Capstone Headwaters released its latest Pet & Animal Care update, reporting private equity (PE) buyers have accounted for 51% of deal activity, showcasing their attraction to the Pet & Animal Care industry. With favorable pet humanization, e-commerce, and ownership trends, the space is likely to continue to foster heightened interest among private equity and strategic buyers, alike. Attractive acquisition targets have displayed strong omnichannel sales capabilities, health and safety-centric products, and brand recognition.
“For a number of years we have been covering the emergence of online retailers in the Pet space. It started with their impact on the brick and mortar segment, both mom and pop as well as big box. One of the driving factors behind the trend was the growth of millennial pet owners that were preconditioned to online shopping. The pandemic has taken this storyline and put it on steroids. The lockdown has created record numbers of pet adoptions fueled by millennials. On top of that, the shutdown of retailers has pushed boomers as well as millennials to increased online purchasing. Amazon has continued its impressive run in the Pet space and with the help of the pandemic, it has achieved 39% of total Online Pet Food & Supply market share in 2020. It is increasingly clear that manufacturers of pet products that have not figured out how to harness the Amazon engine are falling further behind and everyone needs to have a comprehensive on-line strategy to grow successfully in the current environment,” commented Tom Elliott, Managing Director at Capstone Headwaters.
The coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown have translated into increased time at home with pets and an acceleration in pet humanization trends. Pets have been found to play an important role in mitigating human isolation, specifically 85% of pet owners believe interaction with a companion can reduce loneliness while 76% agree human-animal interaction helps address social isolation, according to a Mars Petcare and Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) survey. As positive Pet industry dynamics foster heightened demand for Pet & Animal Care products, owners are expected to continue allocating their spending toward premium products that yield health benefits. Pet & Animal Care market participants that have successfully implemented an omnichannel strategy are poised to attract strong sales performance.