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Reference Desk March 2012

Pet Owners are Estimated to Spend More Than $52 Billion on Their Pets in 2012

    The American Pet Products Association (APPA) announces a 5.3% growth over last year and forecasts higher-than-ever spending in 2012

    GREENWICH, Connecticut, March 1, 2012—Overall spending in the pet industry was at an all time high in 2011, surpassing $50 billion, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA) annual comprehensive spending and data report for the pet industry. The report shows spending grew 5.3% from $48.35 billion in 2010 to $50.96 billion in 2011. APPA also projects a steady 3.8% growth rate through 2012, with nearly $53 billion in overall pet spending. Helping fuel the growth, the pet marketplace continues to attract a stream of entrepreneurs and investors introducing new, innovative products. Reported categories include food, supplies/over-the-counter (OTC) medications, veterinary care, live animal purchases and other services such as grooming, boarding, and pet sitting.

    Pet services experienced the largest growth last year rising 7.9% over 2010. As pet owners continue to pamper pets, their spending in services alone was $3.79 billion. This includes grooming, boarding, pet hotels, pet sitting, day care, and other services. Of all categories it’s anticipated that pet services will see the largest solid growth in 2012 at 8.4%, an estimated $4.11 billion in spending.

    Supplies and OTC medications also demonstrated significant growth in 2011 with an impressive $11.77 billion spent in this category. Up 7.6% from 2010, the increased use of OTC medications as an alternative to veterinary care has driven the supply segment higher. Continued use of OTC medications and supplies is expected to rise throughout 2012 as well.

    2011 Cost Breakdown

    Category

       

    2010 Actual

    2011 Actual

    % Growth

    2012 Estimate

    %
    Growth

         

    ($ Billion)

     

    ($ Billion)

     

    2011 vs 2010

    ($ Billion)

     

    ($
    Billion)

                           

    Food

       

    18.76

     

    19.85

     

    5.8

     

    20.46

     

    3.1

    Supplies/ OTC Med

     

    10.94

     

    11.77

     

    7.6

     

    12.56

     

    6.7

    Veterinary Care

     

    13.01

     

    13.41

     

    2.9

     

    13.59

     

    1.3

    Live Animal Purchases

    2.13

     

    2.14

     

    0.4

     

    2.15

     

    0.5

    Other Services

     

    3.51

     

    3.79

     

    7.9

     

    4.11

     

    8.4

                           

    Total

       

    48.35

     

    50.96

     

    5.3

     

    52.87

     

    3.8

    Demonstrating a slower but steady increase in 2011 was the food category. Forecasted to rise by 4.1% in 2011, the food category exhibited a 5.8% growth. Food is estimated to rise by 3.1% in 2012.

    APPA President, Bob Vetere notes two reasons for the slower growth of food sales. Pet sales and adoptions are flattening, according to APPA’s National Pet Owners Survey and others, meaning the total money spent is spread over virtually the same number of animals. In addition, most of the polarization to high-end foods has already taken place so this segment is reverting back to a more traditional model of growth.

    “On the flip side, the service category continues to flourish and is expected to do so in 2012 as well,” stated Vetere. “We are seeing a boom in this category as people continue to work and require services such as pet sitting, boarding, and walking to care for their pets at home.”

    Pet insurance is also expected to increase in 2012. Included in veterinary care figures, pet insurance is estimated at $450 million and projected to grow to more than $500 million in 2012.

    “As the total pet population continues to grow, despite a slower pace, we still see the overall industry expanding year after year,” noted Vetere. “As pet owners continue to pamper pets and treat them like members of the family, we see positive growth and a response to consumer demand for more products and services which we expect to see through 2012.”

    Source: American Pet Products Association

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