Consumer trends: buying petfood online - Pet Food Industry
Sep 4, 2014 - Pet owners in the US alone will buy over US$1 billion in petfood and treats online this year.
Back in 2011, when US online pet-related sales were at US$2 billion, petfood and treats comprised about 33% of the online market, or US$666 million. If that percentage still holds true, that would put US online sales of petfood and treats at slightly over US$1 billion this year.
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In the European Union (EU), adopting a MAP policy for online retailing is not an option for pet food companies, even if they see the value and want to do so. EU laws prohibit MAPs, according to Juergen Wigger, PhD, managing director of in Germany. The reasoning is a belief that MAPs are detrimental to innovation in retailing, he told Petfood Industry after ; yet, in his view, those laws contribute to the inability of smaller pet retailers to compete against internet retailers. “This is killing smaller businesses, even small cities and villages in Europe,” Wigger said, adding that he and others are lobbying the EU to change the law. This library contains 100 articles by nutritionist Greg Aldrich, Ph.D, published in Petfood Industry since 2005. Articles cover specific ingredients that are grouped by category. Click “DETAILS” to view a list of articles in each category.
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View free sample: Yet no one expects those shares to remain that low. In fact, IBISWorld reported in January 2014 that in the US had increased 7.8% a year for the previous five years. The Cleveland Research Co.’s 2014 eCommerce Benchmarking Study showed that pet products accounted for 4.1% of online sales last year, with the percentage expected to more than double in three years, to 9.4%, and reach 19.3% at some point. (The latter set of data is courtesy of Dave Bolen, CEO of the Bolen Group, who presented at Petfood Forum 2015.)While most pet owners indicated they reduced spending on petfood and treats during the recession, according to a survey conducted by Pet Business, many consumers gravitated online to purchase more-affordable substitutes in lower quantities. The bottom line is that, just as with many other products, consumers are increasingly researching and buying pet food online. John Stanley of John Stanley Associates, a who also spoke at Petfood Forum, said that by 2020, up to 60% of pet product sales may be online, with forecasts ranging from 40% to 65%. “I don’t care what it is, but it will be a major percentage. You have to be preparing for that.”Another speaker at the summit, Eileen Huang of , said at that time there were 270 million people in China shopping online. Her company, one of 11 country-specific Amazon portals, was a relatively new brand, just launched in 2011 (though the parent company entered China in 2004). Hence, pet product sales on the site were only one year old then, with 80% coming from petfood; many products are made in China.