Pet Franchise Industry Report 2010
Trends for the pet franchise industry
Upscale pet products and big brands
As we have seen 62% of homes in the U.S. have at least one pet. As pets play a more important role in peoples’ lives, pet parents are willing to spend more. Items available for pets range from the normal to the extreme. Available for purchase are faux mink dog blankets, cashmere sweaters, hammocks, wedding dresses and tuxedos. There is also a huge range of jewellery available for pets.
Demand for upscale pet products and products with well known brand names are increasing as pets play an ever more important role in the lives of consumers.
An increasing number of big brand names have seen an increase in sales for designer animal apparel. Harley Davidson for example now offers a wide range of products (all with the Harley Davidson logo) such as:
- A range of dog and cat toys
- Dog bowls
- Dog sweatshirts
- Dog brushes
- Dog collars
Many hotels are now pet friendly
Many hotels have become pet friendly and now offer facilities for customers who do not want to leave their pets at home. These hotels range from luxury chains, where pets receive special treatment to reasonably priced hotels which place more emphasis on functionality.
This has had a negative effect on the pet sitting sector of the pet industry as more pet owners bring their animals with them rather than leave them with a pet sitter or at a pet boarding house. However, as there are nearly 72 million pets in the U.S. the services of dog sitters and pet boarding establishments are still very much in demand.
Aging pet population, weight management and specialty diets
Pets are living longer due to improvements in animal care and environmental issues. However as pets live longer they are suffering from more medical conditions. One of the most common conditions is obesity and there has been a marked increase in the number of animals that are considered obese.
Thirteen percent, of dogs are now considered to be obese or overweight, up from 9%. This is estimated at nearly 10 million obese dogs in the U.S. and among these, 6 million are now on special diets. 21% of cats, up from 14%, are reported to be obese and of these 13 million cats are on special diets.
This has lead to an increase in the demand for specialty food and medicine for pets.
Pets are not only on specialty diets for medical reasons; many pets are on specialty diets purely because of the preferences of the pet parent. For example:
- Almost two million dogs and cats are fed kosher pet food
- More than four million dogs and cats are fed vegetarian pet food
- Close to two million dogs and cats drink flavored water while nearly eight million dogs and cats drink plain bottled water.
Pet retail stores supply pet parents with all the necessary ingredients for specialty diets for pets. This is a strong and growing sector of the pet industry that is set to experience increased growth.
Pet supplies and over-the-counter medicines
Up until 2009, spending in pet supplies and over-the-counter medicines was steadily increasing each year. The expectation in 2009 was that this trend was set to continue. However, the growth was more modest than expected. Spending in pet supplies and over-the-counter medicines reached $10 billion, an increase of 2% from the previous year. In comparison to the 6+% growth recorded from previous years this is a modest growth. The American Pet Products Association (APPA) projects continued growth of 2% in 201011.
Pet insurance continues to move towards the mainstream
Pet insurance is a growing segment of the pet industry. Embrace Pet Insurance estimates the size of the US pet insurance market to be $332 million in premium in 2009, up from approximately $272 million in 2008 (a 22% increase). At the end of 2008, it was estimated that there were over 800,000 pet insurance policies in force with total direct written premium across the industry of $272 million. Embrace Pet Insurance also expects the pet insurance market to reach $400 million in 2010 and to grow to $600 million by 201312.
The pet franchise market is strong and growing. Consumers are more willing to spend on pet pampering than ever before and this trend is set to continue. There is also an ageing pet population which means there will be an increase in spending for over-the-counter medicines and veterinary practices. As stated previously, it is estimated that the industry will experience an annual compound growth of 9% over the next 5 years.
With so many pet franchise models to choice from, a pet franchise may be the perfect opportunity for someone with a true love for animals to start their own business.
11The American Pet Products Association, Industry Statistics and Trends,
12Embrace Pet Insurance, U.S. Pet Insurance Trends for 2010,