As more people have become pet parents in the last year, they are shopping around for foods, treats and other products for their pet companions. According to information from a new webinar released by Euromonitor International, nearly a third of global pet sales are expected to come from e-commerce by 2026.
"The pandemic accelerated ongoing channel shifts to e-commerce as owners avoided unnecessary trips to pet specialty channels,” said Jared Koerten, senior head of pet care research at Euromonitor International.
As grocers face competition in the omnichannel, they can take action in their physical stores and online offerings to pursue a growing market. The opportunities are there: overall, sales of pet care products rose 8.7 percent in 2020, according to Euromonitor’s recently-aired "Pet Care Outlook: Which Trends Will Outlast the Pandemic?" webinar. Sales of pet food, which is commonly sold in the center store in grocery stores, rose 8.1% last year and premium products fared especially well.
The trend is set to continue with work-from-home lifestyles becoming the norm, Euromonitor’s experts predict. The growing number of pet parents also mean that the “humanization” of pets, evident in the demand for higher quality foods and more premium accessories and pet care products, will be ongoing.
New pet products released this spring reflect the shift to premiumization and humanization. For example, Nestle Purina and Ree Drummond recently announced the addition of three-jerky style varieties to their adult dog treat line, made with real meat as the first ingredient and free from artificial flavors or preservatives. Earlier this year, Ben & Jerry’s announced the introduction of new frozen treat flavors just for dogs, called Doggie Desserts.
Euromonitor’s full webinar is available on demand.