I’ve heard from several sources over the past few years that the pet health market has become a worthwhile investment. According to a report from Freedonia Group, U.S. retail spending on pet health products and services will rise 6.5% annually through 2014, and dietary supplements will be the fastest growing product category. In another report issued earlier this year, Packaged Facts said sales of pet supplements are expected to reach $1.6 billion by 2015, a 27% increase from 2010.
According to Packaged Facts, “Many positive factors are at play, including Americans’ (and especially Baby Boomers’) receptiveness to supplements in general, the expanding health needs of the aging pet population, the steady influx of new products, growing consumer preference for natural remedies vs. pharmaceuticals, greater availability and exposure at retail (including private labels), increasing acceptance and recommendation of pet supplements by the veterinary community, and the relative affordability of nutraceutical treats as a mode of ‘functional pampering’ during the down economy.”
It makes sense to me that people would look to splurge on their pets. After all, pets are family; and they are a source of happiness for millions of owners.
A series of studies published recently in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that pet owners had greater self-esteem and got more exercise, than those without pets. According to an article abstract, “Pets can serve as important sources of social support, providing many positive psychological and physical benefits for their owners.”
Maybe the U.S. Congress should get a puppy, as it seems so despicably out of touch that it can’t put bitter politics aside to pay off its mountain of credit card bills. Nah, that would be cruel to the puppy. Or maybe the dietary supplement industry should adopt a dog, as it stresses over FDA’s Draft Guidance for New Dietary Ingredients.