New Report Explores Pet Spending on Amazon
One Click Retail released a report that examined pet spending on Amazon during the first half of 2018. In Q1 and Q2, Americans spent nearly $800 million on pet products on Amazon alone, representing a growth of over 30 percent compared to the same period in 2017. The total domestic market grew by nearly 30 percent in the last 5 years to an estimated value of over $70 billion according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA).
The report revealed how the pet food category made up nearly half of total pet product sales on Amazon. In the total domestic market, food represented approximately two-thirds of the sector’s sales. Large sizes of dog food remained the biggest seller for Amazon’s pet category, with 30-lb. bags of dry dog food being the most popular, but dry cat food is beginning to catch up.
Wag Dry Dog Food, one of Amazon’s latest private label expansions, was also discussed in the report. Launched in May, the brand’s 30-lb. bags saw the most success, which is consistent with other leading dog food brands on Amazon, but the rollout was not perfectly smooth. The 5-lb. bag of the top selling Salmon & Lentil flavor was pulled after a number of negative reviews that stated that the food was mostly crushed to powder by the time it reached the consumer.
The Wag brand also faced criticism for the phrase “ingredients from around the world,” which was used in its marketing. One Click Retail cited vagueness, a desire for transparency, and concerns over pet health and safety as the reasons for this backlash.
The report claimed that the importance placed on pet health fueled other sales patterns in the food category. Natural food was named as a popular trend, though the report cited the cat food category as being more fragmented between different brands and flavors due to feline pickiness. Healthy dental dog treats from Milk Bone and Greenies also saw significant growth.
However, the top-performing individual pet products on Amazon were related specifically to healthcare. Unlike the pet food category, which sees many players, Bayer's Seresto brand and Frontline together controlled over 50 percent of the category's sales on Amazon. Four out of the five bestselling pet products during the first half of 2018 were health care products. The top three items were variations of the Seresto Flea and Tick collar (two for dogs and one for cats) and the #5 item was a topical flea treatment for cats from Bayer (the manufacturer of Seresto). These sales drove healthcare to be the fastest growing category during Q2.
One Click Retail’s report also took a close look at the habitats and supplies category on Amazon, which had sales benefit from the AmazonBasics private label. Specific products such as cat trees benefited from a major promotional lift during Prime Day 2017 and continued to grow in popularity on Amazon, especially during Q2 2018. Like Health Care, habitats and supplies is dominated by a handful of brands.
The report mentioned that over two-thirds of U.S. households already contain pets and all those potential customers are not going away. The company saw Amazon's private brand activity in the pet space as proof that there is still plenty of room for growth, competition and innovation in pet products.