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Here are key consumer trends influencing pet care sales in 2024

Consumers are now adopting innovative strategies to manage budgets amid rising inflation costs.

The pet care industry is witnessing three consumer trends including, value hackers, delightful distractions, and wellness pragmatists, in 2024, according to a report by Euromonitor International.

The report said that it is largely driven by factors such as inflation, pet humanisation, and health considerations.

“In response to high inflation and escalating costs, consumers are resorting to cost-cutting behaviour, striving to "outsmart the system" by adopting more creative approaches to stretch their money further,” it noted.

Some retailers are incorporating premium options in their private-label pet food lines, targeting price-conscious consumers. To stay competitive, brands are leveraging targeted discounts, loyalty programmes, and early-bird rates.

About 47% of global pet owners plan to increase their savings in the upcoming year, up from 44% last year. Additionally, 36% are considering more frequent visits to discounters, and 25% are exploring private-label products.

ALSO READ: Consumers expect 'delightful distractions' in shopping

Approximately 71% of global pet owners view their pets as cherished family members.

“Consumers feel the urge to escape the burdens of their everyday routines and problems. Pets serve as the best refuge for moments of joy and relief,” the report said.

In response to this pet humanisation trend, there's a growing demand for human-grade pet products.

Cat treats and mixers are anticipated to be the fastest-growing category in pet care this year. 

Pet shops are also expanding their offerings to include services such as spas, salons, and wellness centres.

Moreover, consumers are increasingly prioritising their pets' health, seeking functional foods and supplements to keep them fit and healthy. 

Functional pet foods, boasting claims like high protein content and natural ingredients, are gaining popularity. Additionally, personalised pet meal plans and AI-based health monitoring tools are emerging as transformative industry innovations.

Brands are advised to cater to price-sensitive consumers by offering value-driven options whilst also tapping into the growing demand for premium, health-focused products.

“Brands should emphasise additional benefits such as human-grade healthy ingredients to help justify higher prices to consumers who align purchases with their values,” 

“Meanwhile, offering special deals and discounts can help maintain a loyal audience among price-sensitive pet owners,” it added.

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