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Clinical Trials Hold the Key to the Future of Pet Health & Wellness

Citruslabs//July 1, 2024

Clinical Trials Hold the Key to the Future of Pet Health & Wellness

Citruslabs//July 1, 2024

The pet industry is emerging as the next frontier for brands, with “pet health and wellness” as the next big thing. As more households consider their pets as beloved family members, the demand for high-quality pet products that truly deliver what they promise is surging.

From nutritional supplements and specialized diets, to coat health products and behavioral aids, the diversity of pet health and wellness offerings is expanding. And it’s not just the companies and brands that historically targeted pet owners that are expanding in this market. Increasingly, companies and brands that were traditionally focused on human health are now developing product lines tailored specifically for pets as well. And similar to their human counterparts, it’s also not surprising that consumers demand premium, effective products. In 2023, American pet owners spent more than $2 billion on pet supplements alone! According to recent market research, owners prioritize their pets’ health as much as their own and, on average, spend $4,800/year on their pets.

The Importance of Substantiated Product Claims

Similar to human health and wellness brands, pet brands are increasingly looking to substantiate their product claims. Pet owners are more savvy and educated than ever before, and they are seeking products backed by scientific evidence and proven efficacy. Generic claims are no longer sufficient! Consumers demand product-specific claims from product-specific research.

A survey conducted by Citruslabs involving over 1,000 pet owners revealed a strong preference for products with detailed, specific claims. The survey found that 95 percent of pet owners are more likely to purchase a product for their pet if it’s supported by scientific research, and 80 percent prefer a product with specific claims, such as “92 percent of dogs had more energy,” over generic claims, like “more energy.”

Conducting Clinical Trials for Pet Products

To meet these consumer expectations, brands continuously invest more and more in clinical trials and marketing studies for their products. These trials provide the robust evidence needed to substantiate claims. Brands typically choose between conducting a clinical study, which can involve testing the product alone in a single-group trial, or comparing it against a placebo and/or a competitor in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study (also known as a randomized control study). Alternatively, they can opt for a less scientific marketing study that still provides the advantage of generating data-backed claims. The FTC has tightened its regulation on health claims for human health and wellness products in December 2022. It will be just a matter of time before the FTC creates similar regulations for the pet space.

The pet health and wellness market is set to boom in the coming years. To succeed in this market, brands need to focus on substantiated product claims backed by rigorous clinical trials. This approach builds trust, ensures regulatory compliance, and delivers products that truly enhance pets’ health and happiness. As the market evolves, the brands that commit to scientific validation will lead the way, setting new standards in pet care excellence.



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