Many of us have seen the heartwarming videos of kennels emptying their facilities between March and July of this year. The Washington Post even reports that of August this summer, breeders are experiencing a waiting list that goes well into 2021. In such a restricted social environment, no one is surprised at this increased desire to find companionship and comfort in a furry friend.
What does this all mean for the pet franchise industry in the years to come?
The Stage Set for A Boom in the 2021 Pet Market
According to MarketWatch, the majority of pet owners in the U.S. are spending more than $2,000 annually on their dogs. We can further pinpoint this high spending habit to largely the Millennial generation of pet owners (current age ranging from 23 – 39).
Why do Millennials matter? Simple. Since 2016, Millennials have been adopting a “fur baby” and delaying having a baby of their own. This trend remains consistent for a variety of reasons including the lower financial responsibility of a pet, more day-to-day freedom, or simply wanting the parenting “practice”. Millennials historically demonstrate that they do not abide by the same traditional timeline of marriage or home-buying as seen in previous generations. Opting for a pet over a human baby is clearly no exception.
Where Pet Care Services Are Heading
Pet Franchises have landed on Entrepreneur’s 2020 Franchise 500 list demonstrating their growth power even when faced with an unfavorable economy. With the increased inclination to splurge on pets and 60% of pet adoptions made this year being first time owners, there is a high demand to find a vet, groomer, daycare center, boarding facility, and a “go to” outlet for goods.
Here are the current trends happening within each pet service areas:
Pet telehealth is taking over in a big way. This virtual method of vet services was certainly forced into the forefront earlier this year, however, the convenience and stress-free nature is winning over owners, veterinarians, and investors to grow the service.
Grooming & Daycare
In 2019, grooming & doggie daycare contributed to $10.3 billion spent within pet services according to the APPA National Pet Owners Survey. As a non-medical service, grooming took a short-term hit this year and daycare shrunk to primarily those who could not work from home. The spike in first time dog owners in need of a regular groomer or daycare center will more than make up for that drop in 2021.
Get your beds ready because 2021 is turning into the year of “make-up” vacations. Skyscanner.com has reported a 368% increase in international travel searches. U.S. Travel Organization released their forecast the upcoming three years of travel and by far, 2021 will be seeing the most activity. If Americans are not traveling internationally, you can bet they will be traveling domestically.
Ecommerce is everything now to pet owners. Food, toys, leashes, bowls, and even clothing is available through online channels. American Pet Products Association records pet food and treats reaching $36.9 billion in sales for 2019 and the same category for 2020 is estimated to be $38.4 billion in sales. The convenience of scheduling regular shipments of food and various other pet supplies when you need it will only continue to gain in popularity.
Plain and simple, the pet franchise industry has demand, and demand equals opportunity for market growth. This billion-dollar industry has yet to hit maturity in its life cycle, and pet franchises are anticipating the opening of hundreds of more locations across the country. Now is the time to get started, so your location is operational to welcome all the new owners and furry friends!