Updated: Jun 2, 2022
PET & ME’s blog is meant to educate dog owners on the state of the pet industry and its trends. We have spent years researching the needs of dogs and their owners, looking into innovative trends, and developing our products. There's still so much to learn and we invite you to study with us! We are going to share our experiences and findings on this blog and invite dog owners and other experts to share their knowledge. If you wish to learn more about the fashion and trends of dog gear you're in the right place!
In this post, we are giving an insight of what are the trends and drivers of the pet market in Europe, how the humanization of pets influences the market, and what you should look out for while purchasing the next pet product.
*We had the honor to speak at the Petcare Innovation Summit 2022 in London. Our founder Maarja was invited to give a presentation and this post is written based on her notes.
Before we even start, let’s think about what a pet is? There is an unbreakable bond between humans and their pets. A bond that arose more than 15,000 years ago when we began to domesticate dogs. This gives a perfect explanation of what a pet is - a partially domesticated animal, primarily kept for one’s company.
Pet population in Europe
The pet population is growing rapidly. In 2020 the dog population in Europe was estimated to be roughly 90 million, an increase from around 87.5 million in the previous year.
*Good to know - cats were the most kept pets in Europe, followed by dogs and ornamental birds. Other popular pet choices included small mammals, ornamental fish, and pet reptiles, with the latter accounting for approximately 7.5 million pets.
The increasing pet population is also reflected in the economy. This statistic displays the annual turnover of pet-related products and services in Europe from 2010 to 2020. Pet accessories and services, such as pet grooming and veterinarians, had an estimated value of 21.2 billion euros across Europe in 2020. Evaluating from the data, from 2018 to 2020, The European pet market has grown by more than €3.5 billion, with the trend towards premiumisation strongly boosting the market.
Humanisation of pets has taken on a greater significance and will continue to shape the trends and drive the sales in the upcoming years. The trend towards pet humanisation is common across the whole pet market. With over 81% of dog and cat owners in Europe considering their pets to be true family members, it’s no surprise that people are beginning to spend more money on their pets, no matter the species.
Humans interact with animals in numerous ways and on a multitude of levels. We like to think about our dogs as best friends, leading the relationships to be very widespread and very intense. In many cases, those strong attachments between the owners and animals manifest in them being treated as family members or even children. Pet owners care for pets as much as they would for a child, spending just as much on dog apparel, food and accessories as they would on friends and family.
Changing family structures and lifestyles lead to smaller pets, which is vividly seen in the broad global trend towards small pets, notably cats, small dogs, as well as small mammals in various markets. Overall, urbanisation is forcing people into smaller spaces, where large pets are simply not practical nor responsible, with longer working/commuting hours further developing the issue. However, young singles, as well as aging populations look for a small, easy to care pet for companionship.
There is also a steady growth of pet owners buying more premium products to keep up with the latest trends, or to buy into more specialist gear.
Premiumisation is certainly not a new concept; previously it was driven by the consumer desire to demonstrate success in material ways. Now, consumer priorities have changed and this in turn has shifted the premiumisation megatrend to be characterised by the tendency to be selective, to invest in fewer, better products and experiences, reining in the spending on things that don’t matter to them to free up the money for other things that do.
When it comes to purchasing items, consumers are preferring to spend money on things that are more meaningful.
But there is more to that. When it comes to products, quality now rules over quantity, and refraining from splurging on items that have less meaning has freed up cash to spend on fewer, more luxurious products. Personalisation is also a big part of the premiumisation trend, with products and services tailored specifically to customers’ needs perceived as offering something unique and special.
These days people want to offer their pet something that is above the "average" prioritizing the health and wellness of their pet. Whether it is the food that is being fed, the products that are used for grooming or the accessories used for walks. These days it is not even uncommon for owners to order custom made food recipes for their pets, according to the animal's needs. Handmade and custom products in different pet market categories are gaining more popularity and developing rapidly.
Personalisation, wellness, uniqueness and idea of creating something special are key drivers in PET & ME. All of our products have stories - stories of how they came to be but also the stories that are being written when people wear those products and experience memories with them. Like our slogan says “Designed to tell a story… Your dog’s story”. It is never just another ordinary accessory. It is one of a kind handmade piece, beautiful inside and out. Made of carefully selected materials created with the deepest attention to make sure you can happily enjoy your every adventure with the ones we care about the most.
As the pet market continues to grow and develop, it will be interesting to see its changing trends and what directions it will go in. We do not know for sure what the future holds but as the importance and role of pets rapidly grows, so does the market. A higher awareness also brings along higher quality, meaningful and long-lasting products, meant to serve us and our pets for a long time.
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