three trends shaping pet owner spending | Industry Voices



TThe pet industry is booming, and it’s easy to see why: According to the APPA’s 2021-2022 National Pet Owner Survey, the number of U.S. households with pet owners pet has grown from 67% to 70%, which equates to approximately 90.5 million households across the nation with pets. Consistent with this finding, spending on pets has increased over the past year, with 35% of pet owners reporting spending more on their pets / pet supplies, including food, wellness related products and other pet care items, in the past 12 months than in the previous year. Plus, it’s no surprise that the pet industry surpassed $ 100 billion in sales for the first time in 2020, according to the 2020 APPA State of the Industry report.

While it is exciting and humbling to look back on the success our industry has enjoyed over the past year, we also need to stay focused on the future. Below are three ongoing trends that retailers, manufacturers, and other pet industry players should consider as they plan for the rest of 2021 and beyond.

Reign Supreme online pickup and delivery

According to the most recent national pet owner survey from APPA, more and more pet owners are choosing to shop online. Respondents who said they shop online increased by almost 20%, from 72% the previous year to 86% of those surveyed in this year’s study, and that trend is here to stay. When asked how they anticipate their online purchases of pet products will change over the next year or so, most pet owners said they believe their use of delivery to doorstep, in-store pickup and curbside pickup would remain the same or increase.

Before the pandemic, 60% of pet owners typically bought pet products in person from physical stores, but during the pandemic, in-person purchases fell to 41%. While the pandemic has certainly played a role in the switch to the Internet and pickup / delivery, generational habits are also a factor. In this year’s survey, Millennials were found to be the largest cohort of pet owners at 32%, followed closely by Baby Boomers at 27% and Gen X at 24%. Millennials have said they plan to increase their use of home delivery in the coming year more than any other generation, and they are the most likely to purchase online using a subscription service. – trends which are not surprising given that they are a generation of digital natives. While this could be optional in the past, an online presence has now become a necessity. Retailers should meet consumers in the channels they frequent and make trips to physical stores accessible and flexible with pickup and curbside options.

Premiumisation stimulates product offerings

Over the past year, pet owners have shown an unwavering commitment to the pets in their lives, with premiumization and humanization trends dictating consumer behavior. Pet owners have continued to treat their pets like cherished members of the family, with many taking their pets to the vet on a regular basis and giving them vitamins / supplements to ensure their health and longevity. Dog owners in particular have looked at the trend towards premiumization, with the segment of dog owners purchasing premium dog food dropping from 37% to 41%.

On a related note, 43% of pet owners said they would be willing to give their pet some type of CBD therapy product. While guidelines regulating the use of CBD are still being developed, retailers must ensure that product offerings in this growing category are diverse and can meet or exceed consumer expectations. This applies not only from the health and wellness side, but also other products, such as treats and toys. Fifty-one percent of pet owners are willing to pay more for ethically sourced, environmentally friendly, or BPA-free pet products. Additionally, consumers remain interested in all-natural products, and 60% agree they will pay more for products made in the United States.

Economic forces shape consumer spending

As evidenced by the coronavirus pandemic, there are many factors that can impact the U.S. economy and, in turn, how consumers spend – or don’t spend – their money. Thirty-five percent of current pet owners surveyed said the state of the economy had caused them to spend more money on their pets and supplies in the past 12 months, while 57 percent 100 reported spending the same.

Additionally, about a third of pet owners surveyed said they could spend less money on pet supplies given their current financial situation, with Gen Z and Gen Y saying they are over. likely to follow this trend.

As we begin to emerge from the pandemic and look forward to a return to routine activities, the APPA is optimistic for the year ahead, projecting growth of 5.8%, well above the historical average of three to four percent. These numbers and other survey data strongly suggest that the pet industry is really on the rise.

Retailers should closely monitor economic trends and consumer spending habits. Third-party data mining can be an affordable way to do this. Consider investing in additional products that align with trending categories and focusing on value-added gear to help attract and retain customers in online and physical locations. Use targeted promotions and rewards programs to retain customers while helping customers save money based on personal finances and changing economic conditions.

Addressing these trends and closely monitoring changing economic factors can help retailers and other pet industry stakeholders maintain the positive momentum that the industry has seen and is expected to continue to achieve for. the remainder of 2021 through 2022. And make plans now to attend Global Pet Expo, live March 23-25, 2022, in Orlando, Florida to see all that this dynamic and growing industry has to. to offer !

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Steve King is President and CEO of the American Pet Products Association (APPA).


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