Pets Help to Drive Our Economy


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The headline isn’t much of an exaggeration. If you remove pets and everything to do with pets from our economy, U.S. economy would suffer a significant jolt. Here’s new data from a pet release from the American Pet Products Association which demonstrates why this is true:

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) announced that the total U.S. pet industry expenditures reached $147 billion in 2023 and is forecasted to have solid year-over-year growth through 2030. The announcement came during Global Pet Expo, the pet industry’s premier event, co-produced by APPA and the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA). The expenditures were released in conjunction with the launch of the association’s first of four quarterly reports, APPA’s State of the Industry: Strategic Insights from the National Pet Owners Survey 2024.

APPA’s pet industry expenditures encompass spending in four major categories: Pet Food & Treats; Supplies, Live Animals & OTC (over the counter) Medicine; Vet Care & Product Sales; and Other Services. The breakdown of actual sales within the U.S. market in 2023 are as follows:

  • $64.4 billion was spent on pet food and treats.
  • $32 billion was spent on supplies, live animals and OTC medicine.
  • $38.3 billion was spent on vet care and product sales.
  • $12.3 billion was spent on other services (boarding, grooming, insurance, training, pet sitting and walking and all services outside of veterinary care).

APPA’s new State of the Industry Report also revealed new findings for the pet industry. “The data has shown that the pet industry has remained incredibly strong since 2009 despite wide-scale economic challenges. While there are signs of slowing, the industry is resilient, especially compared to other industries,” said APPA President and CEO Peter Scott. “In fact, we forecast the industry’s expenditures to top $250 billion by 2030.”

Six key findings from APPA’s State of the Industry: Strategic Insights from the National Pet Owners Survey include:

  • Pet industry expenditures remain strong over time. In 2023, the pet industry supplied an overall economic contribution of $303 billion, an increase of 16% from $260 billion in 2022.
  • Pet care is the top dog in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) category – now and before COVID-19 – surpassing even grocery and dairy.
  • The percentage of households that own pets has normalized to pre-pandemic levels even as the overall number of households that owns pets has increased over time.
  • Post-COVID buyer shifts have changed to an omni-channel approach, splitting between brick-and-mortar and online modalities.
  • Although Millennials remain the largest pet owning generation, Gen Z is changing the way owners want to learn about and purchase pet products.
  • Younger generations prefer visual media to learn about products, and it will be important for brands to consider this in their top-of-funnel strategies.

APPA researchers predict that pet industry brands capitalizing on new trends coinciding with the emergence of Gen Z pet owners through targeted marketing efforts will outperform in the market. “Millennial pet owners still account for more pet owners than any other generation, but the number of Gen Z pet owners is quickly rising,” said Ingrid Chu, Vice President of Insights and Research. “While brick-and-mortar is still a big driver of awareness of new pet products, social media is equally important among the younger generations. Gen Z looks to visual platforms like TikTok, YouTube and Instagram to learn about new pet products, telling us that pet brands will need to consider more visual media to reach their younger audiences.”

APPA was established to promote, develop and advance responsible pet ownership and the pet products industry. Since 1988, APPA has published the APPA National Pet Owners Survey, the premier resource of its kind, providing in-depth data on consumer behavior. Now conducted annually, the 2024 National Pet Owners Survey (NPOS) will be leveraged to monitor consumer habits; identify short- and long-term trends; and discover new opportunities in pet ownership, pet product and service consumption.

For more information about APPA’s available market research, visit www.americanpetproducts.org/insights.