Market Research Logo

Pet Supplements and Nutraceutical Treats in the U.S., 3rd Edition


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Due primarily to a downturn on the equine side of the market, sales of pet supplements and nutraceutical treats felt the recessionary cold, but the market now appears set to track back up. Many positive factors are at play, including Americans’ (and especially Baby Boomers’) receptiveness to supplements in general, the expanding health needs of the aging pet population, the steady influx of new products, growing consumer preference for natural remedies vs. pharmaceuticals, greater availability and exposure at retail (including private labels), increasing acceptance and recommendation of pet supplements by the veterinary community, and the relative affordability of nutraceutical treats as a mode of “functional pampering” during the down economy. As a result, even though formal regulatory status continues to evade pet supplements, sales are expected to reach $1.6 billion by 2015, a 27% increase from 2010.

This expanded 3rd edition of Packaged Facts’ definitive Pet Supplements and Nutraceutical Treats in the U.S. report segments the market into two categories—supplements and nutraceutical treats (i.e., those containing supplements or novel botanical ingredients addressing specific health conditions, such as glucosamine for joint health)—with a primary focus on products for dogs and cats, but also extending to horses and other types of companion animals including birds, small mammals, and reptiles. The report provides a forward-looking examination of the market from every angle, including breakouts by supplement type and retail channel, analysis of the complex and evolving regulatory situation, competitive structure and marketing trends, new product tracking, and consumer profiling.

The report also homes in on high-growth segments such as senior and natural products, emerging ingredients, and untapped consumer demographics—such as the millions of pet owners who use human supplements but not pet supplements and who are thus excellent future prospects. A special feature of this new edition is proprietary survey data from Packaged Facts’ fall 2010 pet owner survey, which charts trends in usage of OTC and veterinary-dispensed pet supplements, compared with usage of special-purpose nutritional formula pet foods and treats.


Market Insights: A Selection From The Report


Share of Supplement Sales by Function

Underscoring the importance of the senior segment in particular, products specifically designated for joint and/or senior health account for approximately one-third of retail sales of dog supplements and one-fifth of sales of cat supplements as of 2010, Packaged Facts estimates based on level of product representation in bricks-and-mortar retail venues, catalogs and online. Among canine supplements, joint/senior products are followed by multivitamin/mineral products (23%) and skin/coat (22%) supplements, with weight supplements much further down the list at just 1%. Multivitamins rank No. 1 among feline supplements at 28%, with other top conditions including skin/coat (23%) and digestive health (15%). Joint products—predominantly glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid and MSM—also lead on the equine side, accounting for almost one-third of horse supplement sales (32%), followed by digestion supplements, general supplements, and hoof supplements.

Sales by Distribution Channel

Sales of supplements and nutraceutical treats for small animals (including dogs, cats, and other small companion animals) are concentrated in pet specialty shops, which account for over two-fifths (44%) of sales by Packaged Facts estimates. Veterinarians move approximately one-quarter of these products (26%), followed by health and natural stores. Reflecting the fringe nature of pet supplements and the tendency of mass marketers to tread lightly in this field because of the regulatory uncertainty, mass-market outlets (supermarkets, drugstores and mass merchandisers like Wal-Mart) are so far a relatively minor factor in this market, accounting for approximately 11% of non-equine supplement sales.

Use of Pet Supplements Among Dog and Cat Owners

According to a proprietary Packaged Facts online survey conducted in September 2010, 21% of dog owners use any type of nutritional supplements for their dogs, while 15% of cat owners use supplements for their cats (“supplements” were defined for survey respondents as “vitamin/mineral-type products in pill, tablet, liquid, or powder form”). [Figure 6-2]

Retail Channel Choices: 48% of Pet Supplement Buyers Purchase at Pet Superstores

Packaged Facts survey data indicate that dog and cat owners buy supplements for pets from a wide range of retail and other suppliers, as well as cross-purchasing to a significant degree across these various sources. [Table 6-8]

In the News

Sales of Pet Supplements for Dogs and Cats Not "Recession Resistant," but Nevertheless Resilient

New York, January 11, 2011 — Making good on its famed "recession resistance," the overall U.S. pet industry has fared well during the recession relative to many other consumer packaged goods industries, but pet owners have not been immune to the economic downturn. As a result, certain industry segments saw growth stall in 2009, including the pet supplements industry. However, Pet Supplements and Nutraceutical Treats in the U.S., 3rd Edition by market research publisher Packaged Facts forecasts a return to strength for supplement sales as the optimism of pet owners gradually recovers in harmony with the general economy.

"As the economy improves, so should all things pet, but that recovery continues to appear modest," says David Lummis, senior pet market analyst for Packaged Facts. "Spending on supplements will increase but ‘restraint’ will likely continue to characterize how pet owners shop and what they buy during 2011 and even 2012, making value appeals based on pet health, safety, professionalism, practicality, and yes, pricing, more important than ever."

Packaged Facts estimates total U.S. retail sales of pet supplements and nutraceutical treats at more than $1 billion in 2010, reflecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4% during the five-year period beginning in 2006. Sales growth stalled in 2009 and 2010 as the recession took hold and held on, a slow-down attributable almost entirely to a downturn on the equine side. As a result, the small animal category-including products for dogs and cats-gained ground between 2006 and 2010, increasing from 45% to 52% of the market and surpassing equine as the larger category last year.

U.S. retail sales of pet supplements and nutraceutical treats are expected to begin to pick back up in 2011, with the annual sales growth regaining steam through 2015. By this account, the annual percentage increases will rise from more than 2% in 2011 to almost 7% in 2015, lifting sales to an estimated $2 billion. Growth will be considerably faster on the small animal side than on the equine side. For both animal classifications, the pace will be faster in nutraceutical treats, which will continue to gain ground because of their indulgence advantage and a steady influx of more heavily marketed products. Ultimately, small animals will account for 58% of the market by 2015.

Pet Supplements and Nutraceutical Treats in the U.S., 3rd Edition segments the market into two categories-supplements and nutraceutical treats (i.e., those containing supplements or novel botanical ingredients addressing specific health conditions, such as glucosamine for joint health)-with a primary focus on products for dogs and cats, but also extending to horses and other types of companion animals including birds, small mammals, and reptiles. The report provides a forward-looking examination of the market from every angle, including breakouts by supplement type and retail channel, analysis of the complex and evolving regulatory situation, competitive structure and marketing trends, new product tracking, and consumer profiling. .

About Packaged Facts —Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, 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.

Additional Materials

The North American market for pet health insurance has never been more competitive. During the past five years the number of established players has doubled, and all of the companies now in the market appear to be on solid ground. Where is this market headed? How will companies incorporating distinct trends now impact the industry in the next five years? Furthermore, what business strategies will maximize their bottom line?

  • Executive Summary
    • Introduction
      • Market Definition
      • Two Product Categories
      • Two Animal Classifications
      • Report Methodology
      • Pet Supplement Regulation
      • The National Animal Supplement Council
    • The Market
      • Market Size and Composition
      • Mass-Market Sales and Composition
      • Share of Supplement Sales by Function
      • Sales by Distribution Channel
    • Competitive Trends
      • Most Supplement Companies Focused in Pet Health
      • Private Label Ramping Up, Including Online
      • Nutraceutical Treats Category Continues to Spur Crossover
      • Competition from Pet Food Marketers Positioning on Functional Ingredients
    • New Product Trends
      • Pet Supplement Introductions Regain Momentum
        • Table U.S. Pet Supplement Product Introductions: Records vs. SKUs, 2006-2010
      • Joint/Mobility and Digestion Are Top Formulations
      • Natural, High Omega Are Top Product Claims
      • Precision Nutrition: Multiple Claims, Ingredient Specificity
    • The Consumer
      • 53% of Households Keep Pets
      • Use of Pet Supplements Among Dog and Cat Owners
      • Purchasing Rates Regain Steam After Recessionary Dip
      • Pet Supplement/Nutraceutical Treat Demographics
  • Introduction
    • Product Parameters
      • Market Definition
      • Two Product Categories
      • Two Animal Classifications
      • Report Methodology
      • Condition-Specific Products
      • Natural vs. Synthetic
      • Organic
      • Key Types of Supplement and Nutraceutical Treat Ingredients
    • Product Regulation
      • Two Legal Choices: Food or Drug
      • The National Animal Supplement Council
      • Product Labeling and Claims
      • Scientific Advisory Committee
      • Adverse Event Reporting
      • NASC Implements New Rules
      • NASC Honored for Efforts on Behalf of Industry
      • Canadian Initiatives Could Benefit U.S. Business
      • Human Supplement Regulation
      • DSHE Remains FDA Focus, Evolves
      • FDA Releases Good Manufacturing Practices
      • Congress Passes Adverse Event Reports (AER) Bill
      • More Regulation on the Horizon
      • CRN Spearheading Self-Regulation
  • The Market
    • Market Size and Composition
      • Retail Sales Slow with Recession
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Pet Supplements and Nutraceutical Treats: Total, Small Animal (Dog, Cat, Other), Equine, 2006-2010 (in millions of dollars)
      • Sales Trends: Small Animal Supplements and Nutraceutical Treats
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Small Animal (Dog, Cat, Other) Pet Supplements and Nutraceutical Treats: Total, Supplements, Treats, 2006-2010 (in millions of dollars)
      • Sales Trends: Equine Supplements and Nutraceutical Treats
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Equine Supplements and Nutraceutical Treats: Total, Supplements, Treats, 2006-2010 (in millions of dollars)
      • Mass-Market Sales and Composition
      • Natural/Organic Product Share of Sales
      • Share of Supplement Sales by Function
      • Horse Supplement Usage by Form
        • Table Form of Horse Supplements Usually Used, 2006 vs. 2008 (percent)
      • Sales by Distribution Channel
      • Pet Supplements Advancing Pet Specialty Share Across All Animal Categories
        • Table Health Product/Supplement Share of Independent Pet Store Sales by Animal Type: 2007-2009 (percent)
    • Market Outlook
      • Formal Regulatory Oversight Still Lacking
      • Economic Downturn and Recovery
      • Pet Market Not Immune to Recession
        • Table Economic Outlook of U.S. Pet Owners: Now vs. Last 12 Months (percent)
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Dollar and Volume Sales of Pet Products by Category, 52 Weeks Ending November 28, 2010 vs. Year-Ago (in millions of dollars)
      • Pet Supplements Feel the Cold
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Nutritional Supplements, 2005-2009 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Percent of Dog or Cat Owners Who Purchase Pet Supplements/Nutraceutical Treats, 2005-2010 (U.S. dog- or cat-owning households)
        • Table Economic Outlook of U.S. Pet Owners: Now vs. Next 12 Months (percent)
      • Human/Animal Bond and "Functional Pampering"
      • Aging Pet Population
      • Pet Overweight, Obesity
        • Table Percentage and Number of Overweight and Obese Dogs and Cats, 2009 Overweight/Obese Overweight Obese
      • Sales of Senior, Weight Management, and Special Needs Products Strong Across Multiple Categories
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Senior, Weight Management, and Special Needs Pet Products: 2004, 2008 and 2013 (in millions of dollars)
      • Growing Acceptance of Pet Supplements Among Veterinary Community
      • But Still Little Clinical Testing
      • High-Income Demographics
        • Table Change in Pet Market Consumer Base: Household Income $60K or More vs. Household Income Under $60K, 2005 vs. 2010 (U.S. dog- or cat-owning households)
      • All Things Natural
      • Much Consumer Interest
      • "Natural" Growing as Share of Pet Product Entries
        • Table Number of New Natural and Organic Dog Food, Cat Food, and Pet Healthcare Products and Share of Total Category Launches, 2005-2010 (number and percent)
      • Pet Specialty Riding Natural Wave
        • Table Change in Amount of Natural/Holistic Products Sold by Pet Specialty Retailers: "Has the Amount of Natural/Holistic Products Your Store Sells Increased, Remained the Same, or Decreased In the Last 12 Months?" (percent)
      • Internet Trends
        • Table Level of Pet Owner Agreement with Statement: "I Use the Internet to Help Find and Choose Pet Products," February 2010 (percent)
        • Table Level of Pet Owner Agreement with Statement: "I Buy Pet Products Online," February 2010 (percent)
        • Table Selected Internet-Related Psychographics: Adults Overall vs. Dog or Cat Owners, 2010 (percent and index)
      • Equine Impact
      • Pet Supplement Safety, Reliability Questioned
      • Ongoing Need for Self-Regulation
      • Functional Pet Foods Continue to Advance
        • Table Kind of Dog Food Purchased in the Past 12 Months: 2004, 2006, 2008 (percent)
      • Product Safety Issue a Dual-Edged Sword
    • Looking Ahead
      • More Growth Ahead
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Pet Supplements and Nutraceutical Treats: Total, Small Animal (Dog, Cat, Other), Equine, 2010-2015 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Small Animal (Dog, Cat, Other) Pet Supplements and Nutraceutical Treats: Total, Supplements, Treats, 2010-2015 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Equine Supplements and Nutraceutical Treats: Total, Supplements, Treats, 2010-2015 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Share of U.S. Retail Sales of Pet Supplements and Nutraceutical Treats: Small Animal (Dog, Cat, Other) vs. Equine, 2010-2015 (percent)
        • Table Share of U.S. Retail Sales of Small Animal (Dog, Cat, Other) Pet Supplements and Nutraceutical Treats: Supplement vs. Treat, 2010-2015 (percent)
        • Table Share of U.S. Retail Sales of Equine Supplements and Nutraceutical Treats: Supplement vs. Treat, 2010-2015 (percent)
      • Human vs. Pet Supplement Usage Gap Points to Potential Growth
      • Power Segments
  • Competitive Trends
    • Marketer Overview
      • Most Supplement Companies Focused in Pet Health
      • Mergers & Acquisitions
      • Private Label Ramping Up, Including Online
      • Leading Pet Specialty Channel Marketers
        • Table Pet Specialty Market and Brand Leaders in Pet Health Products by Animal Type: 2008 vs. 2009 (percent)
      • Mass-Market Activity in Supplements: Leading Marketers and Brands
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Dog/Cat Supplements, 52 Weeks Ending November 28, 2010 vs. Year-Ago (in dollars)
      • Mass-Market Activity in Nutraceutical Treats: Leading Marketers and Brands
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Nutraceutical Dog Treats, 52 Weeks Ending November 28, 2010 vs. Year-Ago (in dollars)
        • Table SymphonyIRI-Tracked Sales of Nutraceutical Cat Treats, 52 Weeks Ending November 28, 2010 vs. Year-Ago (in dollars)
      • Leading Veterinary Channel Marketers
      • Independent Research and Clinical Studies
      • Teva Beginning to Bounce Back After Run-In with FDA
      • Nutraceutical Treats Category Continues to Spur Crossover
      • Case History: Dogswell
      • Winnie's Cookies Makes a Name in Equine Treats
      • Competition from Pet Food Marketers Positioning on Functional Ingredients
      • Iams and Others Testing Pure-Play Supplement Waters
      • Promotional Trends
      • On the Web
        • Table Selected Marketers and Brands of Pet Supplements and Nutraceutical Treats, 2010
  • New Product Trends
    • Pet Supplement Introductions Regain Momentum
      • Table U.S. Pet Supplement Product Introductions: Records vs. SKUs, 2006-2010
    • Multi-Pet Trend in Product Introductions
      • Table U.S. Pet Supplement Product Introduction Records: Dog vs. Cat, 2008-2010
    • Joint/Mobility and Digestion Are Top Formulations
      • Table U.S. Pet Supplement Product Introductions: Top Formulations for Individual SKUs, 2008-2010
    • Natural, High Omega Are Top Product Claims
      • Table U.S. Pet Supplement Product Introductions: Top Claims/Tags, 2008-2010
    • Precision Nutrition: Multiple Claims, Ingredient Specificity
    • Overarching Trends
    • Natural, Organic, Safer
    • Human-Style
      • Human Product Trends as Marketers' Best Friend
    • Whole Fruits and Vegetables
    • From the Sea
    • Multitask Products
    • Senior-Specific Products
    • Mass-Market Advances
    • Condition-Specific Supplements Going Strong
      • Joint Support
      • Skin & Coat Health
      • Calming/Behavior-Control Products
      • Digestive Health, Immune Support and Probiotics
      • Oral Care/Breath Products
      • Weight Loss/Maintenance
      • Trends in Nutraceutical Treats
      • Equine Supplements
      • Bird and Small Mammal Supplements
      • Reptile Supplements
  • Consumer Trends
    • Pet Ownership Overview: Dog and Cat Owners
      • Methodology and Data Sources
      • 53% of Households Keep Pets
        • Table Household Penetration Rates for Selected Dog- or Cat-Owning Classifications, 2005, 2007, and 2010 (percent of U.S. households)
      • Overall Demographics for Dog Owners
      • Regional Skews by Number of Dogs Owned
      • Overall Demographics for Cat Owners
      • Household Composition Skews by Number of Cats Owned
        • Table Demographics for Dog Ownership, 2010 (percent, number of households, and index)
        • Table Selected Demographics for Keeping One Pet Dog, 2010 (percent, number of households, and index)
        • Table Selected Demographics for Keeping Two or More Pet Dogs, 2010 (percent, number of households, and index)
        • Table Demographics for Cat Ownership, 2010 (percent, number of households, and index)
        • Table Selected Demographics for Keeping One Pet Cat, 2010 (percent, number of households, and index)
        • Table Selected Demographics for Keeping Two or More Pet Cats, 2010 (percent, number of households, and index)
    • Consumer Focus: Pet Supplement Purchasers
      • Use of Pet Supplements Among Dog and Cat Owners
      • Most Use OTC Supplements
      • Retail Channel Choices: 48% of Pet Supplement Buyers Purchase at Pet Superstores
        • Table Retail Purchasing Patterns for Pet Supplements (U.S. dog or cat owners)
      • Use of Pet Supplements vs. Other Special Nutritional Products
        • Table Use of Pet Supplements vs. Other Special Pet Nutrition Products: Dog Owners, 2010 (percent)
        • Table Use of Pet Supplements vs. Other Special Pet Nutrition Products: Cat Owners, 2010 (percent)
      • Similar Patterns for Pet Supplements/Nutraceutical Treats
      • Purchasing Rates Regain Steam After Recessionary Dip
        • Table Percent of Dog or Cat Owners Who Purchase Pet Supplements/Nutraceutical Treats, 2005-2010 (U.S. dog- or cat-owning households)
        • Table Number of Dog or Cat Owners Who Purchase Pet Supplements/Nutraceutical Treats, 2005-2010 (in millions of U.S. dog- or cat-owning households)
      • Multiple-Pet Factor Favors Dog Supplements/Nutraceutical Treat Sales
        • Table Pet Supplement/Nutraceutical Treat Purchasing Among Dog or Cat Owners, 2005 vs. 2010 (percent of U.S. dog- or cat-owning households)
      • Pet Supplement/Nutraceutical Treat Demographics
        • Table Demographics for Purchasing of Pet Supplements/Nutritional Treats: Dog Owners, 2010 (percent, number of households, and index)
        • Table Demographics for Purchasing of Pet Supplements/Nutraceutical Treats: Cat Owners, 2010 (percent, number of households, and index)
      • Receptiveness to Nutritional Products by Age Bracket
        • Table Usage Rates for Human Supplements: Adults Overall vs. Dog and Cat Owners, 2010 (percent)
      • Human vs. Pet Supplement Usage Points to Potential Growth

Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook

Share this report