Treating Pets like Family Causes Sales of Pet Health & Wellness Products to Soar

Posted: September 7, 2022
Category: Spotlight on Business

Like other niche categories, there are trends within the Pet industry that store owners should be aware of to refresh inventories and drive sales of products in demand by consumers. The industry had a strong year in 2021. Sales for pet products and services increased 14 percent and exceeded $123 billion. Although there are key factors contributing to the industry’s outstanding performance, a heightened focus among owners to keep their “fur babies” healthy is a primary reason.

  • Healthy pets become a higher priority due to the pandemic
  • Demand for pet and home clean-up products continues to grow
  • Humanization prompts owners to become involved in pet care

Health concerns related to the pandemic and the spread of viruses motivated people to stock up on household cleaning products, and items for personal health and hygiene. Pet owners also want to purchase products for their pets that help keep indoor spaces clean and odor-free. The purchase of health and wellness products by pet owners has caused sales to surge due to the “Premiumization” and “Humanization” trends that are transforming all facets of this booming industry.

Premiumization:  Drives Sales of Premium Products
Owners want to serve their pets food made with nutritious, high-quality ingredients that they would eat themselves. According to industry experts, Premiumization is the primary factor generating growth for pet food. Once relegated to more expensive top brands, Premiumization has also become a driving force for private label manufacturers who also want to offer premium selections of foods. Forecasts predict sales of premium pet foods will reach $59.2 billion by 2027.

Humanization: Pets Become Family Members
Premiumization is a result of pet owners viewing their animals as members of the family. It is a concept that is held by 80 percent of families with pets in North America. The humanization of pets is becoming a societal norm that prompts pet owners to nurture and pamper their cats, dogs, and other animals.

What Pet Owners are Buying
When it comes to cats, owners want a high-quality (dust-free, lightweight, or natural) litter that minimizes odor and does not track. Next on the list are accessories that make it easy to dispose of litter and reduce odor. Dog lovers are stocking up on biodegradable waste bags for the frequent walks they take with their pets, and heavy-duty urine pads to use indoors. Plus, these owners appreciate environmentally friendly stain and odor-control products that are safe for pets and people to help them manage accidents, smells, and stains.

Independent retailers who operate a pet niche may have limited space to sell a broad assortment of products. Rather than selling products easily found at big box stores, focus on selling premium products to attract both older and younger shoppers who are willing to pay more on items for their pets.

  • Sixty-one percent of owners will pay more for special dietary foods
  • Sixty-nine percent of Millennials prefer to buy natural and organic pet foods
  • Forty-three percent of dog owners and 41 percent of cat owners buy premium food
  • Owners spend $300 per year on food and treats
  • Fifty percent of owners buy their pet a Christmas gift or treat

In addition to food and treats, offer items that solve problems related to cleanup and odor control since these products are popular and in strong demand. A high percentage of pet owners are concerned about sustainability and tend to read packages for the list of ingredients. They want proof that the product is safe and easily digestible for pets.