- Pet owners in North America are on track to spend $281 billion on premium pet products by 2023, according to research from Edge by Ascential, reflecting a 37% increase in sales.
- On Amazon.com alone, pet food sales totaled $1 billion in 2018, jumping 20% over the previous year. Pet food products accounted for over half of sales, reaching nearly 6 times the following category, pet products.
- Part of the momentum behind boosted pet care product sales is a growing tendency for pet owners to treat their animals as family members instead of domestic pets.
People love their pets and these days they are showing it through purchases of premium pet care products. Considering that 68% of households have at least one pet, it’s a major market opportunity for retailers.
Turns out, the clean ingredient trend isn't limited to just human food. A number of pet food vendors have released new products with "free-from" claims such as free of grains or other byproducts. When it comes to the top dogs of the pet food category, Blue Buffalo claims 11% market share followed by Purina (9%) and Hill’s (8%). Mars is tapping into this trend by updating its Whiskas line to highlight healthy ingredients on the packaging while also adding a line for elderly cats that offers better nutrition for their aging needs.
Blue Buffalo’s popularity is attributed in large part to its focus on health claims and information, according to Edge by Ascential.
“The brand includes in-depth content on their product detail pages along with complete ingredient lists, nutritional information, numerous customer reviews and peer-answered questions," Pete Andrews, director of insights at Edge by Ascential, said in a press release regarding Amazon’s pet sales. "The Blue Buffalo brand understands how important community is to the pet owner, whether they are shopping online or in-store."
Direct-to-consumer sales channels will continue to become more and more popular among consumers looking for the best products for their pet, according to the survey. Amazon is trying to capitalize on the pet craze by launching its own pet food brand in 2018 called Wag. The label garnered $2 million in sales last year, which is a small share of the pet food category overall. It also offers dry dog food under its Solimo private label.
In an effort to cash in on consumers' increased spending on pet care, Walmart is set to open 100 in-store veterinary clinics, starting with nine locations throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The retailer will provide prescriptions for dogs, cats, horses and livestock through WalmartPetRx.com. By adding an online sales channel to this new brick-and-mortar pet-focused service, Walmart can reach its convenience-seeking consumers. It recently added more organic and grain-free pet food and supplement options to its online offerings.
Retailers are taking varied approaches to fulfill consumers’ pet-related needs. Petco launched a service-related platform called PetCoach that offers personalized services and advice, while Brandless has upped its online offerings of pet products. Petco is partnering with Shipt to offer food, grooming and health products on top of pet supplies at 1,300 Petco locations.