CPG Pet Care Industry Trends

CPG Pet care industry statistics, trends and marketing best practices

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    TREND #1: Online & Subscriptions Rise for Repeat Purchases

    According to a survey by Packaged Facts, 40% of pet owners said they shopped more online for pet care products as a result of the pandemic. However, growth in eCommerce for pet care products likely won’t completely reverse as the pandemic subsides.

    Why? Consumers love the convenience of online ordering and subscription services for repeat pet care purchases. Having heavy bags of dog food or cat litter delivered to your doorstep instead of lugging them in from the car saves labor and subscription services for repeat purchases mean essential products never run out.

    Prior to the pandemic, online sales were a primary driver in the pet care market, with eCom- merce accounting for around 21% (or $5 billion) of non-food pet supplies sales in 2019. Online sales of non-food pet supply purchases are expected to grow to 35% by 2024—this includes items that had previously been resistant to eCommerce, like pet bedding and toys, which relied on the “touch factor” and impulse retail purchases, respectively.


    Petcare shopping stats

    11% of pet care autoship and subscription purchases are for durable pet supplies such as toys or durable chews. The growing subscription purchases for durable pet supplies is attributed to BarkBox, which reported a 65% year-over-year growth at the end of 2020. In addition:

    • 42% of pet owners purchased food online in 2020, up from 35% in 2019
    • 21% of pet care autoship and subscription purchases are pet food
    • Pet care online retailer, Chewy, reported sales were up year-over-year for Q1 of 2021,
    • 31.7% even as pandemic restrictions have relaxed in many places.

    The internet now accounts for 30% of sales of pet products, which is up 8% from 2015.

    In the last 12 months, pet owners shopped for pet products on:

    • Amazon - 59%
    • Chewy.com 41%
    • Walmart.com 33%
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    TREND #2: Pet Wellness & Humanization Continues to Grow

    Just like consumers are growing more concerned and educated on their own wellness, pet owners are learning more about the wellbeing of their pets and making purchase decisions based on this information. Pets are part of the family for many, so as consumers shift to more health-conscious choices for themselves, they’re making the same switches for pets when possible.

    • 61% of US pet owners will pay more for foods targeted to their pets’ dietary needs
    • 95% of pet owners consider pets part of their family
    • 70% of pet owners spent more time with their pets during lockdown
    • 21% of pet parents spent more on their pets during the COVID-19 pandemic than previously
    • 40% of both cat and dog owners give their pet a gift or treat for Christmas
    • 25% of cat owners bought clothing for their pet in 2020

    The pandemic also allowed many people to spend more time with their pets at home, which meant they bonded more and had a greater understanding of what their pets’ lives are like day-to-day. As a result, some pet parents spent more than usual to enrich their pets’ lives with toys, treats, apparel, and more. Premium, natural, and organic pet foods are quickly becoming preferred by pet parents, especially among the Millennial generation, where 69% opt for natural or organic pet food. Overall, 43% of dog owners and 41% of cat owners purchase premium food for their pets.

    Pet parents are looking for foods and treats that are better for their pets, address specific dietary needs, and ultimately play a positive role in their pets’ life expectancies. Organic and natural pet food can offer health benefits like boosted immunity, reducing skin irritation and allergies, reducing digestive concerns, and maintaining a healthy weight— all important for dedicated pet parents. Globally, the natural and organic pet food market is worth $22.8 billion.

    CBD and Pets:

    Among the natural pet care trends, CBD has become an ingredient of interest for many pet parents.

    • One in four dog and cat owners have given their pets CBD oil-infused products.
    • Two-thirds of dog owners who tried CBD products would use them again.
    • and three-fourths of care owners would use CBD products again for their pets.
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    TREND #3: Brand Accountability Drives Loyalty

    Across the board, consumers want more accountability and sustainability practices from their favorite brands—and pet care is no exception. The trend is higher among younger generations, with 73% of Gen Zers and 68% of Millennials willing to spend more on pet products that are sustainable.

    Accountability for pet care brands goes beyond reducing waste and leaving a smaller carbon footprint. As there are 3,500 animal shelters in the U.S., providing care to and getting shelter animals adopted is a primary focus for many pet parents.

    Adopt, Don’t Shop

    It’s no secret that the pandemic has been isolating for many, and animal companions became a popular home addition to combat isolation. The ASPCA reported that approximately 3.2 million shelter animals were adopted in 2020, and 64% of those who adopted a “pandemic pet” did so from a shelter or another family. The rise in fostered and adopted pets led TIME  Magazine to name Rescue Animals as pet of the year for 2020.

    Not only did the pandemic open up many homes for animals in need, it’s an opportunity for brands to gain new loyal customers through thoughtful promotions. Supporting pet parents who adopt from shelters or giving supplies and monetary donations directly to shelters shows that their pet care brands care about the work being done to reduce animal homelessness, which can win brand loyalty in the end for aligning with pet parent values.

    Brand Accountability Stats

    • 72% of American consumers believe it is important to buy from brands who reflect their values
    • 71% of Millenials are willing to pay more for a product when they know profits will benefit charity
    • 90% of consumers feel values are important when choosing brands to purchase from
    • Customers are more loyal to brands who reflect their values, increasing lifetime profits by up to 85%
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    Best Practices for CPG Pet Care Brands

    How do CPGs in the pet industry increase customer retention and promote their appeal to pet parents?

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    Rewards programs are a great first step into the domain of long term loyalty. Since pet products are frequently repurchased, they are prime candidates for rewards and loyalty programs where points can be accumulated for redemption.

    Driving Repeat Purchases with Wildness Gear Rewards

    Blue Buffalo wanted to build awareness and drive sales and loyalty for the Blue Wilderness line of dog and cat food. Given Covid-19’s effect on shopping behaviors, it was even more important to provide a strong reward value proposition for pet parents.

    Pet parents made a purchase of any Blue Wilderness food, registered online and submitted their receipt via web upload, email or MMS. On every valid purchase, they earned 1 point for every $1 spent on Blue Wilderness. They could save up their points to redeem for one of several wilderness-themed gear rewards that are perfectly on brand like a Yeti Dog Bowl, an Osprey Daylite backpack, a JBL Charge, a Cat Collar, or a Dog Leash.

    Growing Loyalty with Receipting Processing for Points

    Fresh Step revamped their Paw Points loyalty program by phasing out on-pack codes in favor of using receipt processing to allow customers to upload photos of their receipts to earn points on cat products, like litter, food, and treats. The program goals are to:

    • Sign up more cat owners and drive purchase frequency
    • Understand purchase mix and total spend of a cat owner’s basket
    • Offer seamless customer experience

    Snipp’s receipt processing technology is the backbone of this program, and utilizing receipt processing over their previous on-pack codes allows customers to earn points for more of their everyday cat purchases. The platform also allows Fresh Step to reward non-purchase behaviors, like referrals.

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    Brands that succeed are ones that become a part of the daily life of a consumer—with pet parents fretting over the health and wellbeing of their furry loved ones, pet brands can make their care rewarding.  As an example, rewards points could be earned by simply taking their dog for a walk, making an emotional link between consumer and brand. Innovative tech integrations, such as wearables-for-pets, are a perfect fit for such rewards programs, as they can automatically track pet movements.

    Driving Loyalty & Supporting Pet Wellness with Cashback Rebates

    IAMS was looking for an exciting campaign to drive loyalty, sales, and brand awareness, as well as help pet parents financially coming out of a difficult year. They wanted to reward pet parents for their annual vet visits and promote health and wellness for their dogs and cats.

    Snipp developed a cashback rebate program where pet parents who purchased $40 of IAMS products and went for their annual vet visit could upload their receipts to get a rebate for their vet visit of up to $200! IAMS was willing to rebate up to $500,000 across the program—that’s a lot of pet care covered! Snipp seamlessly integrated into the IAMS promotional page via a widget for a simplified user experience.

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    With many now caring for a new (or additional) fur-baby, now is the time to create brand loyalty by supporting their latest addition to the family. Especially as many of these animals were adopted as puppies or kittens, they’ll be transitioning from puppy and kitten to adult food & treats, giving brands an opportunity to win over pet parents.

    Driving Repeat Sales with New Pet Parents

    Pedigree wanted to acquire new consumers and drive loyalty by rewarding consumers with the most loyalty reward possible—a dog! They needed a solution that could do complex validation of not only receipts but adoption papers. Snipp developed a purchase-based rebate program where pet parents who adopt a dog, and purchase three (3) bags of Pedigree food were reimbursed their adoption fee, up to $200! Consumers could receive their rebate through PayPal or a physical check.


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    Online shopping is here to stay for pet parents, but brick-and-mortar retailers are still important channels—including small, local pet supply stores. The ability to track shopping habits and reward customers with promotions across all channels is vital to understanding consumer behavior, as well as providing a seamless end-to-end experience for consumers.

    Driving Sales Cross-Channel in Key Retailers

    Blue Buffalo wanted to run a cross portfolio program to drive sales at key retailers for incremental display. Launching the program during COVID-19 made it even more important for pet parents to get rewarded for both online and brick-and-mortar purchases.

    Snipp developed a sweepstakes program that rewarded pet parents with a chance to win Blue for Life, awarded as a $7,000 check. Pet parents who purchased $25 or more of Blue products could register their entry by texting a picture of their receipt, via email, or web upload. Using Snipp’s receipt processing technology, account-specific variants allowed key retailers to have guaranteed winners at their stores.

    Driving Online Sales with Gift-with-Purchase

    Blue Buffalo wanted to drive sales and garner new pet parents into the portfolio in both the U.S. and Canada. Snipp created tiered cash back, gift-with-purchase programs for the U.S. and Canadian markets, which integrated right into the brand website.

    In the U.S., pet parents buy $25 of BLUE products to earn a $5 reward OR they buy $50 of BLUE products to earn a $15 reward. Pet parents who purchased from Petsmart, Petco and Walmart all received digital gift cards for those stores. Pet parents who purchased from Tractor Supply Company received a physical TSC gift card. All other pet parents received a prepaid digital VISA card. In Canada, pet parents earn a $5 or $15 print-at-home coupon.

    Driving Traffic at Independent Retailers

    Mars was challenged by their independent retail partners to find a retailer agonistic tactic to drive more traffic to their stores as well as acquire new pet parents.

    Leveraging Snipp’s receipt technology, pet parents who purchased $50 of any Mars products in a single transaction from select retailers could upload their receipt to get a $10 reward. Customers could submit receipts by simply texting a keyword to a special number or by uploading it on the Mars Pet Food website.

    Driving Engagement & Sales at Neighborhood Pet Stores

    Champion Petfoods wanted to engage and reward customers for purchasing Acana at local neighborhood pet stores in a way that was simple for customers. Those who purchased Acana products at participating pet stores could text a photo of their receipt with a keyword to a special number and be entered into a sweepstakes.

    Snipp provided the receipt processing technology and awarded daily prizes through random sweepstakes draws where winners received a one-year supply of Acana, awarded as 12 monthly coupons.

    Driving In-Store & Online Sales for Specific Retailers

    Mars was looking to drive sales across their portfolio of products at Walmart. Walmart buyers had been requesting programs that are simple to execute and can drive purchase both in-store and online.

    Snipp developed a text only program where pet parents who spent $20 of qualifying Mars Nutro products got a $5 Walmart e-gift card, and those who spent $40 got a $10 Walmart e-gift card! Pet parents simply had to submit an image of a valid receipt by texting a keyword to a special number. The entire program was done through text for a simple user experience.

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    Case Study: Paw Points Rewards

    Loyalty Rewards Program for Paw Points

    Leveraging Snipp’s proprietary receipt processing technology as the backbone for a seamless CX and enhanced earn and burn options, Paw Points now offers members points on many every day purchases by simply uploading their qualifying purchase receipts or by engaging in non-purchase behavior to earn rewards. Highlights include

    • Simple tiered point system 
    • Behavior based earning
    • Promotions and sweepstakes
    • Extensive rewards catalogue 

    It's Time to Level Up CPG Customer Engagement

    Customer engagement may be difficult to measure and perform well at scale, but it undoubtedly leads to higher profitability and customer retention. Looking ahead, the future of customer engagement is going to involve even more personalized experiences.

    To reach this future, brands need to optimize their people, operations, and technology to create a consistently positive feedback loop with customers. This will keep you in touch with your customers’ evolving needs, build your brand integrity, and allow you to use data to further improve their experiences.

    And that's where Snipp comes in.

    We provide global marketing and loyalty technology solutions that bring together modular SaaS technology with best-in-class marketing expertise to help you increase sales, retain customers, and unlock intelligent decision making.


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