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Following double-digit annual sales gains in years past, sales growth in the U.S. market for pet supplements and nutraceutical treats has begun to moderate: marketers will need to work harder to remain relevant. With hundreds of products batting for limited shelf space, selling pet supplements means educating consumers and retailers about their benefits and differences, with veterinarians remaining the toughest customers of all. Clinical testing, proprietary formulas, the NASC (National Animal Supplement Council) seal of approval, novel ingredients, natural ingredients, retail merchandising, and social media programs are all parts of the competitive equation as, now more than ever, the sale of one pet supplement or nutraceutical treat comes at the expense of another.
Throughout the recession and its aftermath of economic doldrums, sales of dog and cat treats remained strong. So it is perhaps not surprising that pet supplements are increasingly resembling treats. Traditional forms still abound, including tablets and pills. But palatability concerns and the human/pet “enjoyment factor” of supplements in treat form has led to an explosion of functional biscuits and “soft chews.” Also gaining ground are alternative delivery formats including gels and pastes, as well as gravies and powders designed to be added to pet food. As a result, the boundary between supplements and foods continues to blur as the number of pet owners regularly supplementing their pet’s diet in one way or another continues to rise.
As in human supplements, aging is the core market driver as more pets suffer from age-related conditions such as joint deterioration and cognitive dysfunction. Also taking a page from human supplements are popular ingredients including glucosamine, omega fatty acids, and probiotics, along with trendier ingredients like bee pollen, green tea, and elk velvet antler. At the same time, many supplements not sold as foods continue to inhabit a regulatory gray area while banking on “unapproved drugs for which enforcement discretion may be exercised” status with the FDA. Nevertheless, the industry’s self-policing efforts, spearheaded by the NASC, have clearly raised the industry confidence level, as has the increased focus on supplements wielding the kinds of scientific backing most veterinarians require.
This 4th edition of Packaged Facts’ definitive Pet Supplements and Nutraceutical Treats in the U.S. report segments the market into two categories—pet supplements and nutraceutical treats (i.e., those containing supplements or novel botanical ingredients addressing specific health conditions)—with a primary focus on products for dogs and cats, but also extending to horses and other types of small companion animals. The report provides a forward-looking examination of the market from every angle, including an update on the regulatory situation; historical sales figures and projections spanning the 2008-2017 period; breakouts by supplement type and retail channel; competitive activity by channel including pet specialty, veterinary, mass-market, and online; marketing and new product trends; and consumer patterns and preferences.
With market projections placing U.S. retail sales at $1.6 billion by 2017, the report hones in on high-growth segments including feline, alternative administration formats including chewable tablets or soft chews, gels, pastes, liquids, powders, sprays, and pet food toppers, as well as full-fledged nutraceutical treats, natural and organic products, senior and other condition-specific products, featured ingredients, and enthusiastic or potential consumer demographics. Featuring exclusive Packaged Facts pet owner survey data, the report details consumer trends in dog and cat supplement and nutraceuticals treat usage by product type, brand, and retail channel.
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