Pets have always been treated as part of the family, but in the last 30 years man’s best friend and our other furry loved ones have etched themselves even deeper into hearts. Market research firm Packaged Facts expects pet product sales to grow 8% from $55 billion in 2019 to nearly $59 billion in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pets are America’s Favorite Pastime
What’s causing this explosive growth? For starters, there’s no doubt that having a pet is even more relevant as we stay home more and look for ways to destress from our daily lives. The Great Recession of 2008 taught us that young adults were impacted dramatically just as they graduated and entered the workforce. The Pandemic is causing similar financial stress as Gen Z absorbs student loan debt and delays home purchases and starting a family.
For cash strapped couples, the care and feeding of a dog ranging from $2,500-3,500 per year, may be a relatively small thing in comparison to being ready for bigger family, life, and financial commitments. For many, getting a pet to love is a precursor to these larger life events, and from their purchase patterns, we can gather that they are emotionally invested in getting the pet thing right.
It’s evident that Millennial and Generation Z consumers entering adulthood are fully embracing the pet-owning and pet-loving lifestyles to a much higher degree over their parents. Gen Y and Z account for 62% of pet ownership, while baby boomers account for 32%.
As a result of all of this, pet product options have been rapidly growing and mimicking human trends, with 2020 bringing some interesting—and very niche—products. Here are some of the pet supplement trends to watch out for.
1. Daily Vitamins
Owners are focusing more and more on their pets’ health and wellbeing, especially with daily multivitamins. These daily vitamins support the overall health of pets and can even target specific concerns as pets grow older. Pet brand Zesty Paws’ lineup includes both a 5-in-1 and 8-in-1 multivitamin perfect for pets of all sizes and ages.
The options don’t stop there. For owners looking for a more personalized approach, brands like Dandy are designed to customize daily vitamin packs based off quiz results and then deliver them straight to your door in a monthly shipment. Dandy has over 15 different type of vitamins and supplements that you can mix and match to create the perfect vitamin pack for your pet. It offers convenience for those who have multiple pets with different needs.
2. Water Enhancers
For many of us, adding water enhancers to our bottles of water help us add much needed nutrients into the mix. And while we may not think of using a product like this for our pets, pet brands want to change all of that.
Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. has recently developed a new product for pooches called Tally-Ho, a line of convenient and delicious water enhancers that focus on oral, immune, and emotional health. Meanwhile, pet brand Wolf Spring has developed a pre-bottled water with added vitamins and electrolytes for extra hydration. It comes in 3 different varieties made for puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs. While all of these products are new to the market this year, there is no doubt that brands will be following in their footsteps.
Collagen is a powerhouse ingredient for skin, joints, and bone health—unsurprisingly, it provides some of the same benefits to our furry counterparts. It is great for pets’ joint, skin, and fur health, and has had the biggest impact as a rawhide replacement.
Instead of collagen coming in pill form, as many other supplements do, collagen is being created into treats and chewables by brands like Frankly Pet and Superior Farms Pet Provisions. Their long-lasting chews and sticks are made of Corium and 100% beef collagen. As the concerns of rawhide continue and the benefits of collagen become more aware in the public eye, more brands may hop on the bandwagon.
4. Breed Specific Supplements
Every breed of dog is unique, which means that each breed requires supplements that are made for their varied health needs or concerns. WoofWell is one of the first brands to design breed-specific health supplements, which target health issues that commonly appear in dog breeds such as joint stiffness in German Shepherds and vision impairment in French Bulldogs.
Currently, there are 4 different breed specific supplements available (including French Bulldog, German Shepard, Yorkshire Terriers, and Golden Retrievers) but more are being developed. This trend is taking age-specific food and treats and making it even more of a niche market. Breed specific food and supplements will continue to grow in the market as pet owners focus on their pet’s specific genetic ailments and not just their overall health.
CBD pet products are far from being “new”—in fact, estimates suggest the market will reach $1.16 billion in the U.S. by 2022. Everything from treats to elixirs and soft gels are being manufactured with CBD, providing several easy options for your pets to consume and digest. CBD is being used to manage symptoms of anxiety, stress, pain, and inflammation especially in older pets.
Even brands who focus on human CBD products are beginning to the enter the CBD pet market. Global Widget, a major manufacturer and distributor of CBD products, are adding products to its Perfect Paws brand by introducing CBD Dog Chews. CBD is a continuingly growing market that brands will be joining for years to come—even despite FDA regulation.
As consumers hyper focus on their pet’s health and wellbeing during the pandemic and beyond, pet brands are embracing trends originally targeted towards humans and marketing them for our furry friends. Wherever consumer trends take us, the pet trends will tail behind (pun intended).