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Packaged Facts Report: What to Expect for ‘Other’ Pets


Press release: Packaged Facts

A pandemic-driven “pets other than dogs or cats” acquisition spree spiked sales of herptile (reptile and amphibian), small mammal (or “small animal”) and bird products as pet lovers purchased setup and other supplies to care for their new pets. New pet acquisitions raised ownership levels of pets other than dogs and cats to the highest in a decade for three of the four main “other pet” types, with pet birds being the exception. In the wake of COVID-19, 12.2 percent of all U.S. households own one (or more) type of pet other than dogs and cats, up from 10.8 percent five years ago.

Now approaching the $3 billion mark, the “other pet” products market posted sales increases across categories in 2020, such that the resulting 18.5 percent sales increase surpassed even the unprecedented growth experienced by the retail pet products sector overall. Despite the economic set-backs and uncertainties since COVID-19, Packaged Facts survey results from June 2021 show that only 4 percent of other pet owners decreased their pet spending in the previous 12 months, while 33 percent increased it. Product premiumization plays a part in this spending increase, with other pet owners following the pattern of dog and cat owners in seeking out costlier natural foods and more design-conscious and eco-friendly non-food products such as bedding, habitats/enclosures and toys.

Packaged Facts’ Fish, Small Mammal, Herptile, and Bird Products: U.S. Market Trends and Opportunities, 3rd Edition report examines these and other opportunities for growth in the other pet market, breaking out sales and marketing/new product trends by animal type. The report also covers ownership patterns, product purchasing patterns, and top marketers in the other pet arena by animal type. Changing purchasing channel trends are also covered, including the roles played by pet specialty stores and e-commerce.

Scope and Market Definition

This report analyzes the U.S. market for pets other than dogs and cats, broken out into the following four categories:

  • Fish and aquarium products – Food, aquariums, filtration products, and aquarium decor for freshwater and saltwater fish.
  • Small mammal (often termed “small animal”) pet products – Food and treats, enclosures, enclosure accessories, bedding and toys for small mammals such as mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils, sugar gliders, rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas.
  • Herptile (reptile and amphibian) pet products – Food, enclosures, heating and lighting, décor, and accessories for all types of reptile and amphibian species, including turtles, snakes, geckos, chameleons, newts, iguanas and bearded dragons.
  • Pet bird products – Food, toys, cages, and cage accessories for pet birds such as budgies, canaries and parrots. Although the focus is on pet birds, 2020 sales of wild bird products are also noted.

Marketers in the other pets market would do well to position on both function and “fun” while expanding their product ranges, according to Packaged Facts, and retailers should find success in products that allow people to interact with various types of pets in safe, enjoyable ways while keeping all creatures involved healthy and happy.

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