Forecast Pet Trends
Forecast in 2006, APPMA identified trends in Pet Industry, published in “Top Six for 06”:
People consider pets as part of their family and provide for their mental, physical and behavior needs. Also, more people take their pets on vacation or provide special care when pet owners go away on vacation. This has created unique services for pets, including pet behaviorists, pet hotel operators, pet butlers, pet sitters, pet massage therapists, pet travel agents and pet communicators. Medical advances in veterinarian care have helped pet owners, making available specialized medical services, which have extended their pets lives and offering relief during times of severe injuries, including canine dialysis, brain surgery, cancer treatments, hip replacement, teeth correction with braces, and cataract surgery. Part of the routine pet examination includes Ultrasound, MRI’s, and CAT scans. Also, available are canine prescription lenses. According to APMA’s 2005-2006 survey, more pet owners have purchased pet insurance: Three percent of dog pet owners and one percent of cat owners have pet insurance. Some companies are adding pet insurance to their employee benefit plans. More people are recognizing, pets provide many therapeutic benefits, including stress reduction, lowering blood pressure, and besides companionship, have been known to detect cancer in humans. In nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation center, psychiatric institutions, pets have help many patients recovery faster. Autistic children have responded better to therapy, when interacting with dolphins. In some state prisoners, inmates train dogs for disabled people. Marketing licensed pet products and private labeling for pets have seen an increase demand. Pet retail stores have introduced their own lines of value priced store brands foods and accessories. Companies including Paul Mitchell, Omaha Steaks, Origins, Harley Davidson and Old Navy, offer lines of pet products, ranging from dog shampoo, pet attire, brand toys and gourmet treats and foods. In 2005, according to Label Manufacturers Association, 11 percent of cat food, 12 percent of dog food, 13 percent of pet supplies and 21 percent of cat litter has private labeling. The increase demand for pet supplies and services, have fueled number of mergers and acquisitions in the pet industry including: Spectrum Brands Incorporated acquiring Tetra, a privately held fish product supplier, Central Garden & Pet Company purchased Pets International Limited, Sumitomo acquired Hartz Mountain which then acquired Harper Leather Goods, and Aspen Pet Products purchased Marketing and Creative Sales, Incorporated.
According to BowTie Incorporated (America’s leading producer of pet and animal magazines) pet trends to watch for in 2006, prospective pet owners will seek smaller breeds and species, perceived as ease ownership, continues the trend from previous years. Automated products and improved cleaning products for pet owners. Purchasing portable beds, houses and travel water bowls, and pet strollers, when taking family pets on vacation or trips. Niche retailing likely to increase for unique pets or breeds. Companies including Wal-Mart, Petsmart and Petco will introduce new pet products.
More families are taking their pets with them on vacation. The website Dogfriendly.com and it’s publication guidebook lists hotels and attractions in North America, welcome dogs. In 2005, according to Travel Industry Association of America, more than 29 million Americans took trips of more than 50 miles with their pets, during the past three years. Almost, 80 percent of those travelers took dogs and approximately 15 percent took cats.
Many pet owners will purchase unique items that resemble their pets or show others their pet ownership. Available are monogrammed sweaters, personalized food and water bowls, digitalized or computerized identification collar tags, handmade treats, and other items belonging to their pets. Also, available for purchase are designer plaid pet jackets, matching jeweled and leather collar, leash sets, Halloween costumes, and upscale leather carriers with attachment of cell phone, and water bottle holder.