Our love for animals of all shapes and sizes supports a multi-million-pound domestic pet industry. In this article, we provide a rundown of the top pet business trends in 2020.
Another year, same story: people are still craving their creature comforts. With around 50 percent of adults in the UK owning a furry friend (PDSA), you’d be forgiven for thinking that it really is raining cats and dogs. This is an industry that’s showing few signs of shrinking, with people becoming more aware of the recreational benefits that come from pet ownership. For aspiring and existing pet business owners, this is great news.
COVID-19 and the pet industry in 2020
It’s widely accepted that owning a pet can be good for our health. They help us keep active and reduce stress levels, to name just two perks. During the pandemic, people have been weighed down with uncertainty and simply not knowing what the future has in store. It’s not too surprising, then, that there was an upsurge in pet adoptions and fostering across the globe. While many people would have done this for the animal’s benefit, they also set themselves up for better mental health.
The increase in pet ownership during the COVID-19 crisis gave pet businesses a big boost. For instance, the Pets at Home Group reported revenue growth of 0.4 percent for the first quarter despite the disruption that the pandemic caused.
Top pet business trends in 2020
This year has brought a number of pet business trends that are making plenty of noise. Let’s have a look at some of the top trends that are changing the way we interact with our pets.
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1. Natural pet products and supplements
It was never going to be long before the healthy-eating movement made its way into our pets’ food bowls. 2020 has seen the growth in a number of organic tasty treats for our dogs and cats to savour. Bursting with healthy vitamins and nutrients, these new products – ranging from slimming kibbles to plant-based alternatives – are becoming all the rage.
But this trend isn’t all about food. For the first time, we’re also seeing a growing availability of shampoos, supplements and medicines that only contain organic products.
Pet supplements can provide solutions to many of the common problems pets have. They come in a range of tempting flavours so it isn’t too difficult for owners to get their pets to digest them. One pet business trend that is popular in 2020 is the addition of collagen in pet supplements.
Like it is in humans, collagen is important for the strength and elasticity of animals’ bones, hair, skin and nails, and their ability to produce it diminishes with age. Increasing numbers of pet business are starting to retail products that recoup lost collagen with nutritional toppers and supplements.
2. Pet apps and wearables
In recent years, the pet industry has gone digital. A whole range of apps are available, offering a host of pet-related services, including grooming, dog walking and pet-sitting.
While their owners are exploring these more sensible options, pets themselves are looking to get their share of the action too. Game apps like Cat Fishing encourage our feline friends to have a go at catching koi carp on-screen, leaving the humans to record viral videos to post online.
This year, a range of pet wearables and accessories have also hit the shelves. These include smart collars and activity monitors that connect with apps to indicate how active your dog has been. There’s even a harness that can allow dog owners to observe how their precious pooches are feeling.
3. Premium pet food and pet beds
Pet food is big business, especially that of the premium kind. Human-grade ingredients are being used by premium pet food brands to appeal to owners that really want to treat their furry friends.
More pet owners are striving for luxury when it comes to their beloved pets. Luxury dog beds and cat beds are popular at the moment, and they look even more fashionable in your home. There are even cat trees and tepees on the market that are the perfect place for your cat to climb, explore and relax.
4. Stay-at-home grooming services
Forget the parlours, pet grooming franchises have gone mobile. Pet owners can get in touch with businesses like Dial a Dog Wash to have a professional dog groomer come and visit them at home. Rather than just cleaning coats and pampering paws, Dial a Dog Wash is setting itself apart with its hydro-bath, flea treatment and microchipping services. This was a big trend of 2019, but with the COVID-19 crisis putting a strain on how businesses can operate, it’s continued to be just as, if not more, popular in 2020.
5. Sustainable pet products
Sustainability has been a hot topic for many years now, and it’s just as relevant in the pet industry. Customers are looking for pet businesses that are environmentally conscious when they choose a product or service. So what does this mean for you as a pet business owner?
This might include making sure your pet food is made from sustainable ingredients and comes in recyclable packaging. Some pet businesses have started using insect-based pet food to produce more eco-friendly meals that still have a high nutritional value.
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Why not start a pet business today?
The pet industry is booming. And as it starts exploring even more avenues, there has never been a better time to start your own pet business. Pet owners tend to prefer local alternatives when it comes to grooming, walking and sitting services, so there are plenty of gaps in the market across the country. Starting one up in your own community will almost certainly be met with demand.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©