ORLANDO, FLA. — The American Pet Products Association (APPA) released its latest pet spending data Feb. 27 during Global Pet Expo, bringing the industry closer to $100 billion in annual pet spending than ever before. APPA estimates pet spending in 2019 totaled $95.7 billion, of which $36.9 billion came from pet food and treats sales alone.

A breakdown of pet spending by category — between pet food and treats; supplies, live animals and over-the-counter (OTC) medicine; veterinary care and product sales; and other services — shows pet food and treats leads the pack with approximately 39% of total pet industry sales.

This figure predominantly represents dog and cat food sales, with an increase in revenue from meal enhancers, mixers and toppers, as well as subscription delivery services, according to APPA.

“Consumers are more educated than ever about the ingredients that go into their pets’ food, which means they’re willing to pay more for quality products,” said Steve King, CEO of APPA. “As the demand for natural, minimally-processed ingredients continues, we expect to see steady growth in this category.”

In its 2018-2019 National Pet Owners Survey, APPA projected pet food and treat sales would reach $31.68 billion in 2019. Thus, the market exceeded the association’s expectations by approximately 16% in this category.

Veterinary care and products come in second with $29.3 billion in sales, followed by supplies, live animals and OTC medicine at $19.2 billion and other services at $10.3 billion.APPA's total estimated pet spending for 2019

“Scientific research from the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) shows that when you invest in your pets’ health, you’re investing in your own health,” King added. This could also speak to the premiumization of the pet food market, and younger generations’ willingness to spend more money on pet food and treat products that they believe are higher quality.

APPA projects spending to increase 3.5% overall in 2020, with pet food and treats and other services driving 4% growth, and supplies and veterinary sales driving 3% growth.

The APPA Natural Pet Owners Survey included data from members of Gen Z for the first time, as the oldest among them are beginning to own pets of their own. APPA classifies its Gen Z cohort as being born between 1995 and 2000, currently between the ages of 18 and 23.

Historically, the association has tracked pet spending data since 1996 but recently adjusted its research methodology to ensure accuracy. For 2019, APPA combined data from Nielsen, Euromonitor and Packaged Facts, the leading market research firms in the pet space.

Compare these numbers with APPA’s pet spending data from 2018.

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