The Pet Industry: Consumer Trends for 2018

We know the rise in pet ownership is here to stay. Whether it’s due to the influence of social media and the sharing of those cute animal pics that has Americans swooning over adoption of our furry friends, or the increasing interest in having pets over children, the numbers state the facts across the pet industry.

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The number of American households with pets is approximately 84 million, with 48 percent of households owning dogs, 38 percent owning cats, and freshwater fish at 10 percent. While Baby Boomers were the largest group of pet owners, it now seems that Gen Y millennials have replaced this group, according to the 2018-2017 National Pet Owners Survey from the American Pet Products Association.

So what trends will dominate over the next twelve months in the pet industry?

  • E-commerce: We’ve certainly seen the rise in e-commerce in the retail world, and the same applies for the pet products and pet food industry. Pet food sales on Amazon alone increased 47 percent from October 2016 to 2017, totaling approximately $970 million.
  • Growth of pet food market: Adding to the rise of e-commerce sales is the sheer growth of the pet food market. From pet food manufacturers opening new facilities worldwide to mergers among small and mid-size companies, the pet food market has been exploding in growth, driven by pet owners’ desire to provide their furry companions the best quality pet food available. The average US household spent about $350 in 2017 on pet food alone.
  • Demand for high-quality veterinary care: We’ve begun looking at the healthcare of our beloved pets in the same way we do ourselves. From stem cell therapy to acupuncture and herbal treatments, we will start to see the proliferation and advancement of these techniques for our pets.
  • Clean, green products: Again, just like for us humans, we want the same quality of products for our pets. We’re paying attention to the ingredients that go into our pet food, as we demand transparency and honesty in the products we buy. That goes beyond pet food — it includes pet gear, clothes, toys, among others.

These trends are expected to continue in the decades to come, as the growth of pet ownership increases.

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