they look for in their own food. Pet owners are interested in high protein foods, natural ingredients, and minimal or no preservatives or artificial flavors. That mindset is evident in sales trends for dog and cat food, where attributes are attracting shoppers and influencing what lands in their baskets. Natural, specialty, and wellness-positioned products drive twice the growth of conventional products.
Trend 3: The Struggle to Achieve Sustainability Inside and Out – When consumers are reading labels, they’re not just thinking about what their pets are eating. They care about where that food came from and what it means for the environment. Sustainability has been a growing focus for consumers across the retail space, and that includes pet parents. A study from First Insight finds that 73% of Gen Z and 68% of millennials are willing to spend more for sustainable products.
Trend 4: Enriching the Neighborhood Store Experience – Prior to COVID-19, Packaged Facts projected that 23% of the pet market will be from online sales. Last year, estimated online revenue for pet products was $11 billion. For the neighborhood pet store, this might feel daunting, especially against some of the eCommerce Goliaths out there. This year’s quick rise in eCommerce came from the effects of the pandemic and cannot be ignored as a mainstay of today’s shoppers, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way to succeed in 2020. It’s just part of an overall omnichannel approach that reaches customers in the digital and brick and mortar spaces.
“The pandemic has created a unique opportunity and a captive audience for both pet brands and retailers to experience expedited growth as people acquired all available pets from shelters and stores – a trend that is expected to continue for the foreseeable future,” continued Olson. “Now more than ever, having the right data and expert insights, like those available through the SPINS Neighborhood Pet Channel, at their fingertips will help businesses make decisions that will position them for success in the future.”
 IRI, SPINS, and Statista. iriworldwide.com
While cat trends continue, the pandemic has added to overall slow-growth treatment of the cat food market.
Premiumization and humanization, as well as automation, fueled continued operation growth in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.