The Booming Pet Industry in the UK: Exploring Trends and Innovations
In a world where pet ownership has skyrocketed over the last thirty years, it's crystal clear that our four-legged, feathered, and scaled friends are more than just companions – they're an irreplaceable part of our families.
In this blog post we’ll explore how the pet industry has evolved, uncovering consumer insights from our recent Appinio Hype Train Report on Pets.
From pet-friendly apartments to finding pet supplies, from travelling with your pets to giving them luxury treats, we'll uncover the ins and outs of this ever-evolving industry.
Key takeaways from our Appinio Hype Train Report on Pets
- Booming Pet Industry
The Pet Industry is experiencing unprecedented growth, with projections of reaching a whopping $500 billion by 2030. This remarkable expansion goes beyond conventional pet care, driven by the premiumisation of pet food and services, reflecting the deepening human-animal bond.
- Pet Tech and Wellness
The Pet Industry is evolving rapidly, embracing innovations like smart pet products and sustainable solutions. Pet owners are increasingly focused on holistic wellness and nutrition, seeking specialised diets and holistic health approaches, emphasising the importance of preventive care.
- Pets as Family and Travel Companions
Pets hold a special place in our hearts, with 87% of pet owners considering them integral family members. This profound connection extends to travel, where 64% find it easy to include their pets in their journeys, demonstrating the adaptability of the travel industry to accommodate furry companions.
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Download the Appinio Hype Train Report on Pets with Keef Yap from Yap Yap!
The status quo on the pets industry
The global pet industry is projected to grow to $500 Billion by 2030, and this extends far beyond the simple kibble and squeaky toys.
A very recent Bloomberg Report indicates that, as the pet population worldwide is growing exponentially, the industry has been seeing a huge boost, mostly driven by the premiumisation of food and services resulting from the continued humanisation of animal companions.
The pet food segment is the main force driving most revenue in the pet industry and the UK pet food market is second only to the US, the biggest pet market globally.
Bloomberg says that “as pet owners continue to be reluctant to switch diets for their pets, (this) may allow the global pet food market to top $135 billion by the end of the decade, an increase of 52% from current levels”.
Furthermore, with pets living longer, there's a growing demand for advanced drugs like monoclonal antibodies, expected to drive the pet pharmaceutical market to $25 billion by 2030. This trend may also boost preventive-care diagnostics, potentially creating a $30 billion global market, with Europe as the largest growth opportunity, holding a $12 billion market with 8% penetration.
Trends and innovations
The Pet Industry is in the midst of an exciting transformation, where traditional pet care is evolving into a modern, tech-savvy, and eco-conscious endeavour. This shift is driven by the increasing demand for pet tech, sustainable solutions, and a heightened awareness of pet health and wellness.
For this trip on the Hype Train, Appinio could count on the expertise of Keef Yap, Founder of Yap Yap, the go-to space for new and young city dog parents.
With over 15+ years of experience in branding, digital marketing, and advertising, Keef founded YapYap to connect city dog parents through events, recommendations, and meet-ups. As a dog parent herself, she understands the challenges and joys of raising a furry friend in an urban environment, and she’s passionate about creating a platform that empowers and supports dog owners. She started my career at BBH, working with legendary creative director John Hegarty on global campaigns for clients like Audi and Levi's.
(Respondents who are pet owners)
Health and wellness trends
Health and wellness are becoming increasingly popular in pet care. Pet owners are on a quest to provide their furry friends with the best nutrition and healthcare possible. With searches for "best dog food for allergies" and "hypoallergenic cat food" surging, it's evident that pet owners are committed to addressing their pets' unique dietary needs.
In addition to specialised diets, holistic approaches to pet wellness, such as herbal remedies and acupuncture, are gaining popularity. This focus on preventive care and holistic health has redefined the way we approach pet well-being, making it a central aspect of the Pet Industry's landscape and we can see it reflected in our Hype Tracker Chart.
- Pet Health & Pet Insurance
It’s no surprise that Pet Health and Insurance are big High Speed Hypes for pet owners. Owners discuss them more than non-owners due to their personal responsibility, emotional attachment, financial investment, and the need for support and information within their pet-owning communities.
- Pet Supplements & Pet Food
No surprise to see pet nutritions topics score high for pet owners. Curiosity score and buzz are bigger for Pet Supplements as they are often associated with addressing specific health concerns or providing targeted benefits for their pets, as pet owners seek solutions for particular issues such as joint health, skin conditions, or anxiety. Additionally, the supplement market may introduce new and innovative products more frequently, sparking interest and curiosity among pet owners looking for effective ways to enhance their pets' well-being.
In contrast, pet food discussions may be more routine, focusing on general nutrition and preferences, which may not generate as much curiosity or attention
It is clear that the Pet Industry is undergoing a remarkable transformation and it's not just about pet care; it's about innovating tech products, sustainability, and well-being. As our pets grow older with us and our understanding of their health deepens, the future of the Pet Industry promises a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation, ensuring that our pets lead happy, healthy lives.
📊 Head over to our dashboard to see more trends!
Pet ownership statistics
Ever wondered who's got the most pets?
Pet ownership is a global phenomenon, but it varies by region.
Americans seem very inclined to be pet owners, with 75% saying they currently have a pet, against 65% of Brits currently having one. Also Germans seem quite fond of furry companions, as 70% say they are pet owners.
British households seem to prefer dogs (70%), as well as American ones (78%), while Germans seem to prefer cats (64% vs. 59% of dog owners) – could this be because German neighbours are more likely to complain about noise? 😏
If dogs dominate among British pet owners, cats come in second place (59%), the quiet goldfish follows in third place but at a great distance (17%), the cute rabbit ranks fourth at 14%, colourful and chirpy birds complete the top 5 at 8%.
For the vast majority of British pet owners, their beloved friends are not merely animals; they are cherished members of the family.
An impressive 87% of pet owners consider their pets as integral parts of their households. This statistic highlights the profound depth of the bonds we share with our pets. They become confidants, playmates, and sources of unconditional (often unrequited) love.
It's no secret that the bond between humans and their pets runs deep, and many studies underscore the profound impact pets have on our mental well-being.
The Appinio Hype Train Report unveils a staggering 57% of respondents saying that having pets in their lives had significantly improved their overall well-being and happiness. Pets, whether they're loyal dogs, affectionate cats, or any other beloved companion, offer a unique source of comfort, joy, and emotional support.
And, remarkably, 73% of pet owners express a strong desire for their children to grow up with pets. The reasons behind this inclination are as diverse as they are heartwarming, shedding light on the multiple benefits of this unique bond.
The most common motivations are:
- The opportunity for children to learn responsibility, cited by 74% of pet owners. Caring for a pet, whether it's feeding a cat, walking a dog, or ensuring a hamster's cage is clean, instils a sense of duty and accountability in children. This firsthand experience teaches them the importance of commitment and empathy as they take on the role of caregiver for their beloved animal companions.
- Companionship is another compelling reason, with 60% of pet owners valuing the genuine friendship and emotional support that pets offer to their children. The presence of a furry friend can provide solace during challenging times and serve as a constant source of comfort and joy in a child's life.
- Furthermore, 58% of pet owners emphasise the importance of fostering a strong connection with nature through pet ownership. In today's digital age, where screens often dominate children's attention, having pets encourages them to engage with the natural world.
Pet health and nutrition
Pet's health is a top priority, and that's where the Pet Industry comes in. Understanding a pet's nutritional needs is crucial, and there are diets tailored to specific health conditions and life stages. Regular vet visits and pet insurance provide peace of mind, ensuring your furry friend gets the care they deserve. Proper nutrition, including specialised diets for dogs and cats with allergies, is essential.
The majority of British pet owners buy pet treats at the supermarket, but one in two (53%) occasionally treat their pet to premium foods:
- 45% give organic or natural pet food
- 34% freshly homemade food
- 32% breed specific or life stage formulas.
Among British pet owners, the pet food brands that enjoy the highest level of top-of-mind awareness include:
- Pedigree (15%),
- Felix (8%),
- Whiskas (7%),
- Purina (7%),
- Royal Canin (5%).
Pet luxury care
Pampering pets is a trend in itself.
Grooming, pet spa services, and pet training are in-demand services with searches for "nail trim for dogs" ever increasing. Pet boarding, daycare, and adoption through pet finders and animal shelters near me cater to pet owners' needs.
Pet grooming salons offer everything from haircuts to massages, while pet spas provide a day of relaxation and rejuvenation. And if you're headed out of town, pet boarding and daycare facilities ensure your pet is in good hands. Plus, pet training and behaviour management services help your pet become a well-mannered member of the family.
In an era where pets are more cherished than ever, it comes as no surprise that 70% of pet owners have indulged in pampering their beloved companions with luxury items as well.
When it comes to splurging on their pets, Brits’ choices are diverse:
- The most commonly purchased luxury items include special treats, such as tasty catmint or gourmet dog biscuits, with 35% of pet owners opting for these yummy delights.
- Additionally, 32% of pet owners invest in luxury beds or furniture to ensure their pets slumber in the lap of comfort.
- Collars, leashes, and harnesses adorned with interesting designs capture the hearts of 27% and support many small business owners.
- 25% go the extra mile with customised feeding bowls and elegant water fountains.
- Furthermore, 18% of pet owners can't resist dressing up their pets in stylish clothing or cute costumes, transforming them into furry fashion icons.
This trend for luxury items showcases the lengths to which pet owners are willing to go to ensure their pets are pampered and opens opportunities for those wanting to tap into the riches of the pet industry.
Pets & travel
The relationship between pet owners and their furry companions extends to the world of travel, with varying levels of adventure and attachment.
Surprisingly, 24% of British pet owners opt never to travel with their pets, perhaps due to concerns about the logistics or simply to provide their pets with a stable home environment.
For the majority (29%), travel with pets is a sporadic affair, occurring 1-3 times a year, suggesting that while some pet owners are eager to explore the world with their animal companions, others prefer to keep their travels separate.
Notably, Baby Boomers appear to be the least inclined to embark on adventures with their pets, with 28% of them choosing not to travel with their pets, despite 11% of them asserting they do so frequently.
In contrast, Millennials are leading the pack when it comes to travelling with pets, embracing a more nomadic lifestyle that seamlessly includes their four-legged companions.
Despite the diverse approaches to pet travel, a significant majority, 64%, find it rather too easy to include their pets in their journeys.
The Travel industry has indeed adapted and offered convenient pet travel solutions, such as pet-friendly accommodations and pet carriers, which make it increasingly feasible for pet owners to share their adventures with their cherished animal companions.
In conclusion, the Pet Industry isn't just about pet food and toys; it's a dynamic world of innovation and care. From the latest pet tech to specialised financial products and luxury products, the industry is continuously evolving to meet the needs of our beloved pets.
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