The UK pet care market is set to reach £4.5 billion in 2021, up 8.6 percent on 2016, according to retail research and analysis firm Verdict Retail.
The company’s latest report states that pet accessories will be the fastest growing sub sector, forecast to rise 14.8 percent by 2021, followed by health & hygiene up 9.8 percent, aided by growth in the online channel and the lucrative humanisation and well-being trends which are fuelling shopper spend.
Fiona Paton, retail analyst at Verdict Retail, explained: “The humanisation of pets is a trend that continues to gain momentum, with pet owners more willing than ever before to invest in new luxuries for their pet including bedding, clothing, specialised food, gadgets and healthcare items.”
Despite increased spending on pet care, discounters pose a significant threat to mid-market players. Paton continues: “The polarisation of pet care shopper spend is set to continue.
“The health and wellness trend is driving consumers to purchase premium pet care items, while the expansion of discounters and single-priced players has impacted the desirability of mid-market players, particularly the grocers.
“Product innovation is vital to offer shoppers something different and unique such as specialist diet pet food or new flavours and improved ingredients to drive impulse purchases and average basket size.
“Such a strategy is particularly important for grocers to help differentiate themselves from discounters and maintain their leading market positions.”
Paton continues: “Online sales in pet care are set to grow by 43.4 percent between 2016 and 2021, so retailers must recognise changing consumer shopping habits and deliver convenience and flexibility to their customers, preferably providing a substantial multi-channel offer as well as more local stores to consumers.”