The U.S. online pet food and supplies market size was estimated at USD 3.91 billion in 2017. Domestic pets are a vital part of U.S. households. Therefore, with rising number of households, population of domestic animals is also expected to increase. This factor is expected to drive the demand for pet food and supplies such as food and water bowls, medications, accessories, hygiene care supplies, and others. Surging employment rates impacting consumer expendable income and robust momentum in domestic economy are stoking the growth of the market.
U.S. online pet food and supplies market revenue split, by type, 2017 (% share)
With growing popularity of online shopping, e-commerce platforms have emerged as a lucrative opportunity for online retailing. With consumers resorting to different e-commerce channels for all their daily needs, online food and supplies are gaining a noticeable demand among U.S. consumers. Owing to factors such as high adoption of advanced technology, convenient shopping, availability of imported and discounted local products, and price comparisons, the U.S. online pet food and supplies market is witnessing a gradual proliferation. Maximum pet owners in the region are millennials, followed by baby boomers.
Online sales of pet food and other supply products have increased significantly over past few years. Online sales of these products are increasingly gaining acceptance among millennials as it provides easy purchase and doorstep delivery of bulk amounts. Pet owners in the country prefer to buy bulk supplies of products with longer shelf life. E-commerce is preferred by consumers looking for purchasing branded and packaged products. It is also preferred by consumers who have the need for large supplies of pet food and other products.
Segmentation by type
• Pet Food
• Pet Medication
• Pet Supplies
Pet food accounted for the largest share in the U.S. online pet food and supplies market. This can be primarily attributed to increasing pet ownership among U.S. households. As per the National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 68.0% of U.S. households own a pet. The pet food segment is driven by high demand for cat and dog food. As 39% of U.S. families own dogs whereas 33.0% own cats, increasing rate of adoption of pet food and other related purchases is expected to positively influence market sales in the future. Millennials form one third part of the U.S. population and they own majority of pet population. Thus, changing lifestyles and hectic schedules are driving the need for convenient options such as online shopping for these products. Rising disposable income of millennials is resulting in increased spending on premium products.
Easy availability of a wide range of innovative, imported, and convenient products such as trendy accessories, hygiene products in form of sprays, and imported pet snacks among others are also contributing to the expansion of the U.S. online pet food and supplies market. For instance, the automatic feeding and watering systems specially designed for pet owners living alone has gained tremendous popularity in the U.S. These supplies come with variants such as indoor and outdoor and are easily available online. Home delivery of such supplies is expected to provide a push to the market in near future.
The market has numerous well-established players in the U.S. such as Walmart, Petflow, Petsmart, Petco, and Petfooddirect. Chewy.com is the leading player followed by Amazon.com. Amazon also sells its product through Wag.com. Quidsi, a company acquired by Amazon in 2011, is the parent company to Wag.com. Online services offered by these giants have resulted in growth of product sales. For instance, online subscription sales of Amazon for pet food have tripled over the past few years. However, Petsmart and Petco have a strong foothold in the retail sector and are leaders in offline format. Many offline companies have opted for online channels to expand their consumer base.
Research Support Specialist, USA