About 62% of US households (73 million homes) own a pet, this percentage was 58% in 1998. In terms pet ownership, freshwater fish is has the highest ownership of close to 151 mn, followed by cats (38.9mn) and dogs (46.3 mn).

US pet care industry has proven to be recession resistant and had steadily grown at a CAGR of 6% even during the economic slowdown (2008-10). The spending on pet care is estimated to be USD 50.8 bn in 2011 as compared to USD 48.3 bn in 2010. The industry has grown at a CAGR of 6% during 2005-10 (refer exhibit below).

                                       Exhibit: Spending on US Pet Care Market (USD bn)

Source: American Pet Products Association

Key components of pet care spending
Food dominates the pet care spending in US and accounted for 38% in 2010. This is followed by vet care (28%) and Supplies / OTC medicine (23%). Other major components include animal purchases and pet services (refer exhibit below).

                                         Exhibit: US Pet care market (spending share value and %) 2010

Source: American Pet Products Association

Thus medical care and drugs constitute a major percentage of overall spending of pet care market.

Trends: Pet care market USA

  • Owners are getting carbon emission conscious and are making efforts to shift to nature friendly materials in all the pet related products
  • Many companies known for selling products catering to humans are diversifying into providing pet food especially for dogs, cats and reptiles.
  • Use of technology in pet care is on rise. Use of automatic doors, tags, advance toys etc. is on a rise. Other products such as advance feeding and drinking systems, warming devices are also gaining popularity.

Key players: Pet care market USA 

Pet food market in US is dominated by Nestlé Purina PetCare followed by players with smaller market share. Some of the key players are:

  • Nestlé Purina PetCare (market leader)
  • Hill’s Pet Nutrition
  • Mars Inc.
  • Iams
  • Del Monte
  • Wal Mart
  • The Nutro Company

Market opportunities: Pet care market USA

  • Nutritional food – As the popularity of nutritional food increase in human food, the popularity of the same is expected to rise in pet food too. Problem of obesity and overall health is the driver of popularity of the food including Omega-3, prebiotics, antioxidants, etc. This presents niche opportunities for pet food producers.
  • Technology adoption: Technology adoption for pet care is expected to increase, thus market of innovative and gadgets catering to pet care issues is expected to be promising.
  • Niche pet stores selling food, supplies and services