STAMFORD, Conn.—The coronavirus pandemic fueled a run on pets, including pet supplies, treats, foods and vet care, Chain Store Age reports. Overall, the pet industry registered $103.6 billion in sales last year, a record according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA).
The association said the trend will continue well into the future. “We are bullish for the coming year, projecting growth of 5.8%—well above the historical average of 3% to 4%,” said Steve King, president and CEO of the association. “This past year presented a host of challenges that resulted in consumers across the country turning to their pets for comfort and companionship.”
Every retail channel generated an increase, especially e-commerce pet supply sites. Total retail sales jumped 6.7% from 2019 to 2020, with both independent retailers and pet specialty stores registering growth. Thirty percent of pet owners indicated spending more on their pet and pet supplies in 2020, with 10% saying they shelled out fewer dollars on their pets.
According to APPA’s State of the Industry Report for 2020, sales of pet treats and food jumped 9.7% to reach $42 billion. Supplies, live animals and over-the-counter medications grabbed $22.1 billion—a 15.1% bump from the previous year. However, service sales, such as dog walking, boarding and grooming, dropped 21.4% during the pandemic, but APPA predicted that category to rebound as quarantines evaporate and consumers return to their normal lifestyles.
“Interestingly, the product trends we are seeing in the pet care community mirror those of consumers—a desire for a healthier lifestyle, increased focus on fitness, turning to supplements for improved well-being and technology playing a larger role in everyday life,” King said.
For more on how convenience retailers can capture the attention of pet owners, read “Going to the Dogs,” in the October 2018 issue of NACS Magazine.
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