According to the American Pet Products Association, the total US pet industry expenditures were estimated at over $69.3B in 2017. While over $29B of that was food, almost $15B was brought in through pet supplies and OTC medicine. Additionally, over $16B was from vet care.

What’s causing this expansion of the pet industry and what trends should we expect in 2018? The increased humanization of pets is one shift that’s helping the industry grow. Pet product packaging trends are also looking more and more like their human counterparts. Let’s dive in and talk about both!

dog at groomers Pet owners care for their pets like a member of the family and their purchasing habits are reflecting that sentiment.

Consumers Demand Transparency

These days, consumers are demanding total transparency from the foods they’re eating to the food they give their fur babies. Now more than ever before pets are looked at a true member of the family. Pet owners care about their pets’ health and well-being just like they care for their family members.

Pet owners want to know as much as they possibly can about how their pets’ food is made, how the ingredients are sourced, and how safe each product is overall for their furry friends. According to PetCheck: 

“19% of dog owners and 15% of cat owners sought out grain free foods, but they see those percentages rising as more and more owners become inundated with marketing that focuses on promoting grain free foods.”

We saw warnings about rawhide bones go viral during the end of 2017, so we’ll use them as an example. Rawhide bones are “made from the inner layer of cow or horse hides. During manufacturing, the hides are cleaned and cut or ground. Then they’re pressed into chewable dog treats of different shapes and sizes.”

Not content with simply reading that the rawhide bones were “cleaned and cut”, consumers demanded to see the process in all transparency – and were shocked. In a number of viral videos, various manufacturers were shown bleaching the rawhides and dying them different colors. Stories were shared about dogs dying after consuming rawhides, and pet owners across the country paused as they considered purchasing the treat for their pets during the holidays.

In 2018, we may see more pet snacks in clear packaging (i.e. PET snack canisters) in order to better showcase the products, along with clear, concise information on labels for consumer education.

Consumers Demand Natural Ingredients

The natural ingredient kick doesn't end with human products or food. In addition to the trends we’re seeing in personal health and beauty, pet owners care about the ingredients that are going into the personal care and grooming products they use on their pets.

Now, these great natural products don’t just stop at listing their natural ingredients. In many cases, consumers are also looking for benefits such as:

  • Sustainability
  • Environmentally-Friendly Sourcing
  • Organic
  • SLS & Paraben Free
cat getting bath Keeping their pets healthy and safe, from the food pets eat to the products they use, is one of the top priorities for pet owners.

From natural flea and tick repellant to organic pet toothpaste, shampoo, and conditioner, there are an increasing number of options available for pet owners who want better, more natural options for their pets.

Ecommerce is Booming

It’s no secret that online shopping is on the rise (and has been on the rise for the past few years). As home delivery for various pet products continues to increase, it’s more important than ever that you’re getting in on the trend.

In our previous post, The Top 5 Packaging Trends of 2018, we outlined how ecommerce is projected to increase by 2020 as well as tips on liners, trigger sprayers, and labeling requirements moving forward.

 American Made Matters

Having pet products that are “Made in the USA” has emerged as an important trend, as well. Originating with food and treats, pet products such as collars, leashes, and harnesses are gaining traction in popularity.

Many, if not most, pet products are made in whole or partially outside of the USA. While the products being sold are of good quality, there is an increased renewal to purchase products that are American made.

dog at vet with pill More than ever before, consumers have purchased additional vet care, OTC medications and vitamins for their pets than ever before. Much of this is thanks to affordable health plans for pets and a shift toward the 'humanization' of pets.

Overall, consumers are welcoming more pets into their homes than ever before, giving them more veterinary care, caring more about what they’re consuming and which products they use, as well as where those products and food are coming from. While these trends may be disruptive to some, it’s great to see the heightened care both for our animals and for supporting American-made products.

To learn more about how to best package your pet products and grow along with the trends of 2018, contact us. MJS Packaging is ready to be your packaging solutions provider and our knowledgeable packaging team is waiting to take your call!