dog with dropper

There’s nothing like a pandemic to shake up the wellness industry. With healthy products and services selling like never before due to the pandemic, it’s only natural that consumers want to pass these benefits on to their pets. But with a market as large as health and wellness, it can be tough to know which products will fly off the shelves—and which might not catch consumers’ interests. 

Many pet professionals count on SuperZoo to better assess trends and stock up on popular products. When SuperZoo returned to Las Vegas in August, the pet community was eager to visit the New Product Showcase and meet the 2021 award winners. 

As expected, the Showcase highlighted new wellness products earning attention and profits. Specific award winners this year included bird stress recovery supplements, ear plugs to calm dogs during grooming, equine mobility products, healthy plants for fish, electrolyte pellets for horses, wound repair and reptile coolers, to name just a few. 

“This is an exciting time for the pet professional and pet owners as well,” says World Pet Association (WPA) president Vic Mason. “Pet wellness products, especially supplements, are supporting longer, healthier lives for pets and that brings a real level of joy for their owners. Retailers in our community love pets too, so they are passionate about sourcing high-end solutions their customers are seeking.”

As extensive research studies are released and new products hit the market, expect supplements and wellness products to increase in popularity. Combined with the recent diversification of the veterinary sector—including in-store clinics and online pet pharmacies—and a rise in pet insurance, pet wellness looks to have a long and healthy future.  

 

Supplements

After CBD products took the market by storm over the past few years, pet owners began purchasing CBD treats and tinctures to help their animals’ joint health and alleviate anxiety. According to GrandView Research, the global CBD pet market was valued at $125 million in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 58.9 percent until 2028. Remarkably, the supplement market—including vitamins, fish oil and probiotics—is projected to hit the $1 billion mark by 2027.

Some of this growth is due to accelerated awareness around immune health, triggered by COVID-19. Kerry Health and Nutrition Institute conducted a survey of U.S. dog and cat owners and found that over 25 percent are more concerned about their pet’s health as a result of the pandemic. Last year, this translated into increased sales of CBD, hemp oil, krill oil and silver in the form of nutrition bars, treats and meal toppers. 

Digestive health supplements are also skyrocketing at a growth rate of 173 percent in 2020 compared to 2019. Probiotics lead the way, again spurred by pet owners who take the supplement and want to share the benefits with their pets. 

 

Diversification of Veterinary Sector

For much of 2020, convenience was king in the retail world, leading to a spike in e-commerce sales that could make up 50 percent of all sales in the next five years, according to research firm Packaged Facts. It’s no surprise that veterinary health services also moved online, including telehealth practices as well as online ordering of prescriptions and specialty products. Now, the retail industry is eager to get on board.

 

Earlier this summer, both Chewy and Pet Supplies Plus, officially expanded their offerings to include prescription pet medications. Available online, the retail outlets will offer prescription diets, flea and tick products and specialty medications with veterinary authorization for cats, dogs and horses to start. 

According to TD Ameritrade, pet medicine and vaccines are expected to make up a $15 billion market by 2025. As pet owners increasingly seek out top professional care for their pets, pet insurance has been cushioning the cost. Last year, insurance for dogs covered about 75 percent of the market, according to ResearchandMarkets.com.

“It’s too soon to tell how a rise in pet insurance will affect consumer spending on pet care and supplements,” said Mason. “However, as pet insurance gains popularity, it’s likely that products for pet health will also be top-of-mind for customers.”

Oftentimes the best insights come straight from retailers themselves. 

Lisa Senafe, co-founder of Bentley’s Pet Stuff always had a passion for animals. A former financial professional in the mortgage industry, Senafe’s life changed after she adopted her dog Bentley. 

“I’m really strict about the products I carry because quality and customer service are extremely important to me,” says Senafe. “Owners come to me with allergies, skin and coat issues and digestive problems. That’s why I carry a variety of products, so they can find what’s best for their pets. It’s never a one and done thing.” 

While new brands and formulations of food and supplements are always hitting the market, what makes this time different is the arrival of unique categories of pet well-ness products, including pet wipes, cat toothpaste, creative habitats and self-cleaning, wi-fi-connected litter boxes. At the rate the industry is growing, expect even more categories of products and wellness supplements to hit the shelves. 

 

For professionals looking for products to fit their target audiences, SuperZoo will return to Las Vegas, Aug. 23-25, 2022. You can learn more about the New Product Showcase winners at wpa365.org.