Americans Continue To Shell Out Big Bucks For Their Pets

Nevin Barich

Nevin Barich

Mar 28, 2019 – Industry Intelligence Inc.

LOS ANGELES , March 28, 2019 () – A new report from the American Pet Products Association showed one thing above all: Americans are still willing to spend a fortune on pet care.

According to the report, pet care spending in 2018 reached a record-breaking high of $72.56 billion, compared with $69.51 billion in 2017, an increase of over 4%.

"Millennials continue to be the largest pet-owning demographic, and this shows in the data," said Bob Vetere, president and CEO of the APPA. "We know this generation is willing to pay more for quality products and services to improve the health and well-being of their pets. Today more than ever, pet owners view their pets as irreplaceable members of their families and lives, and it's thanks to this that we continue to see such incredible growth within the pet care community."

Spending on pet food continues to make up the majority of dollars spent in the industry, with premium dog food accounting for the most frequent type of food purchased, followed by generic and natural food. The report states that the ongoing growth in this category likely stems from rising prices and sales of higher-priced foods made with quality ingredients. An interest in natural, locally sourced treats and chews has never been higher among U.S. pet owners.

"In the coming year, we anticipate steady growth in the pet food category thanks to opportunities that reside in specialized diets, targeting the aging pet population and pets with unique dietary needs," Vetere said. "The availability of fresh food options and subscription delivery programs is also expected to increase spending in this category."

Coming in at $18.11 billion, veterinary care remains the second-highest source of spending in the pet care community, surpassing growth in any other category at a rate of 6.1%. The frequency of vet visits has likely increased as well, thanks to lower prices, making care more accessible to a broader audience. As a result, the trend of pet insurance is projected to increase, with pets living longer and requiring more complex and extended medical care. 

Spending on supplies and over-the-counter medications holds the spot for the third-highest source of pet spending. Up 6% from 2017, $16.01 billion was spent on items such as beds, collars, leashes, toys, travel items, clothing, food and water bowls, pet tech products, and other accessories. The use of pet medications and supplements to ensure longer, healthier lives for pets continues to increase. In addition, pet owners are more likely to use digital devices and technology compared to non-pet owners, which explains the rise in popularity of pet technology products.    

In short: Pet care remains a booming business in America.

Nevin Barich is the Food and Beverage Analyst for Industry Intelligence, which can help YOU better address your own industry challenges. We invite you to come take a look at our service. Call us today at 310-553-0008 and we’ll schedule you for a 15-minute demo.

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