Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the US Pet Supplies consumer market including the behaviors, preferences, and habits of the consumer.

The coronavirus pandemic is responsible for a pet boom and a boom in the pet supplies space. After a stock-up surge in the early weeks of the pandemic, the pet supplies category has returned to slower, steady growth driven by premiumization and increasing numbers of pet-owning households. The category has thus far proven resilient to the economic downturn, although some pet owners express willingness to trade down to save money. Still, the deep relationship between pet owners and their pets creates opportunities for brands that promise superior benefits and quality.

Read on to discover more about the US Pet Supplies consumer market, read our Future of Pet Food Market Report 2021, or take a look at our other US Pet Supplies research reports.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on pet bonds and purchases of pet supplies.
  • Whether the pet boom will last and what brands can do to help.
  • The rise of ecommerce within the pet supply space.
  • The potential for functional and holistic health benefits in pet supplies.

Covered in this report

Supplies for pets include, but are not limited to: litter/deodorant, rawhide dog chews, dog/cat supplies (ie grooming, collars, leashes, toys, bedding, feeding equipment and over-the-counter flea and tick treatments), and non-dog/cat supplies (ie indoor aquariums and aquarium accessories, bird feeders).

Excluded from this report are: services for pets, such as boarding, grooming, training and veterinary services; pet food; and prescription medicines. Pet supplies sold through nonretail channels, such as groomers and veterinary offices, are not included in the market size estimates.

Brands included: Chewy, Petco, Nestlé, The Clorox Company, Church & Dwight Co Inc, Spectrum Brands Inc, The Hartz Mountain Corporation, Central Garden & Pet Company, Oil-Dri Coporation of America, Worldwise Inc, Perrigo Company plc, Doskocil Manufacturing Company Inc, Walmart, Tractor Supply, Rowan, Nordstrom, Wild One, Bark, Poshmark, Skout’s Honor, Whistle Fit, VetriSCIENCE Laboratories, Bil-Jac’s BreakThru Biotics, Zoetis Petcare, Link My Pet.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Rebecca Watters, a leading analyst in the Pets sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Despite pet supplies largely being nonessential, the category continues to turn in strong growth throughout the combined pandemic and subsequent recession. Some pet owners express willingness to trade down to save money, something that may be easier thanks to the proliferation of premium brands and private label across price points. However, the majority of pet owners are dedicated to providing their pets with the best they can, creating opportunities for premium, health-focused and customizable pet products.

Rebecca Watters, Senior Household Care Analyst
Rebecca Watters

Senior Household Care Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definition
    • Market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • COVID-19: US context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Total US retail sales and forecast of pet supplies, at current prices, 2016-26
    • Impact of COVID-19 on pet supplies
      • Figure 2: Short, medium and long term impact of COVID-19 on pet supplies, June 2021
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Pandemic pets boosted category growth, but for how long?
      • Figure 3: Timeline of recent pet acquisition, April 2021
    • Shift toward online isn’t for everyone, but physical retail needs to transform
    • Focus on functional benefits and preventative health
    • Younger generations trust their local economy and want to support it
  3. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • Category sales remain elevated
    • Pet supplies shows resilience…up to a point
    • Pandemic pets may not be permanent fixture in the market
  4. Market Size and Forecast

    • More than a pandemic blip
      • Figure 4: Total US retail sales and forecast of pet supplies, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 5: Total US retail sales and forecast of pet supplies, at current prices, 2016-26
    • Impact of COVID-19 on pet supplies
  5. Market Factors

    • Pet supply purchases highest among higher-income households
      • Figure 6: Disposable Personal Income change from previous period, January 2007-February 2021
    • Pet ownership sees uptick in 2020
      • Figure 7: Share of US households with pets, 2006-20
    • A new generation of pandemic pets
      • Figure 8: Timeline of recent pet acquisition, April 2021
    • Future work perks could lower barriers to ownership
      • Figure 9: Barriers to pet ownership, April 2021
  6. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Feline brands continue to lead the category
    • Chewy sees growth
    • Focus on wellness driving retailer and innovation trends
    • From secondhand to DTC, new ways to shop will emerge
    • Inside out: shift the conversation to external health
  7. Market Share

    • Leading feline brands challenged by 2020 stock ups
      • Figure 10: Multi-outlet sales of litter & deodorant, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
    • Smaller players gaining steam
    • Private label sees strong growth
    • Sales of pet supplies by company
      • Figure 11: Multi-outlet sales of pet supplies, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2020 and 2021
    • Chewy reports growth for the first time
  8. Competitive Strategies

    • Retailers become partners in pet health
      • Figure 12: Chewy, April 2021
    • Harness the clean label movement
      • Figure 13: US pet product launches with clean claims, 2017-21*
    • The key to engagement is through personalized experiences and products
  9. Market Opportunities

    • Tap DTC to reach a wider audience
    • Work toward bettering pets and planet
      • Figure 14: Petco sustainability commitment, April 14, 2021
    • Keep your eyes on the circular economy
      • Figure 15: Poshmark, February 2021
    • Promote wellness from the outside in
      • Figure 16: Skout’s Honor probiotic itch relief spray and calming chews
    • Pet wearables have potential
      • Figure 17: Whistle fit social media promotion, April 2021
  10. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Provide permissibility on both a physical and emotional level
    • Deliver products that meet evolving lifestyle and health needs
    • Online and local shopping gain ground amid pandemic
    • Pet owners shift their approach to shopping and seek flexibility
    • Pet tech could be an emerging market, albeit slowly
  11. Purchases of House, Travel and Apparel Pet Supplies

    • Pet owners spoiling pets amid pandemic, especially dog owners
      • Figure 18: Repertoire of house, travel and apparel pet supplies purchased, April 2020-21
      • Figure 19: House, travel and apparel pet supplies purchased, by type of pet, April 2021
    • Pets part of younger generations’ identity
      • Figure 20: Select house, travel and apparel pet supplies purchased, by generation, April 2021
    • Increasing importance of Hispanic pet owners
      • Figure 21: Any house, travel and apparel pet supplies purchased (net), by Hispanic origin, April 2021
  12. Purchases of Health and Grooming Pet Supplies

    • 2020 stock ups impact staples
    • Focus grooming NPD on changing lifestyle needs
      • Figure 22: Grooming pet products purchased, April 2020-21
    • Bring inclusivity into the pet grooming space
      • Figure 23: Rowan, February 2021
    • Grow preventative health categories
      • Figure 24: Pet health products purchased, April 2019-21
    • Deliver alternative approaches to managing health for younger pets
      • Figure 25: Pet health products purchased, by age of pet, April 2021
      • Figure 26: VetriScience Laboratories Probiotic Everyday Canine Supplement, November 2020
  13. Pet Supply Purchase Location

    • Pet specialty and mass still lead, but online growing fast
      • Figure 27: Pet supplies purchase location, April 2021
    • More Millennial pet owners move online; Gen Z looks for the local element
      • Figure 28: Select pet grooming purchase locations, by generation, April 2021
      • Figure 29: Select pet accessories purchase locations, by generation, April 2021
      • Figure 30: Select pet technology purchase locations, by generation, April 2021
    • Rise in virtual vet care impacts retailer choice for health purchases
      • Figure 31: Select pet health product purchase locations, by age of pet, April 2021
  14. Pet Supply Shopping Attitudes and Behaviors

    • Focus on experiences, safety to bring shoppers back into stores
    • Most pet owners see the benefit in loyalty programs
      • Figure 32: Zoetis petcare, February 2021
    • Pandemic strengthens appeal of local products and production
      • Figure 33: Pet supply shopping attitudes and behaviors, April 2021
    • Give younger generations alternative purchase options
      • Figure 34: Willingness to spend, by generation, April 2021
    • Leverage social media to supplement influence of in-store
      • Figure 35: Select shopping attitudes and behaviors, by age of pet, April 2021
      • Figure 36: Petco Shoppable content, May 2021
    • Target premium at the most engaged: dual owners
      • Figure 37: Select pet supply shopping attitudes and behaviors, by type of pet owned, April 2021
  15. Attitudes toward Pet Tech and Wellbeing

    • Pet tech needs to prove value
      • Figure 38: Attitudes toward pet technology and wellbeing, April 2021
    • Pet tech brands need to focus on early adopters: young men
      • Figure 39: Attitudes toward pet technology and wellbeing, by gender and age, April 2021
    • : Figure 40: Link my pet, May 2020
      • : Figure 40: Link my pet, May 2020
  16. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms
  17. Appendix – The Market

    • Learnings from the Great Recession
      • Figure 41: Average household spending on pet supplies, 2016-21
      • Figure 42: Consumer confidence and unemployment, 2000-March 2021
    • Market size and forecast
      • Figure 43: Total US retail sales and forecast of pet supplies, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 44: Total retail sales of pet supplies, by channel, at current prices, 2016-21
      • Figure 45: Total retail sales of pet supplies, by channel, at current prices, 2019-21
  18. Appendix – The Consumer

      • Figure 46: Likelihood of getting pet, April 2021
      • Figure 47: Timeline of potentially acquiring pet, April 2021
      • Figure 48: Summary of bases for pet ownership, October 2009-December 2019
      • Figure 49: Pet ownership, by Hispanic origin, 2010-20

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