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Sales of pet supplies, care boom with no letup in sight

Pets provided solace during a difficult 2020 and that translated into soaring annual revenues for pet supplies, foods, treats and other products along with vet care.

The pet industry generated $103.6 billion in annual sales in 2020, the highest level in industry history, according to the American Pet Products Association. The association expects the momentum to continue.

"We are bullish for the coming year, projecting growth of 5.8% — well above the historical average of 3% to 4%,” said Steve King, president and CEO, APPA. “This past year presented a host of challenges that resulted in consumers across the country turning to their pets for comfort and companionship.”

From a retail perspective, every channel showed an increase, especially e-commerce. Total retail sales increased by 6.7% from 2019 to 2020, as both pet specialty and independent retailers experienced solid growth. Thirty-percent of pet owners said they spent more on their pet/pet supplies in the past year with only 10% saying they spent less. 

Last week, Petco announced that fourth-quarter revenue and comparable store sales increased 16% and 17%, respectively, and digital sales grew more than 90%. The retailer said fiscal 2020 revenue and comparable-store sales both grew 11%.

Sales of pet food and treats rose 9.7% last year, to $42 billion, according to the APPA’s State of the Industry Report. Vet care and product sales rose 7.2%, to $31.4 billion, while $22.1 billion was spent on supplies, live animals and OTC meds, a 15.1% increase from 2019. Sales of services such as grooming, dog walking and boarded fell 21.4% to $8.1 billion amid the pandemic. But as quarantines are lifted and consumers venture out the use of these services is expected to rise, the group said.

“Interestingly, the product trends we are seeing in the pet care community mirror those of consumers – a desire for a healthier lifestyle, increased focus on fitness, turning to supplements for improved well-being, and technology playing a larger role in everyday life,” King said.

For more information about APPA and its annual State of the Industry Report, visit

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