Pet food sales have been booming during the COVID-19 pandemic as of August2020, indicating that the market is living up to its recession-resistantreputation, according to Pet Food in the U.S., 15th Edition, a new report bymarket research firm Packaged Facts.

Full-year growth for pet food is expected to come in well above PackagedFacts’ initial full-year pre-pandemic projections, Packaged Facts officialsreported. Although some of the sales increases can be attributed to short-termstockpiling in the early months of the shelter-in-place orders, the futureoutlook is positive as well, with two factors in particular bolstering themarket as the country continues to adjust to the pandemic-related “newnormal”: new pet ownership and e-commerce.

One of the benefits of stay-at-home orders has been a drive to acquire newpets. For people social distancing for the foreseeable future, new pets offerboth companionship and distraction, and are especially welcomed by familieswith kids stuck at home, officials noted. Packaged Facts’ April/May 2020Survey of Pet Owners shows that 12 percent of adults with children under age18 at home adopted a pet because of coronavirus, compared with 8 percent ofadults overall. Along with premiumization and humanization, one of the biggestpet food market drivers is growth in the pet population, so this adoptionsurge will likely result in ongoing sales gains despite the negative economicimpact of the pandemic, officials added.

Another result of stay-at-home orders has been the sheer number of consumersflocking online to purchase household essentials, including pet food, and thistrend is not likely to reverse once the health crisis has passed, officialsnoted. Pet market e-commerce was already going strong pre-pandemic, and withthe current drive to invest even more in digital logistics, online sales willcontinue to drive pet food sales growth, officials said. As a result of thepandemic-driven accelerated consumer migration online, Packaged Facts expectse-commerce to surge to 34 percent of the pet food market by 2024, up from ourpre-pandemic prediction of 27 percent. In addition to providing the safety andconvenience of home delivery, the internet is also an easy way for pet ownersto research products and compare prices as economic conditions prompt belt-tightening.

Source: Pet Product News

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