The U.S. pet market experienced sluggish growth in 2010 due to lingering effects of the recession, but sales are expected to increase at a faster rate in the coming years, according to a report released this week by market research publisher Packaged Facts.
“U.S. Pet Market Outlook 2011-2012” looks at U.S. pet market retail sales and trends overall and in four core categories: veterinary services, pet food, non-food pet supplies and non-medical pet services.
The report found that sales of all pet products and services rose 4.3 percent in 2010 to $55.07 billion. This 4.3 percent growth rate is modest compared to annual growth rates the industry has experienced over the last decade, according to Packaged Facts. For example, Packaged Facts reported in its 2010-2011 outlook that the U.S. pet market grew 5 percent in 2009 to reach $53 billion.
Sales of veterinary services increased the most in 2010 to reach $19.69 billion. Non-medical pet services experienced the second largest growth increase (5 percent) to reach $6.11 billion, followed by pet food, which increased 2.8 percent to reach $18.35 billion and pet supplies, which increased 2 percent to reach $10.92 billion.
Despite the relative sluggishness of the past year, the U.S. pet market remains healthy due to numerous strong underpinnings, such as the human-animal bond, an aging pet population and big-spending Baby Boomers, according to the report.
Packaged Facts expects the annual sales rate to notch back up to approximately 5 percent in 2011 and to nearly 6 percent in 2012, reaching $61.40 billion.
Subsequent years are projected to gradually improve upon this performance.
David Lummis, senior pet analyst for Packaged Facts and author of the report, expects the veterinary services category to continue to lead the market.
“The market bulwark will continue to be the most health-oriented category, veterinary services,” he said. “As the population of senior pets continues to rise and market participants continue to adapt human-style technologies and medications and develop new pet-specific ones, the veterinary category will experience a 9 percent compound annual growth rate, which is much higher than other segments. As a result of its faster growth, veterinary services will continue to grow as a share of the total pet market.”