American Pet Spending is Nearing the 100 Billion Dollar Mark

According to the American Pet Products Association, U.S. sales of pet products and services are nearing $100 billion for the first time.

2019 boasted new records for this ever-growing segment where consumer spending reached $95.7 billion.

The announcement came during Global Pet Expo, while the Splash and Dash team were in attendance. Although the number sent a shockwave through the crowds, industry analysts would argue this is no surprise. The pet industry has been predictably growing and at a rate that many industries envy. At Splash and Dash, we have been capitalizing on the industry growth since 2014, and some might even consider us “late to the game” since American pet spending has continued to rise every single year since 1994.

Pet industry spending can be categorized into four overarching segments:

  1. Pet Food and Treats
  2. Supplies, Live Animals and over-the-counter Medicine 
  3. Vet care and Related Product Sales
  4. Other Services

What is fueling this growth?

Dog and cat food are the dominant industry leaders. Food and treats are responsible for $36.9 billion worth of 2019 industry sales. The pet food market has changed dramatically over recent years. Thanks in part to the growing popularity of pet food mixers, specialty brands, as well as an increase in subscription-based delivery programs. Although this segment has become increasingly competitive it remains prosperous. The pet food segment is embracing some of the most conscious consumers the industry has ever seen. A new age of customers demands quality and transparency, and with this request comes an increased ticket price.  With little to no push-back on increased pricing, pet food labels are diverse and abundant. The food and treat category is expected to see another four percent increase in 2020 alone.

Veterinarian care and product sales reached $29.3 billion in 2019. This segment experienced a significant jump from previously reported spending figures. In addition to routine veterinary care, surgical procedures and sales of pharmaceuticals, vet clinics are experiencing fully booked schedules. As new medical must-haves are becoming the norm and with technology contributing to this growth, this segment will continue to grow. Today you can find clinics appearing in major retail outlets and the introduction of veterinary telemedicine platforms are on the come up. Pet-insurance has also grown with great popularity and consumers have shifted to an overall proactive approach to maintaining the health of their four-legged family.

The pet-services category contributed an impressive $10.3 billion to industry sales in 2019 and received the second-highest year-over-year growth (6%), right behind the cornerstone of the industry, food & treats. Services include boarding (daycare or extended stay), grooming, training, pet sitting, pet walking, and any additional services that fall outside of veterinary care. Maximizing convenience for pet owners has become a major trend in the pet service segment and this trend is here to stay. Technology has turbocharged this segment making pet services accessible from the smartphone. As the number of pets continues to increase, these segments will follow. 

What does the future of the industry look like?

Aside from the impressive figures and endless growth charts, these soundbites remind us of just how much Americans adore their pets. As the consumer continues to grow and change the industry will follow. Happily, each business in our massive industry network is proud to operate here. We are an industry fortunate to be improving the lives of animals and the humans who care for them every day.

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