The continually growing pet industry does everything to produce new market trends and capitalize on pet owners’ dedication to their furry friends. By ensuring that you’re always familiar with the most recent shifts in the industry, you can be sure that you are always meeting the needs of your customers who want to spoil their pets with premium products.
For several years, experts in the industry have been talking about the humanization of pets, a trend that reflects millennials’ increasing tendency to pamper their pets similarly to how they may pamper themselves: carefully reading the labels on foods, choosing high quality products and even treating them to luxuries like high-end clothing and spa days. So, you might not be surprised that today’s pet owners bring the same scrutiny to labels and concern for quality to the pet store that they take to the grocery aisle.
When many brick-and-mortar retailers think of premium pet products, they tend to think of the early days of bulk item products from familiar manufacturers they have bought from for years. Though these manufactures are trustworthy and convenient, many of the items are relatively similar in style and most other retailers are buying the same thing in their stores. While this may not seem like it’s not a big issue, the premium pet consumer is looking for unique, one-of-a-kind items.
Fast forward to today’s trends of luxury pet homes, robotic litter boxes and kitty litter that changes color based on your cats pH levels; it seems the times have indeed changed. People are willing to pay more to give their little family members the best. This commitment is the main driving factor for the development of the market and makes it very lively and highly competitive. As pet ownership continues to increase, we can expect the industry to grow with it. Personalization, creativity and innovation will help with industry change and growth for the next generation.
The same is said for pet fashion. In 2020, 40 percent of dog owners and 25 percent of cat owners bought clothing for their pet. The pet accessories market covers such a wide range of products, it is no wonder that the industry is planning on a growth of almost $10 billion over the next few years. Moreover, the pet apparel market is booming more than ever with Americans spending about $52 billion on pet apparel and accessories catering to both pets’ and pet owners’ needs.
By now you probably know that it’s no trend — it’s today’s default style, and you can thank the $473.42 billion dollar U.S. fashion industry; brands like Chanel, Gucci and Hermes, the premium product pet consumers, look for clothing they would buy themselves and to have their posh pup matching side by side.
Premium consumers that really want the best of the best, look at quality, safety of the product, and the details like stitching. They want to make sure if they are spending $300 it is worth the price tag and it will last. Everything from the feel, squeak of a toy, (yes, even the squeak makes a difference) to color tone, is what they look for to match their pets’ style or what will look best in their home without looking like the everyday big box store brands.
“My clients come in knowing we won’t sell anything we won’t use for our own pets,” said Christina Calautti, owner of Speck’s Pet Beverly Hills. “They know we are the pet obsessed lovers that treat them like our own children because in reality they are. They know our products can’t be found on regular websites, so they love that feeling of quality, exclusively, and the customer service that comes along with it because we understand their needs to want the best on the market for their fur children.”
The premium pet consumer only wants the best for their companions. No matter the product: if it will make their pets happier, there’s a group of owners who will buy it. And that includes relatively expensive luxury products. Besides, who doesn’t love that little French bulldog on Instagram that rides around on a scooter in designer sunglasses and Louis Vuitton shoes.
“As a dog mom that posts a lot on Instagram, I like that I can always find something more unique and sometimes custom made at a small brick and mortar shop,” said Shannon Enke, dog mom of Instagram star @midgiepudge. “I think premium products are usually of better quality. I think often times the owners of theses shops are really creative and bring new fun ideas that keep them one step ahead of the big chain stores “
A successful fashion model for 25 years, Ashley Carestia also is founder/CEO of Bark Fifth Avenue, a luxury retail boutique and brand. She has earned the respect of her colleagues through arduous work and dedication, being awarded the Small Business of the Year Award by the Atlanta Women’s Chamber of Commerce, the Women of Influence award from Pet Age and Entrepreneur of the Year by Women in The Pet Industry.