Where Consumers Shop for Pet Care

June 2022

In 2022, the pet care industry experienced another positive year, despite global disruption and inflationary pressures, albeit growing at a slower pace compared to previous years. Investment in online channels, as well as the increased digital presence of many brands, has led to a further increase in the distribution share for e-commerce. The retail landscape is changing, and consumers are looking for the best of both worlds within in-store and online retailing.

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Key Findings

Global pet care market continues growing steadily

The global pet care market has shown years of strong growth, and was bolstered by the COVID-19 pandemic. With new pet owners and a larger pet population, the industry will continue to experience strong demand, albeit not growing at the same pace as in the review period. The higher level of care for pets, due to humanisation, is stimulating sales of premium brands.

E-commerce penetrates more regions, becoming a crucial channel

With more home-centric lifestyles, e-commerce has become a key channel to purchase pet care products. Online shopping on personal electronic devices is increasingly straightforward. Improved infrastructure across regions has contributed to making home delivery the norm. With the greater influence of social media platforms, social commerce is advancing.

Subscription services are mushrooming across markets

Subscription services is a business model that lends itself to repeat purchases with the least amount of effort. With a plethora of options in the US, pet owners have access to specialised premium subscription services that cater to pets’ specific dietary needs. Online retailers such as Zooplus and Chewy are now offering subscriptions.

Store-based retailing still dominates in almost all markets

Bricks-and-mortar stores remain key to the pet care industry, with modern grocery retailers and non-grocery specialists playing a pivotal role. Many specialists provide a holistic offering, including pet services such as grooming, training classes and specialist advice. High foot traffic in supermarkets and hypermarkets makes these  significant channels for repeat purchases.

Disruption and inflationary pressures are expected to squeeze premium brands

Disruption caused by the pandemic has been intensified by the war in Ukraine. Inflationary pressures are hitting multiple regions hard. With rising production costs, shortages of raw materials and decreased supply, economy options will be more attractive to consumers, as pet care products are likely to go up in price, potentially harming premium brands.


Key findings

Industry snapshot

Pet care sees growth slow following the pandemic-driven boost
Premium pet food catering to pets’ health; greater variety of pet products appeal to owners
Developing regions continue to show strong growth in the pet care industry

Channel shifts

Non-store retailing continues to expand and register double-digit growth
Asia Pacific and North America carry on growing; Latin America rallies upwards
Purchasing habits set during the pandemic pushing non-store retailing further

Store-based channels

Store-based retailing is evenly-split between large grocery formats and speciality channels
Supermarkets hold their narrow lead
Pet specialists benefiting from an increase in pet ownership after the pandemic
Specialist retailers are using collaborations to support growth
Supermarkets may benefit as new owners get used to the preferences of their pets
Upturn of price-sensitive consumers in regions plagued with surging inflation
Tougher economic conditions might halt the downward trend in private label share
Private label continues to increase its presence in developing regions
Private label playing a larger role across regions

Non-store channels

Nearly a quarter of pet care retail is sold through non-store retailing in 2022
Potential in large markets with increased e-commerce penetration
E-commerce keeps on growing as options within pet care retail expand
Double-digit e-commerce growth reflects momentum in each category
Expanding e-commerce platforms help consumers find their pet care products online
Omnichannel embraced by retailers capturing new consumers in Latin America
Subscriptions, subscriptions, and more subscriptions in pet care
Young pet owners are the ultimate fit for (social) e-commerce

Future developments

Consumers are likely to become more price sensitive regarding pet care products
Premium driven markets to face challenging time as inflation rises and recession looms
Store-based retailing has its place in the pet care industry for the time being
Key takeaways

Pet Care

This is the aggregation of pet food and pet products.

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