Along with virtually every other area of U.S. economy, the pet industry willbe battered by the coronavirus pandemic through 2020 and beyond. But the petindustry stands out as famously recession resistant, coming through 9/11 andthe Great Recession of 2008 relatively unscathed. Moreover, all four of thepet industry product and service sectors—pet food & treats, non-food petsupplies, veterinary services, and non-medical pet services—come into thecrisis on firm footing.

Perhaps the timeliest edition of Packaged Facts’ annual U.S. Pet MarketOutlook ever, this report focuses on the current and expected impact of thecoronavirus pandemic across all areas of the market, projecting future retailsales and trends in light of the coronavirus crisis. Among the keypredictions:

  • Sales declines and slowdowns across all market sectors, with non-medical pet services (including boarding/daycare) taking the sharpest hit, and pet food holding up best as a “must-have” staple with a strong healthcare component.
  • A further surge in online shopping for pet products, as pet owners flock to the Internet for home delivery or curbside/parking lot pickup from brick-and-mortar pet stores and veterinarians.
  • A sharp uptick in adoption of and reliance on veterinary telehealth services such as those offered by GuardianVets, PetCoach, and TeleVet.
  • A private-label surge as cash-strapped pet owners facing months if not years of economic uncertainty, and a demand-driven uptick in store-brand production.
  • A silver lining of increased dog and cat ownership among households eager for the emotional support and physical comfort pets provide in this stay-at-home era.

Scope and Methodology

Packaged Facts’ U.S. Pet Market Outlook, an industry best-seller since 2010,is the go-to source for a complete understanding of the U.S. pet industry. Thereport evaluates current trends and future directions for marketing andretailing, along with consumer patterns across the full spectrum of themarket, including pet food, veterinary services, non-food pet supplies, andnon-medical pet services (grooming, boarding, training, pet insurance). Thisreport forecasts market size and growth for each category (2019-2024),examines new product activity, surveys retail channel trends including cross-channel shopping vs. shopper loyalty, and analyzes trends and shifts in theneeds of today’s pet parents. The report tabulates pet product sales channelby channel and projects channel shares through 2024, taking into full accountthe accelerated swing toward online purchasing as a result of the coronaviruspandemic, and presenting before-and-after market projections by retail productor service sector.

The information contained in the report was obtained from primary andsecondary research. Primary research includes national online consumer pollsof U.S. adult pet owners (age 18+) conducted on an ongoing basis by PackagedFacts, to measure purchasing patterns and attitudes regarding pet products andservices. With sample sizes of approximately 1,000 or 2,000 pet owners, thesesurveys are based on national online research panels that are censusrepresentative on the primary demographic measures of age, gender, geographicregion, race/ethnicity, and household income. The most recent surveyincorporated into this report was conducted in February/March 2020.

Our primary research also includes interviews with pet market experts;participation in pet industry events including the American Pet ProductsAssociation’s Global Pet Expo 2020, Petfood Industry/Watt Publishing’s PetfoodForum 2019, United Veterinary Services Association (UVSA) Annual Conference2019, and VMX 2020; on-site examination of retail and service provider venues;and Internet canvassing, including of consumer blogs.

Secondary research includes information- and data-gathering from consumerbusiness and trade publications including Pet Age, Pet Business, Pet ProductNews International, Petfood Industry, and Veterinary Practice News; companyprofiles in trade and consumer publications; and information culled fromPackaged Facts’ extensive pet market research database and report collection.

Estimates of market size and company performance are based on reportedrevenues of pet product manufacturers, retailers, and pet services providers;background sales data from syndicated retail sales-tracking sources, surveysof independent and chain pet store retailers; government data including U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Surveys; and figures fromother market research sources.

Analysis of pet ownership trends primarily relies on cross-tabulations of MRI-Simmons National Consumer Surveys. On an ongoing basis, Simmons conductsbooklet-based surveys of a large and random sample of consumers (approximately25,000 for each 12-month survey compilation) who in aggregate represent astatistically accurate cross-section of the U.S. population. These Simmonssurveys allow for detailed consumer profiles across various markets andproduct categories. This report draws primarily on the Simmons Fall 2019release, which is based on 10,025 dog owners, 5,844 cat owners, and 2,806other pet owners.

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