U.S. pet industry continued strong growth in 2021
In the just-released U.S. Pet Market Outlook 2022-23, Packaged Facts reports that the U.S. pet industry continued its strong advance in 2021, surging 14% overall to $123 billion. As one facet of these gains, non-medical services such as grooming and boarding–the only pet industry sector to lose ground in 2020–rebounding almost fully in 2021.
A number of factors contributed to this impressive performance, explains report analyst David Lummis, including “heightened focus on pet health and wellness among pet owners in closer contact with their pets, a ramped-up reliance on digital pet care including online shopping, and the impressive adaptability of consumers, marketers, retailers, and service providers.”
Throughout 2021 and continuing into 2022, the pet industry has seen a record pace of M&A transactions as entrenched participants carved out more “omnimarket” stakeholds and international territory and as outside investors flock into the fold. Packaged Facts coined the term omnimarket (rather that than retailing-anchored “omnichannel”) to characterize the far broader competitive trend that has reshaped the pet industry over the last two decades, with strategic and aggressive border-crossings between brick-and-mortar and e-tail, pet specialty and mass, products and services, medical and non-medical, and food vs. non-food pet supplies. A tie that binds these re-casts of business operations has been pet health as the basis for innovation and differentiation, and doubly so in this COVID-19 era.
All pet industry sectors will continue to benefit from this ever-broadening focus on pet health and wellness, which provides a robust framework for ongoing premiumization in areas ranging from alternative forms of pet food and types of pet treats, to pet product autoship/subscription programs, to compounded pet medications, to customized dog grooming services. Moreover, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Packaged Facts expects increasing marketing focus on the mental health benefits of “pet parenting,” in step with this trend across consumer markets.
To so many of us dog lovers in the United States, our canine companions are both our best friends…