Veterinary Services in the U.S.: Competing for the Pet Care Customer, 2nd Edition
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Pet owners who view their dogs and cats as family members or lifestyle partners spend more on their pets, and as significantly are shifting the channels, services, and products they use to meet their evolving and increasingly broadened pet health and wellness needs. One of the central challenges for the veterinary sector, as the anchor for pet healthcare, is a growing misalignment between what vets and pet owners view as pet care. Veterinary visit rates are correspondingly at risk, especially among cat owners and the all-important Millennial generation.
At the same time, macro economic forces and tech innovation are splitting pet owners and veterinary practices into haves and have-nots, in part along geographic and top metro area/rural lines, even as corporate expansion of veterinary chains heads the growing list of alternatives to traditional local, independent vets. These alternatives, running the gamut from chain veterinary clinics co-located in pet specialty and mass-market superstores to online telemedicine, are used by Millennial pet owners at markedly higher rates. At the same time, the Internet presents an especially sharp challenge to veterinary practice profits as pet medication pharmacies and sales shift online, and as superpremium pet food marketers favor pet chain, mass-market, and online sales. Veterinarians continue to hold the trump card as the hands-on pet health experts, but the veterinarian profession must become adept at both competing and partnering with aggressively disruptive consumer market and digital technology trends.
Focusing on dog and cat owners, this new report from U.S. pet market research leader Packaged Facts provides a comprehensive and in-depth look at the competitive dynamics surrounding the veterinary care customer:
- veterinary sector sales and growth trends in the context of the overall pet services and products industry, including projections through 2023
- veterinary care customer usage patterns, priorities, and opinions, including use of alternative vet service formats and therapies
- veterinary care usage rates and demographics
- challenges and opportunities in intersecting markets: pet medications, pet supplements, pet food, and pet insurance
- comprehensive perspective with historical trending on pet ownership rates and demographics, multiple-pet ownership, new pet adoption, and projected pet population through 2023.
The information contained in this report was obtained from primary and secondary research. Primary research includes three national online consumer surveys of U.S. adult pet owners (age 18+) conducted throughout 2019 by Packaged Facts, to measure usage patterns and attitudes regarding veterinary services and related markets. With a sample size of approximately 2,000, these surveys are based on national online research panels that are census representative on the primary demographic measures of age, gender, geographic region, race/ethnicity, and household income. Primary research also includes interviews with vet market experts and providing conference presentations for veterinary industry events including VMX 2019, UVSA Annual Conference 2019, VMAE Summer Conference 2019, AVMA Economic Summit 2018, NAVC E-Commerce Summit 2019, and the KC Animal Health Corridor Market Insight Seminar 2019.
Secondary research includes information- and data-gathering from consumer business and trade publications including Pet Age, Pet Business, Pet Product News International, Petfood Industry, Today’s Veterinary Business, Vet Advantage, and Veterinary Practice News; company profiles in trade and consumer publications; and information culled from Packaged Facts’ extensive pet and vet market research database and report collection. Our analysis of veterinary care customer and pet ownership trends relies in part on cross-tabulations of data compiled by MRI-Simmons, New York, NY. On an ongoing basis, Simmons Research conducts booklet-based surveys of a large and random sample of consumers (approximately 25,000 for each 12-month survey compilation) who in aggregate represent a statistically accurate cross-section of the U.S. population.