As economic uncertainty persists, the pet industry remains strong and resilient, with consumers nationwide prioritizing pet ownership and a commitment to their pets’ health and happiness. This is according to the latest pet ownership and spending data released by the American Pet Products Association (APPA).
“Pet spending in 2022 was up nearly 11% from the previous year. While we outperformed our 2022 forecast, we know this increase can be attributed in large part to higher than anticipated inflation, and we expect spending will follow a similar trajectory and remain steady in 2023,” said APPA President and CEO Peter Scott. “Along those same lines, we saw pet ownership normalize and return to pre-pandemic levels, which is not surprising given the uptick we saw in pet acquisition as a result of the pandemic. Overall, we are excited to report all signs continue to point to the strength of the industry.”
State of the Industry data for 2022 revealed increases in every spend category:
$136.8 billion in total sales, a 10.8% increase compared to 2021.
$58.1 billion was spent on pet foods and treats, the highest spend category and the category with the biggest increase at 16.2%.
Vet care and product sales landed as the second highest spend category at $35.9 billion, a 4.7% increase. Supplies, live animals, and OTC meds saw an increase of 5.7% and a total spend of $31.5 billion.
Other services (including grooming, dog walking, and boarding) totaled $11.4 billion spent, a 20% increase.
In addition to State of the Industry data, APPA also released its biennial National Pet Owners Survey, the most comprehensive consumer research study about pet ownership, pet care practices, and preferences in the consumption of products and services by America’s pet owners.
“While pet ownership has normalized somewhat, the most recent version of the National Pet Owners Survey reveals some very interesting trends that will have significant implications for the industry this year and beyond,” observed APPA Senior Vice President of Member Relations & Business Development Anne Ferrante. “This includes differences in pet ownership by generation, the effect of the economy on spending, shifts in where people are acquiring pets, trending product categories and more.”
Key findings from the 2023-2024 study include:
Sixty-six percent (66%) of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 86.9 million households.
For the first time, pet ownership is evenly split between the two younger generations (Gen Z and Millennials) and two older generations (Gen X and Baby Boomers). The younger generations report spending more on their pets in the past year but are also more concerned about the expense of pet ownership. The older generations are focused on the benefits of pet ownership and maintaining the level of care they have always given their pets.
In-person shopping has seen a resurgence and is now preferred by nearly 50% of pet owners, led by Gen Xers and Boomers.
Two-thirds of pet owners consider their pets when making their financial plans, and half are willing to spend more money on pet products that are made in the U.S., brand name, ethically sourced, BPA-free, and eco-friendly.
The percentage of pet owners committed to their pet’s current standard of care, including diet and brand loyalty, is 75% and 56%, respectively, and is notably higher than the percentage of pet owners who view pet supplies as discretionary and plan to curtail purchases to save money, at 31%. The use of pet techs, such as electronic tracking devices and pet monitoring systems, is increasing, with more pet owners planning to purchase these items in the next 12 months.
Since 1988, APPA has published the biennial APPA National Pet Owners Survey, the premier resource of its kind, providing in-depth data on consumer behavior, product and service consumption, and lifestyle and media habits. The Association also publishes the APPA Generational Report, which examines pet ownership by generation. More recently, APPA launched its quarterly Pulse Studies to measure the impact of rapidly changing economic conditions on pet ownership in the U.S., particularly pet product and service consumption.
For more information about APPA’s available market research, visit americanpetproducts.org/pubs_overview.asp.