Profits at veterinary clinics are increasingly squeezed by dropping usage and competition from online pet prescription services. In this challenging market environment, many veterinary clinics are looking to expand their sources of revenue.
In a recent video interview, Shannon Brown, the Brand Manager for Packaged Facts Pet, identified one key growth area that could help clinics recover a portion of lost sales—pet supplements.
Watch the video discussion or read the transcript below to learn more about this market opportunity.
What is fueling growth in the vet sector?
The vet sector makes up about a quarter of total pet market sales, with services accounting for a significant portion and products making up the balance. In both 2022 and 2023, growth in the sector was lower than that experienced both before and during COVID, and even this minimal growth was fueled primarily by inflation.
What challenges are facing the vet sector?
A drop in veterinary usage is behind at least some of this slow growth, with the shrinking dog population a prime factor. Because dogs make up a significant portion of vet sales, a drop in the dog population has had a disproportionate impact on usage. This is one of the primary challenges facing the industry from a usage perspective.
Another challenge facing the veterinary sector from a product-purchasing perspective is the growing use of online pet prescription services, such as Chewy.com’s prescription program and 1-800-Pet-Meds. Major brick-and-mortar retailers have also gotten into the online prescription market, with Petco and PetSmart offering the service and Walmart currently updating its online pet prescription offering. Veterinarians have made a significant share of their product sales via pet medications, and most clinics have felt the impact of this shift.
What product areas hold promise for veterinary clinics?
Generally, veterinarians have been hesitant to recommend pet supplements to clients, but since COVID, this category has exploded in popularity, with posting growth well into the double-digits. If vets could educate themselves about supplements as a treatment option, they could potentially recover some of the lost sales from prescription meds.
What does Packaged Facts survey data reveal about supplements in the vet space?
Packaged Facts survey data show that 79% of dog owners and 72% of cat owners who visited their vet in the past 12 months had made some sort of product purchase, but only 16% of dog and cat supplement purchasers had bought the products through their vets. Vets have significant influence, and establishing themselves as a knowledge source on supplements would go a long way toward encouraging pet owner interest. Opening dialogues with pet owners about supplements as a part of pets’ overall health and wellness plan is one way vets can introduce the products and provide answers to the questions pet owners have about these products.
Where can people go to get more information about this topic?
About Packaged Facts
Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including pet products and services, consumer demographics and shopper insights, consumer financial products and services, and consumer goods and retailing. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services.