In recent times, the pet care market has been experiencing significant growth, as the new generation of consumers – millennial and Gen Z – has started to embrace the pet-loving and pet-owning lifestyles to a greater extent than their elders. A shift in preference for pet foods from their traditional options and the advent of online purchasing are contributing to rapid expansion of the pet care market.
While the coronavirus outbreak has taken a toll on the best-laid plans of businesses across a wide spectrum of industries, it has created both unprecedented challenges and opportunities for the pet care market players. Pre-COVID-19 forecast of the pet care market pegged at 5%-6% growth in 2020, which is estimated to suffer a drop of 2.5%-3%, according to a study by Future Market Insights.
“An opportunity emerged for pet care brands offering essential products through online channels, amid the stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements triggered by the COVID-19. However, key companies active in the production of kennels, dog walkers, and groomers are facing significant challenges, due to the lack of ‘essential’ status,” says the FMI analyst.
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Key Takeaways of Pet Care Market Study
- The pet care market is expected to recover by the first quarter of 2021, owing to steady sales of pet foods.
- Sales of pet foods, particularly dog food and cat food, will continue to account for a higher share of manufacturers’ bottom lines as compared to other pet care products.
- While pet shops and supermarkets remain key sales channels for the pet care market, key players are targeted towards capitalizing on online channels for a distinct competitive edge.
- North America will continue to maintain its lead in the global market, as millennials across the region are increasingly blurring the line between human child and pets.
Pet Care Market – Key Growth Drivers
- An increasing rate of pet adoption and big brands cashing in on humanization of pets remain key growth drivers.
- Increasing demand for more gourmet options over traditional pet foods will drive the frequency of innovations in the marketplace.
- Affluent millennial pet owners, willing to spend on organic pet foods and luxury pet hotel experience, will open up new avenues of market revenue growth.
- Emergence of pets as an integral part of the family, especially in developing countries with high spending power of consumers is expected to play an instrumental role in the market growth.
Pet Care Market – Key Restraints
- Despite millennial filling up the gap left by aging baby boomers, the pet ownership worldwide is still facing a slow growth rate which poses as a significant challenge for market players.
- Mass market of pet care products through e-commerce, making most brands available at lower prices, has led to penetration of new players which represent a potential threat to incumbent companies.
Impact of COVID-19 on Pet Care Market
Panic buying and stockpiling practices during the initial phase of COVID-19 have rapidly emptied the shelves of pet care products, which prevented a sharp decline in the market revenue. However, a large number of pet care services that are not deemed ‘essential’ came to standstill, due to the domino effect of nationwide lockdown. Additionally, supply shortages of premium products have prompted consumers to turn to cheaper brands, which is highly likely to affect the brand loyalty following the COVID-19 crisis.
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Key players operating in the pet care market include Nestle Purina, Mars Inc., Merck & Co., Zoetis, Ancol Pet Products, PetSmart, Inc., Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Petmate Holdings Co., Champion Pet Foods, Petco Animal Supplies, Inc., and Heristo AG.
As the COVID-19 takes a bite out of the pet care market, service providers are struggling with low demand and turning to digital solutions to maintain their business continuity. This factor played an important role in Mars Petcare’s decision to launch ‘Pet Health Pal’, a free digital education tool powered by WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger chat bot functionality, in partnership with Waltham Petcare Science Institute.