Pet Supplement Sales on the Upswing

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NEW YORK—U.S. retail sales of pet supplements and nutraceutical treats are expected to begin to pick back up in 2011, according to market research publisher Packaged Facts, with the annual sales growth regaining steam through 2015. While growth in the pet supplements industry stalled in 2009, the market should increase as the optimism of pet owners gradually recovers in harmony with the general economy.

 “As the economy improves, so should all things pet, but that recovery continues to appear modest," said David Lummis, senior pet market analyst for Packaged Facts. “Spending on supplements will increase but ‘restraint’ will likely continue to characterize how pet owners shop and what they buy during 2011 and even 2012, making value appeals based on pet health, safety, professionalism, practicality, and yes, pricing, more important than ever."

The overall U.S. pet industry fared well during the recession relative to many other consumer packaged goods industries, as noted in “Pet Supplements and Nutraceutical Treats in the U.S., 3rd Edition," with an estimated total U.S. retail sales of pet supplements and nutraceutical treats at more than $1 billion in 2010, reflecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4 percent during the five-year period beginning in 2006.

Sales growth stalled in 2009 and 2010 as the recession took hold and held on, a slow-down attributable almost entirely to a downturn on the equine side. As a result, the small animal category—including products for dogs and cats—gained ground between 2006 and 2010, increasing from 45 percent to 52 percent of the market and surpassing equine as the larger category last year.

The annual percentage increases of pet supplements and nutraceutical treats will rise from more than 2 percent in 2011 to almost 7 percent in 2015, lifting sales to an estimated $2 billion. Growth will be considerably faster on the small animal side than on the equine side. For both animal classifications, the pace will be faster in nutraceutical treats, which will continue to gain ground because of their indulgence advantage and a steady influx of more heavily marketed products. Ultimately, small animals will account for 58 percent of the market by 2015.

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