Many spending habits acquired during the COVID-19 pandemic are vanishing, according to The Wall Street Journal. But some habits die hard, and apparently, America’s love of pets is one of them.
During the pandemic, pet ownership increased, as many Americans stuck at home wanted companionship. And while the number of pet adoptions is down from the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021, spending on pets and pet products, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), was 28% higher in April than it was in January of 2019.
The WSJ reports, “Spending on pets grew 19.3% to $123 billion last year, according to Packaged Facts, a much faster pace than the 7.3% growth seen in 2019.” And Packaged Facts expects the “pet-product retail sector will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10% until 2026.”
The APPA just released its 2021-2022 APPA National Pet Owners Survey Statistics: Pet Ownership & Annual Expenses which shows industry sales hit a record-high $123.6 billion in 2021, following a record-setting year in 2020 (topping the $100 billion sales mark for the first time).
Specifically, the State of the Industry data shows:
- Pet Food & Treats—$50 billion
- Supplies, Live Animals & OTC Medicine—$29.8 billion
- Vet Care & Product Sales—$34.3 billion
- Other Services, including boarding, grooming, insurance, training, pet sitting, and walking—$9.5 billion
According to the 2021-2022 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 70% of U.S. households—or about 90.5 million homes own a pet. (More households own dogs—69 million—than cats—45.3 million.) This is up from 67% in the 2019-2020 Survey.
Demographically, millennials are the nation’s largest generation of pet owners (32%), followed by boomers (27%), Gen X (24%), and Gen Z (14%).
Like other retail transactions, a lot of shopping by pet owners took place online. In fact, 86% of pet owners shopped online, up nearly 20% from last year.
APPA is bullish about pet spending this year—projecting growth of 5.8%, well above the historical average of 3% to 4%.