Market Insights: A Selection From The Report
The Middlemen: Veterinary Supply Companies Servicing Equine Veterinarians
Many equine veterinarians operate out of their trucks, because most need to offer mobile practices. Equine vets do not have office staff and most operate out of their homes. Hence, they need more administrative and marketing support than veterinarians who work for large equine hospitals and clinics. Approximately 90,000 veterinarians actively practice in the United States and the profession is growing annually. However, less than 10% of these have undergone the additional large animal training required to become equine veterinarians.
Packaged Facts learned that only one of the animal health supply companies we spoke to (MWI) offers expanded evening and weekend hours to service the special needs of the equine veterinarian. Only Milburn (Webster) offers a publication that is sent to the equine clients of each participating veterinarian in order to market veterinary products and services to these clients, while offering them news and education.
We briefly profile these supply companies within the report. The largest company, Butler Animal Health, is privately held. PVPL, MWI and Animal Health International are publicly held, and Webster is a division of a publicly held company. Please note that these companies also supply companion animal products, as well as large animal, livestock, and production animal supplies; therefore, estimates for the equine businesses were not specifically broken out.
Over 40% of horse owners rely on their vet for health information
As new vaccines are developed, and wormers become less effective, more horse owners are turning to their veterinarians for help and advice. In April 2009, Intervet sponsored a poll question in The Horse, asking readers “who is your Primary source of information on equine health.” Over 40% said that their veterinarian is their primary source. Another 34% relied on industry media for information. A total of 874 respondents participated (week ending April 19, 2009.)
From a marketing standpoint, the tens of thousands of service providers, including veterinarians, should be considered strategic partners for relaying product information to equine owners and decision-makers.In the News
Latest from Packaged Facts Probes Complexities of U.S. Equine Market,
New York, August 27, 2009 - There was a time when horse ownership stood as a monument to America’s prosperity. Whether for recreation or by profession, horse owners opened their hearts and wallets, thus creating a strong economy for the U.S. equine industry. And until recently, the multifaceted market grew in spite of itself.
The struggling U.S. and global economy has changed much in the industry. Leading market research publisher Packaged Facts, in its lastest report The U.S. Equine Market: Feed, Health Care and Services for Horses, investigates these recession-induced changes and analyzes the complexities of the many segments within the equine market, including feed, health care products, services, and the diverse population of people who own horses and subsequently sustain the more than $40 billion industry amidst the recession.
The report is the first to dissect the horse population by function—a factor dramatically impacting a horse’s life and the amount of money spent on it—and examine each segment individually. Horse owners are scrutinized by the riding disciplines they use to define themselves, as well as by the consumable goods and services (i.e., feed, drugs, veterinarians, dentists, and farriers) they employ to care for their horses.
Additionally, the report highlights reasons for optimism regarding the future of the equine industry.
“The professionals who compete and breed and train remain indispensable, but there is an equally important segment of horse owners for whom life without horses is not worth living. Their horses may not be shown or bred, but they are considered part of the family and no expense is spared on their behalf,” says Packaged Facts Publisher Tatjana Meerman. “Packaged Facts predicts that instead of completely cutting back on the care and feeding of their horse pets, such owners will elect to skip a vacation, and will instead travel with their horse.”
Key findings pertaining to the impact of the recession include the widespread herd thinning of even elite breeds such as race and show horses, the prevalence of casual horse owners and riders abandoning their horses in favor of less expensive pursuits, and the increasing number of committed owners who either can no longer afford to keep their equine companions or are cutting back on nonessential services.
The U.S. Equine Market: Feed, Health Care and Services for Horses analyzes the U.S. equine market from several perspectives, including those of the horses and the people who own them. The report examines market trends, key competitors, and horse owner demographics. Also examined are the feed, health care, and services purchased by horse owners. Current and future trends are analyzed with an eye on the present economic situation, including a forecast of the impact the sagging economy will have on the market and what strategies marketers can employ to regain their market share.
About Packaged Facts - Packaged Facts, a division of Market Research Group, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer goods and retailing, foods and beverages, demographics, pet products and services, and financial products. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services.