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The United States Has The World’s Largest Pet Economy

on April 07, 2021

The United States currently has the world's largest pet economy, leading China for nearly 20 years.

We can divide the development of its pet economy into the industry's initial stage, the rapid development period, and the current accelerated integration period. The development of the United States' pet economy relies on consumption and service to lead, and chain and integration have become industry trends.

  • 1980 to the beginning of the 21st century was the beginning of the industry, and traditional pet retail stores emerged. The number of pets has grown steadily, bringing necessities such as food, medical care, and appliances. During this period, traditional retail stores have emerged.

The most representative one among these stores is PetSmart, which was established in 1987, developed as a large pet food warehouse business, and has become the world's largest comprehensive pet product retail and service chain store.

[su_quote]In 1994, the total consumption of the pet industry in the United States was 17 billion US dollars, and by 2001 it had exceeded 28 billion US dollars, with a compound annual growth rate of 7.6%.[/su_quote]

  • From the 21st century beginning to 2010 is a rapid development period, with the formation of pets' emotional cohesion and the rise of goods and services.

During this period, the pet economy has slowly developed into an emotional economy, and the adhesion of emotions in consumption has gradually formed that pet owners humanize pets.

During the 2008 financial crisis period, pet owners were more willing to cut personal expenditures and maintain pet consumption. Therefore, the US pet industry remained strong, and the pet industry's income growth rate was ahead of other retail industries.

Besides, merchants are no longer purely commodity retailers. They have seized the trend of pet "family members" and launched innovative products and personalized services to attract more customers. Products and services have begun to rise.

  • 2010 to now is the period of accelerated integration of pet stores, and the era of integrated and comprehensive large stores has arrived.

After 2010, supermarkets and chains have participated in the competition, the industry was fully integrated, and the number of pet retail stores has decreased year by year. It has developed into a comprehensive and integrated chain store through mergers and acquisitions, providing high-volume, low-cost products, providing customers with diversified choices, and a one-stop consumer experience favored by customers. At the same time, the advantages of scale are conducive to reducing costs and enhancing bargaining power.

1980-21 early century

Very beginning period

Early 21st century-2010

Rapid development period


Accelerated integration period

  • The number of pets has increased steadily, stimulating the consumption of food and medicine
  • In 1987, Petsmart was established, and professional pet product stores began to rise in the United States
  • The number of pets is snowballing, and emotional consumption formed
  • The growth rate of the industry exceeds that of the traditional retail industry, and the pet industry still performed well during the 2008 financial crisis
  • The rise of innovative products and personalized services, such as beauty, boarding
  • The industry accelerates integration, the number of pet retail stores decreases, integration, and large-scale giants have become a trend

The industry still has room for several times of growth

With sustained economic development, the pet industry has the foundation for explosive growth.

According to research conducted by the School of Veterinary Medicine of China Agricultural University, a per capita GDP of US$3,000-8,000 will drive the country's pet market into a period of rapid development.

In 2015, my country's per capita GDP exceeded US$8,000, and the industry has an economic foundation for the explosion. In 2016, the pet market reached 122 billion, which is the first time to exceed 100 billion—a year-on-year increase of 25%.

Compared with developed markets, China's pet industry still has room for growth several times.

  • The US population of 320 million with 400 million pets (of which there are 180 million dogs and cats, and there are more pets such as fish and birds, but the consumption is low),
  • The number of pets in China is only 150 million (of which there are about 80 million dogs and cats);
  • The size of the US pet market exceeds 450 billion, and the Chinese pet market has just surpassed 100 billion;

Although the number of china domestic pet households has increased significantly in recent years, the proportion of households with pets is 4.5 times lower than that in the United States. The china domestic pet industry has just started to develop, and experts estimated that there is still room for growth several times in the future.

The number of pets is far from being saturated and will continue to grow

As income levels increase, the number of pets' compound annual growth rate is about 8%.

With the development of society and the economy, the per capita income level has gradually increased, making pets become more and more families. The number of pets continues to grow.

According to Wokeepet: the number of pets in China in 2010 was almost 100 million,

in 2015 it was 150 million, the number of pets increased by about 8% annually.

From a global perspective, the number of pets keeping is positively correlated with GDP. The per capita GDP of the United States is the highest, and the number of pet cats and dogs is also the highest in the world. Compared with the most developed markets, the number of domestic pets still has much room for growth.

Benefiting from the aging process, the pet market will continue to grow. With society's aging process, the family structure has changed, and the number of living alone older people and DINK families is increasing.

图片包含 人, 狗, 看着, 女人 描述已自动生成


PET CHART SHOWS the number of pets is positively correlated with GDP

People's emotional needs for pets as family members are becoming stronger, and more and more families choose to keep pets. To sum up, Wokeepet believes that with the aging society process, and compared with the foreign most developed countries, the number of pets in China is far from saturated.


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