The animal health and pet nutrition market has seen considerable growth in recent months, with some exciting trends paving the way for a number of start-ups to bring innovative product offerings to market. Across pet nutrition, online veterinary services, e-commerce and wearable technology sectors, it’s a truly exciting period for the animal health sector.
So, how are these trends forecasting opportunities for new innovators to gain traction and investment?
Premiumization has continued to grow in popularity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a newfound focus on quality of life for humans and their pets at home, owners demand noticeably higher-quality, nutritious ingredients in their animals’ food. Premiumization focuses on giving pets foods their human counterparts would also happily eat.
Pet owners are also reported to support higher rates of sustainable behaviours, such as reduced plastic use, meat consumption and food waste. Alongside prioritising their pets as a value-added factor of home life, increased focus on sustainably-produced items and packaging is crucial for these consumers.
Optimum pet nutrition and supplements that not only satisfy our pet's hunger but meet their health and growth needs, whilst satisfying the sustainable needs of their owners, are becoming essential factors for the modern pet owner. Claiming a leading space in this niche demands determination and a specific focus.
Brands such as Bond Pet Foods are “crafting a better meat” with precisely this in mind. With a core goal to reimagine meat for pet nutrition, “so people, pets, farm animals and the planet all win”. Whilst this sounds like a huge statement, through a clever combination of chicken DNA samples and yeast, vitamins and minerals, brewed and dried to create the optimal flavour and nutrition, without the air miles.
The move towards e-commerce accelerated ten-fold during and post-pandemic, a trend that doesn’t appear to be slowing down. In the Pet Care industry, e-commerce and online shopping provide unmatched convenience, especially when prioritising health and buying in bulk.
Currently, approximately 8.7% of pet food sales in the UK are made online, an ever-growing statistic as consumers continue to focus on convenience in their pets’ lives alongside their own, seeing the use of subscription models and online pharmacies increase in popularity as a result.
Receiving deliveries through subscription services ensures regular contact with your brand, breeding an innate connection between product and customer. Whilst the market is still budding, the likes of Butternut Box are taking it by storm. Led by a team of chefs and prioritising the health of your pet, ingredients are sourced with quality at the forefront and precisely treated and portioned to ensure optimum pet health.
Online veterinary services have revolutionised pet care in recent years, particularly around the pandemic. These services have made animal care easier for owners, allowed earlier medical prevention for vets, and opened up wealthy new markets in the industry. But what can we learn from the pet industry start-ups navigating new landscapes and forging a healthy trajectory?
The likes of Animoscope and Vetster are proud digital experts of veterinary animal health, putting pet care and animal medical support at the owner’s fingertips. Offering a range of innovative digital decision support tools, symptom analysis, veterinary expert support and personalised advice for a small monthly subscription fee – these platforms are gaining over 25,000 users each month and counting.
Much like human health care, pet health care sees an increase in digital demand. Wearable technology invites huge improvements in owners’ understanding of their pet’s health. From wearable tracking devices to 24/7 health trackers, wearable technology in the pet health space is an exciting new trend which offers great opportunities for innovators in the space.
Innovative pet tech companies have recently announced hefty investments to support the future of the space. Fi, “the next generation of smart dog collars”, recently announced a whopping $30 million in Series B funding, showcasing the appetite for products in this space.
The New York-based startup specialises in connected dog collars, releasing its second-gen in 2021. The device relies on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, sending users a notification when a dog has travelled outside an AI-determined geofenced area.
By 2030, market research companies are estimating the pet insurance space to be worth up to $32.7 billion. As remote work grows, pet ownership will continue to grow as well. According to Forbes, 98% of US and 86% of UK pet owners are uninsured, leaving an enormous untapped market of existing customers - before even considering growth.
Companies such as Figo create custom packages based on the specific needs of you and your pet, with flexibility in mind. A quick, modern solution to fill a necessary gap for new pet owners, Figo puts the consumer’s needs at the forefront of their offering. With innovative features such as a claim calculator and bespoke quote offering, they can ensure each plan is tailored to perfection.
The future of the pet health sector - from pet nutrition to wearable pet tech - is innovative and exciting. From the trends to watch, to the wealth of passionate start-ups across the industry moving to fill these gaps, it’s clear to see there is progress to come in all sectors. I really look forward to seeing the trajectory of these companies and the incredible breakthroughs across the market in years to come.
Are you interested in discussing any of the trends or companies in this article, or the wider pet health industry, in some more detail? I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a message at Ryan.Hamblett@lifesci-cm.com or connect with me on LinkedIn to chat.
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