Online pet food sales may beat other channels by 2023

Pet food, treat and other product e-commerce may continue growing to become the dominant retail channel for pet products by 2023.

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(Dashabelozerova | BigStock.com)
(Dashabelozerova | BigStock.com)

Pet food, treat and other product e-commerce may continue growing to become the dominant retail channel for pet products by 2023, continuing dramatic growth between 2015 and 2018. Market analysts with Packaged Facts forecast this impending shift in the dog, cat and other pet food retail landscape in the report “U.S. Pet Market Focus: Pet Specialty Channel and Internet Shoppers.”

Pet food, treat and other product sales projections

In 2023, analysts projected that pet product e-commerce will reach US$15.5 billion and account for 26% of the overall market. Pet specialty retail stores will slip to second place with 21% of pet product sales. Discount and superstores, including Wal-Mart, will also account for 21% of the pet food, treat and other products market. Brick-and-mortar retailers’ online sales, such as PetSmart-owned Chewy, weren’t included in figures for pet specialty or discount. These retailers exemplify a growing trend as pet food retailers now must balance multiple sales platforms, both physical and online, to become omnichannel.

Internet sales by all pet product retailers, including omnichannel retailers, stood at 7% of the market in 2015 with US$3.2 billion. In just a few years, that percentage more than doubled, growing to 18% of the total market. This year, Packaged Facts projects internet sales to hit US$10.91 billion or 20% of the pet food, treat and other products market, equaling that of discount stores and supercenters. Currently, approximately 13 million households buy pet food, treats and other products online, compared to 29.9 million shopping at pet superstores PetSmart and Petco, and 9.2 million customers in the rest of pet specialty retail.

Packaged Facts analysts created their report using Simmons Research Fall 2018 booklet-based consumer surveys of nearly 23,000 individuals and conducted from October 22, 2017 through November 29, 2018, along with Packaged Facts’ online surveys of 2,000 pet owners.

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