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Growth and Expansion of Pet Dietary Supplements

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Taking care of a pet is going beyond nutrition and calorific intake. A more holistic approach is being applied in managing a pet’s health with attention being paid to longevity and quality of life. Beyond pet food, it is pet dietary supplements that are enabling pet owners not just to manage health issues but to enhance their pet’s overall health and wellbeing.

North America is the biggest in absolute retail value terms while Asia Pacific is one of the fastest growing regions

Source: Euromonitor International

Global pet dietary supplements is estimated to be a USD2.1 billion market in 2023, having grown at a CAGR of 7% over 2018-2023. At a regional level, North America is the biggest in absolute retail value terms while Asia Pacific is one of the fastest growing regions, surpassing Western Europe in overall size. While in China the category is becoming more specialised and humanised, in South Korea leading pharmaceutical players are entering the market with new launches. The category is not just limited to healthcare players. Nestlé Purina in the UK, for instance, offers a supplement range that complements its pet food range. While dietary supplements remain an add-on offering to a pet’s diet, and can be challenged during times of economic pressures, consumer and manufacturer focus on pet nutrition is expected to support category performance.Chart showing pet dietary supplements sales

Humanisation and need states support category growth

Consumer focus on their pet’s health and wellbeing has its roots in them paying attention to their own wellness and taking the necessary steps towards it.

62.4% of pet owners either agreed or strongly agreed that they consider vitamins and supplements important for their overall health and nutrition – higher than the 53.3% of non-pet owners who felt the same

Source: Euromonitor’s Voice of the Consumer: Health and Nutrition survey in 2023

As consumers are taking cognisance of their health and adopting a preventative approach, they are extending the same behaviour to their pets as well – a phenomenon that can best be understood through the lens of pet humanisation. Players in the pet healthcare space are also building upon this trend when bringing innovation into the category. In South Korea, Daewoong Pharmaceutical launched a pet dietary supplement, called Impactamin Pet, which looks just like its steady seller, Impactamin, a supplement for humans. In China, Lactoferrin, a common additive in infant formula, is now a popular supplement for pets. PetPlate in the US offers calming supplements made with ashwagandha and L-theanine which are known to promote relaxation.

A key element of pet supplement shopper behaviour is in understanding the specific benefits a consumer is looking for. With a focus on holistic pet wellbeing, consumers aim to address specific need states. These can range from physical needs like mobility and dental health to functional needs like weight management, and extends to emotional needs like calming and stress management. Brands have also been observed positioning their products based on the need states they are addressing. For instance, premium pet supplements brand, Zami Pet, in Australia allows shoppers to browse for supplements by need as it classifies its products on its website accordingly.

While familiar ingredients help in establishing consumer association, calling out targeted need states helps in highlighting specific benefits and thus the value proposition of the offering.

Devising the right channel strategy

As players both within and outside the pet healthcare industry look to include pet dietary supplements into their portfolio, a key consideration is the channel(s) through which these products can be purchased. Even though brick-and-mortar stores account for two thirds of global pet care’s retail value sales in 2023, the channel has been losing share to e-commerce. Today, beyond convenience, e-commerce serves as a platform for product discovery and price comparison for consumers. For brands, it can potentially serve as a good launch pad, with a D2C strategy allowing for a better connection with the digital consumer.

Looking at Zesty Paws, what started as a digitally native brand has today expanded into an omnichannel player with a presence across pet specialist stores, pharmacies and independent stores in the US. Tracking the brand’s online growth and performance in the US through Euromonitor’s new e-commerce system shows us that the brand continues to lead e-commerce for pet dietary supplements in the US, with its quarterly sales growing year-on-year.Top pet brands

In January 2023, Wellness Pet Company in the US also launched its new line of dog supplements online via Amazon, Chewy and Petco, with plans to expand in-store during the year. The inaugural line has offerings targeting need states of mobility, relaxation, immunity, digestion and coat support.

Utilising online as the point of entry into a retail market and then expanding into offline indicates how pet dietary supplement brands are adopting an omnichannel approach to enter, grow and expand in a market. The right channel also plays a key role in driving category awareness by ensuring the product is available where the consumer is at. A distribution strategy should thus seek to align with where, when and how frequently a brand would like to engage its customers.

Watch this space for an upcoming report around holistic wellness in pet care.

For insights on premiumisation in pet care, read our report, Premiumisation in Pet Care: Inflation and Beyond.

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