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Human Pets?

Feb 1, 2007

Pet related sales are projected to surpass $52 billion by 2009. The key drivers are, humanization, "functional," organic, and licensing of such nostalgic pet heroes as Lassie and Old Yeller.

These are just a few of the brand strategies that will continue to propel growth in the overall U.S. pet industry, according to new research from Packaged Facts. Branding will continue to be a critical factor in this industry's sales growth, the study contends.

High on the branding list is an ongoing psychographic trend known as, "humanization." Pets are increasingly seen as and treated like members of the family.

Branding pet food as organic, functional, or natural means nothing to pets. Yet such branding hits home with consumers looking for pet foods that boast human quality ingredients and carry such targeted health appeals as maintaining weight and caring for joints and bones.

Health related branding alone is benefiting sales across every pet sector, from oral care treats to pet toys, regardless of point of purchase. Expect more human brands to cross over into pet related categories, researchers say.

Yet as the proliferation of pet products in non traditional outlets, such as wholesale clubs, dollar stores, and gift shops continues to increase, health and other branding trends will become all the more significant. Product appeal is found to take on decidedly different meanings, depending on the venue.

"We're finding that while value priced national brands may have strong appeal in dollar stores and warehouse clubs, they may have no appeal at all in non pet gift stores and department stores," says Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts. "In those types of stores, unique and distinctive product lines such as clothing for posh pups, often fare better," he says.

Packaged Facts, a division of, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer industries, including consumer goods, food and beverage, and demographics. For more information visit

Topic: Wholesale News

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Article ID: 52

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