dog with money

Last week, the New York Times reported that several common commodities, such as toilet paper, cereal and more, will be subject to price increases. While the severity of these shortages and commodity cost increases may  differ, the American Pet Products Association’s (APPA) State of the Industry reports that the pet industry is facing similar challenges.

After a year of rising demand and disruptions across the supply chain, this comes as no surprise. Of course, for the pet industry, shortages in pet food ingredients or packaging items, such as aluminum cans, have impacted manufacturers, and therefore their retail partners as well.

According to Doug Lefebvre, owner of Mass.-based Falmouth Pet Center, his store has faced complete shortages of canned products and had to give up certain brands as a result.

“It’s crazy how many products are not available now,” said Lefebvre. 

If prices continue to rise, especially as things begin to open up and there’s a resurgence of customer traffic, retailers may not be able to absorb the price increases on their own—they’ll need to raise their retail prices. Falmouth Pet Center has already needed to raise prices. 

Not every retailer, however, has had to significantly increase prices for customers. Darcy Spanel, owner of Ga.-based Garden City Pet, revealed that, while in some areas price increases were needed (such as in the bulk beef and raw categories), her supplier prices have been manageable and prices haven't been raised in any other categories. 

While the worst of the pandemic is (hopefully) behind us, retailers should brace themselves for the possibility that they may need to raise prices down the line—if they haven’t already done so. APPA predicts that product shortages should last through 2021 and into 2022, so the pet industry isn't out of the woods just yet.