Yearly trends act as a snapshot for an industry; not only do they help reflect what consumers want and care about during a given point of time, but they signal upcoming shifts in customer behavior and operational best practices. The pet industry is no exception to yearly industry trends, and as the world around us changes, so do the needs and expectations of pet parents and their furry companions.
What makes the pet industry such a dynamic and expansive space is its range – pet care, food, products, services, health, and technology are all encompassed in the field. According to the 2021-2022 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 70% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 90.5 million homes. Currently sitting at approximately $110 billion dollars, the industry is set to reach new heights in the coming years, with reports indicating it will be worth $275 billion by 2030. With no indication that the pet industry is slowing down, now is an ideal time to remain ahead of the curve and consider what consumers are looking for when it comes to their pets.
For those with businesses that are service-based and/or who have brick-and-mortar locations, remaining on top of industry trends is an important way to meet the needs of current and prospective customers, as what worked in previous years may need to be revised.
This article will outline some of the top pet industry trends for 2022 that can help provide a bit of insight into what you can expect from this year and what you can build on for years to come.
Pet Wellness is on the Rise:
We often hear about wellness trends for humans, but what about our pets? This year, there is much more of a focus on health and wellness-related products and services for pets, which can largely be contributed to the pandemic and the overall health-focused mindset that has been the focus of many.
A focus on nutrition, specifically around pet food, is a major trend this year. The global organic and natural pet food market reached $22.8 billion in 2020, and it is still growing. Organic pet food can offer greater health benefits for pets because it lacks harmful additives, and many pet owners turn to it to help with their pet’s specific dietary concerns, such as maintaining a healthy weight, digestive disorders, etc.
95% of global pet owners consider their pet a member of the family, and this “humanization” of pets is an enduring trend that ties in well with pet nutrition. As pet parents pick out healthier options for themselves, they are more likely to pick out healthier options for their pets, as well. In fact, recent reports have found that $42 billion was spent on pet food and treats in America in 2020, which is a 9.7% increase from the previous year.
As well, research conducted on the determinants of purchasing pet food found that just over 53% of pet parents reported giving equal or more priority to purchasing healthier food for their pets than themselves, which helps illustrate their increased willingness to spend more on their pets.
Millennial pet owners, specifically those who own dogs, are more likely to purchase natural dog food, while both dog and cat owners represent a higher percentage of those who purchase food with human-grade, non-GMO ingredients that are humanely sourced. This is important to keep in mind because Millennials represent the biggest share of pet owners in America, therefore, the decisions they make about their pets will shape the industry for years to come.
PRODUCTS & SERVICES FOR SEPARATION ANXIETY:
Throughout the pandemic, mental health has been at the forefront of the conversation, and just like nutrition, is something more pet parents are taking into consideration for their pets. As pet parents spent more time at home during the pandemic, many pets became accustomed to greater amount of attention. However, now that restrictions have lifted and pet owners are back to work and their routines, pets are experiencing higher levels of separation anxiety.
For 2022, it will be important to ease pets back into their own form of socialization, such as through daycare and other facilities where animals can be around others, while also learning valuable skills and behavior. As well, you will likely see more anti-anxiety-related pet products, such as toys, lick mats, or food/snacks, pop up in the market to address this new focus.
Increase Use of Sustainable Products:
What is your pet’s ecological “pawprint”? In the past few years, sustainability and being as eco-friendly as possible are topics that have increased in importance, and it has translated over to the pet industry as well. For instance, recent research has found that 51% of pet parents are willing to pay more for pet care products if there are ethically sourced and environmentally friendly.
This trend will reflect in the pet industry through:
- More sustainable packaging
- Sourcing sustainable ingredients in pet food
- Less use of plastic for toys and products
- Major companies achieving zero waste in production
More pet parents are paying attention to the source of their pet’s food, how companies are doing their part, etc. This is a great opportunity for business owners in the pet industry to focus on providing sustainable products and pushing for more transparency, which their customers will appreciate.
Pet Technology Is In:
No, they haven’t invented smartphones for dogs (yet), but companies are producing pet-friendly gadgets that can benefit the pet and pet parents alike. The North American pet wearable device market surpassed $1 billion in 2020 and reports estimate that the compound annual growth rate between 2021 and 2027 will reach over 21%.
GPS-tracking collars, smart vests to track activity level, automatic treat dispensers, smart cameras – there are endless new, on-trend tech devices for pets. Pet collars in particular are showing a lot of traction this year because of all of the features they can now offer pet parents. Some collars can send notifications if they detect certain health-related concerns, such as odd behavior, and some can even allow pet parents to set reminders within the collar for vet appointments.
The pet accessories market is expected to grow by $9.2 billion during 2022-2025, and technology is definitely going to play a major part as companies develop accessories with tech-based solutions.
There are many exciting trends in the pet industry this year, and we at Dogtopia are excited to lead the way. Want to join our pack? Learn about our franchising opportunity here.