New Study Gives a Complete Look at Natural Segment

July 3, 2013

The natural market in the pet industry has been growing each year and according to research done by the Natural Marketing Institute, it’s not going to stop.

Alan Kerzner, the founder and president of Business Growth Associates, teamed up with NMI, to put together a comprehensive report titled, “Natural Opportunities in the Pet Marketplace.”

“I have been involved in the pet industry for 12 years,” Kerzner said. “One of the things I noticed is there has been very little good and data accessible to companies about how consumers decide whether to purchase natural products and how their behavior and decision-making processes differ by category.”
The study has a sample of 1,000 cat owners and 1,000 dog owners.

“One of the most interesting things, and when you see the numbers it’s astounding, is that dog and cat owners who purchased natural pet products are by far the most profitable and attractive consumers,” Kerzner said. “We researched a number of product categories, food, treats, bones, supplements, cat litter, toys and in all of these categories, consumers of natural pet products purchased more of the categories, purchased them more frequently and were willing to spend more per item.”

“The reason why is that natural pet owners, pet owners that buy natural pet products, are less price sensitive because they view natural products, especially food, as enhancing the pets life,” Kerzner said. “You’re willing to spend more if you are a committed pet owner and think this is really going to impact the pet’s life and make it better.”

Also, the study found that dog owners are more likely to use natural products than cat owners.

“I think there are two reasons for this,” Kerzner said. “One is that, often times, consumers will spend more on dog products than cat products. But the other thing is, major manufacturers of natural have focused much more on dog than cat. I believe that is beginning to change.”

In terms of outlets, independent pet and pet big box pet outlets have led the movement to natural. Other outlets, including surprisingly natural outlets, as well as traditional grocery and mass merchandiser are significantly underdeveloped in natural pet care business.

Kerzner believes the natural product section will continue to grow.

“The food and treats section can at least double still,” Kerzner said. “Over 25 percent of the human population eats natural products fairly regularly. For pets it’s still under 12 percent. Manufacturers and retailers can take specific steps to drive their appeal to natural consumers and grow their natural pet product sales.

“The natural human market is still growing and the pet market will continue to grow at a higher rate.”

Additional information on the study can be gained by contacting Alan Kerzner at [email protected], 609-477-2504 or Gwynne Vilotta of Natural Marketing Institute at [email protected] or 215-513-7300, x227.

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