Pets in 2024: Top Pet Trends and How Your Business Can Stay Ahead
Everyone seems to want a piece of the pet industry. Around 66% of U.S. households own a pet representing 86.9 million households, according to the American Pet Products Association’s (APPA) 2023-2024 National Pet Owners Survey!1 Morgan Stanley predicted that total pet industry spending will nearly triple from $118 billion in 2019 to $275 billion in 2030.2
This growing industry is very attractive to businesses of all sizes. Large businesses are adding veterinary clinics to their portfolios. Human food brands are making pet products. Passionate entrepreneurs are bringing innovation to solve pet owner and veterinary challenges in unique ways, and investors are willing to invest in them.
Despite difficult economic times, pet owners continue to show dedication in prioritizing their pets in their spending. Pets are here to stay as family members, and this impacts customer buying behavior. The steady demand for health-focused innovation is creating new opportunities for pet businesses. Observing the momentum of pet trends of 2023, here is what to watch for in 2024 pet trends and how to stay relevant.
Rise of Health-focused Pet Technology
What once seemed like science fiction is now a reality; biohacking is growing in popularity. Society is all about that data, especially when it comes to our health, tracking steps, sleep, and even ovulation3 with technology that fits discretely on wrists and fingers. Early adopters of biohacking are taking ice baths, taking nootropics, and undergoing extensive preemptive health screens, like radiographs and blood work, trying to delay the onset of aging and live as long as possible.4 As humans want to live longer, healthier lives, there is the desire to bring pets along too. A growing offering is in-home diagnostic testing for pets. Pet parents can monitor diseases, perform testing, and communicate results with their veterinarian, within the comfort of their homes. And there’s always the wish for a “magic pill” to achieve a particular outcome; in December 2023, the press excitedly shared the FDA’s approval of Loyal’s longevity drug, LOY-001.5 This drug is intended to extend the lifespan of large dogs and maintain a quality of life as they age.
Health-centered technology is also being passed on to pets; pet activity monitors, like Whistle, allow us to assess if veterinary treatment is reducing pets' itching and scratching. Activity monitors can help veterinary teams try to estimate how much to feed dogs and cats to help them maintain a healthy weight, which is important for quantity and quality of life. Cameras and smartphones allow dispensing treats to mentally enrich pets' lives, all while being out of the house. Cat litter boxes can clean themselves and automated pet food bowls can be programmed to feed cats tailored, small meals throughout the day. It is not a stretch of the imagination for technology behemoths like Apple and Google to buy up promising start-ups or develop technology themselves that is easy to use and makes the lives of pet parents easier too. Smaller companies will need to intimately understand their target audience, be agile with smaller teams, and maximize innovative ideas.
Personalized Pet Approach
We all know that pets are special and pet parents can shop and treat them accordingly. With advancing technology and medical options, veterinary medicine is growing more targeted for the pet and the pet family. A popular phrase in the veterinary industry is “spectrum of care” which does not mean different quality of care, but it implies assessing the best options for a pet’s situation. In the 2022 State of the Industry report from the American Pet Products Association (APPA), of the $136.8 billion in total sales, the second highest spend category was vet care and product sales at $35.9 billion.6
The highest spending category, at $58.1 billion, was pet foods and treats. Food science has brought a plethora of diet formats for pets. There are a lot more options than “brown and round” kibble. There is air-dried, freeze-dried, fresh, and frozen. Buy it in a box, in a bag, in a can, in a tube, in a squeeze pouch, and more. Order it online or buy it in the store. It is not unreasonable to soon offer personalized nutrition plans based on a pet's breed and even DNA. Some pet food companies are already able to custom-make fresh food formulas based on the pet’s individual needs, food allergies, and activity levels. Successful companies will need to clearly demonstrate their differentiation in the market.
Green Paws Take the Lead
Trends not only are taking pet health and technology into consideration, but protecting the environment is also a growing value in pet parent buying behavior. Data from Euromonitor International’s Global Lifestyles Survey found that 70% of pet owners worldwide are concerned about client change and actively influence their daily choices.7 Thirty-two percent of the pet owners are millennials, and Gen Z is a growing segment at 16%. Eco-conscious pet owners are leading the pack when it comes to sustainable choices. Sustainable packaging, plant-based and insect-based protein sources in pet food, upcycled ingredients, and even companies embracing solar-powered products and water-saving technology. To stay relevant and meet environmental demands, pet businesses should find impactful ways to demonstrate efforts to make products more sustainable and lower their carbon “pawprint”.
Pet Insurance Flourishes
With rising concern for pet health and wellbeing, but also rising veterinary costs, pet insurance options are growing. More providers are offering flexible plans and add-ons, such as wellness plans, making it easier and more affordable to protect pets. There’s still opportunity for innovation in this market, but it’s peace of mind for pet owners to have some armor for pets and pocketbooks, to soften the blow from unexpected medical bills, and ensure pets receive the desired care. For more information on pet insurance, check out this previous article.
With a health focus influencing a pet owner’s dollar spend, there is a growing intertwining of the veterinary and pet industries. One of the best ways to succeed is to collaborate in moving into the future of pet health and well-being. These fascinating innovations require diverse expertise from business strategists to consumer insights to engineers to veterinary teams. Those who can maximize the strengths of diverse individuals will be the ones to succeed. BSM Partners is proud to bring experts of many backgrounds and looks forward to making your innovative ideas come to life and succeed.
- Pet Industry Market Size, Trends, and Ownership Statistics. American Pet Products Association. https://www.americanpetproducts.org/news/News-Public-Relations/pet-industry-market-size-trends-ownership-statistics
- 2022, Nov 2. Puppy Love Boosts Pet Care Industry. Morgan Stanly. https://www.morganstanley.com/ideas/pet-care-industry-outlook-2030
- 2021, Jan 15. Innovative Fertility Research. Oura Ring. https://ouraring.com/blog/innovative-fertility-research/
- Kantner, E. (2023, Nov 20). Ice Baths, Nootropics, and Beyond: The Science of Biohacking. Outdoors. https://outdoors.com/science-behind-biohacking/
- Smith, T. (2023, Nov 28). FDA Agrees Loyal Data Supports Reasonable Expectations of Effectiveness for Large Dog Lifespan Extension. BizWire. . https://markets.financialcontent.com/stocks/article/bizwire-2023-11-28-fda-agrees-loyal-data-supports-reasonable-expectation-of-effectiveness-for-large-dog-lifespan-extension#:~:text=Loyal%2C%20a%20biotech%20company%20pioneering%20longevity%20drugs%20for,maintain%20their%20quality%20of%20life%20as%20they%20age
- 2023, Mar 23. Latest Pet Ownership and Spending Data from APPA Reveals Continued Strength of National Pet Industry in the Face of Economic Uncertainty. American Pet Products Association (APPA). https://www.americanpetproducts.org/news/press-release/latest-pet-ownership-and-spending-data-from-appa-reveals-continued-strength-of-national-pet-industry-in-the-face-of-economic-uncertainty
- 2022, Mar 23. Sustainable Ingredients in Pet Care. Euromonitor International. https://www.euromonitor.com/article/sustainable-ingredients-in-pet-care
About the author: Megan Sprinkle, DVM works at BSM Partners on the Special Services team in Product Innovation and is co-host of BSM Partners’ podcast, The Pet Industry Podcast. Dr. Sprinkle is inspired by innovation and entrepreneurship and can talk endlessly about the power of podcasting. She is a new Georgian and lives with her husband and Great Dane, Eva.
Follow us on LinkedIn for the latest updates on all things happening at BSM Partners and the growing industry we care about.
This content is the property of BSM Partners. Reproduction or retransmission or repurposing of any portion of this content is expressly prohibited without the approval of BSM Partners and is governed by the terms and conditions explained here.