The pet and equine product industry in the United States is booming. Americans own more pets than ever before. No surprise that increased pet ownership has resulted in increased spending per pet. Pet owner spending has moved past just food and grooming expenses and now include specialized premium products. The bottom line: people increasingly view their pets as part of the family and are willing to spend even during difficult economic times. And pet and equine product displays have become just as prominent as any other consumer good segment for point of purchase.
Spending on pet products and services has been driven in large part by an overall change in attitudes and sentiment toward animals, as the majority of the population now considers their pet to be a member of the family. Pet owners purchase holiday gifts, designer outfits, and specialty grooming products for their pets. This increased personification of pets has resulted in a massive increase in the number of premium products available for pet care. Personalized and designer products and even high-tech toys and gadgets, such as automated food dispensers, have become commonplace. In a recent survey, 68% of respondents said they treat their pets as well as they treat their children!
The pet and equine products industry continues to prove itself nearly recession proof. A recent survey on pet products and services, conducted by market research company WSL indicates that 81% of respondents are spending the same amount or more on their pets despite the tough economic times. Consumers may be cutting expenses in other areas of their household budgets, but they are still spending on their pets. Owning the aisles and shelf space with pet and equine product displays in this segment will go a long way to adding even more dollars to retailers bottom line.