US pet industry sales reach $86 billion, growth projected

Veterinary services now represent 31 percent of the market, according to market research firm Packaged Facts

The U.S. pet industry continues along a healthy growth trajectory, with overall sales of pet products and services rising almost 5 percent last year. Burgeoning online sales and strong numbers in veterinary services and pet food contributed to the advancement of the market, which Rockville, Md.-based market research firm Packaged Facts estimates at $86 billion in the brand new report U.S. Pet Market Outlook, 2018-2019.

Sales of retail channel pet food made it the largest pet category with 39 percent of the market. The 5 percent growth experienced by pet food in 2017 matches that of 2016, with online sales as the foremost growth channel. Growing even faster were veterinary services, which now represent 31 percent of the market. Retail channel pet supplies came in third. Meanwhile, the industry’s smallest category, nonmedical pet services, grew 5 percent in 2017.

Continuing the trend of channel migration, the pet food and pet supply retail channels are experiencing much of their growth outside of the core mass-market and pet specialty channels, namely online, where annual percentage sales gains have been in the mid double digits. Both channels are feeling the e-commerce heat, with big-box pet specialty especially hard hit even as mass appears poised to gain from the transfer of the premiumization trend, driven in large part by Blue Buffalo’s crossover and acquisition by General Mills.

Also seeing a great deal of activity is the veterinary category, including ongoing consolidation and the increasing involvement of major marketers (Mars buys VCA) and pet specialty big boxes (Petco launches Thrive complete veterinary services). Nonmedical pet services also continue to expand, benefitting both from the increased involvement of pet specialty big boxes looking to fortify against online incursion and from the rapid advancement of Uber-like pet sitting services.

To find out more about the present and future of the U.S. pet market visit Packaged Facts’ website to purchase the report.


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