Pet Economy Soars


While the U.S, and world economy are struggling, the U.S. “pet economy” is impervious to any difficulties and continues to soar (at least for now).  Part of the explanation for rising spending is no doubt inflation, but mostly these numbers reflect there are more pets than ever, and more people spending willingly and generously on their furry (or scaly or feathery) family members.

Press release from American Pet Products Association: 

The leading trade association serving the interests of the pet products industry since 1958, the American Pet Products Association (APPA) announced the industry has reached $123.6 billion in sales in 2021, the highest level in history. This is the second consecutive record-setting year for the industry, with continued growth expected for 2022.

Following a banner year in 2020 when the industry exceeded $100 billion in sales for the first time, APPA was optimistic it would see continued strong sales in 2021, estimating growth would approach 6% and bring total sales to $109.6 billion by year-end. Actuals eclipsed even bullish estimates at 13.5% growth year-over-year.

“The numbers don’t lie: The pet industry has shown itself to be incredibly strong and resilient with a record-breaking two years,” said APPA Senior Vice President of Member Relations & Business Development Anne Ferrante. “We expect continued growth as we look toward the remainder of 2022, although we anticipate it may be at a more moderate pace given the impact of volatile factors like inflation, supply chain issues and global relations.”

State of the Industry data for 2021 revealed increases in every spend category. Specifically:

  • $50 billion was spent on pet food and treats, the highest spend category at a 13.6% increase
  • At 17.8%, supplies, live animals and OTC meds saw the biggest increase, with a total spend of $29.8 billion
  • Vet care and product sales landed as the second highest spend category at $34.3 billion, an 8.9% increase
  • Other services (including grooming, dog walking and boarding) totaled $9.5 billion spent, a 17.3% increase

Since 1988, APPA has published the biennial APPA National Pet Owners Survey, the premier resource of its kind, providing in-depth data on consumer behavior, product and service consumption, and lifestyle and media habits. The Association also publishes the APPA Generational Report, which examines pet ownership by generation. More recently, APPA conducted the COVID-19 Pulse Study, a survey of pet owners' buying habits during the pandemic, releasing Volume 6 in March 2022.