Small Business Trends Radio

Trends In The Pet Industry

Below is the transcript of a Today’s Trend segment titled, “Trends In The Pet Industry” which is from a Small Business Trends Radio Show episode titled, “Why Hackers Love Small Businesses” broadcast on January 23, 2007.

TODAY’S TREND: TRENDS IN THE PET INDUSTRY

Trends In The Pet IndustryAnita Campbell: Well it’s time once again for our “Today’s Trend” segment. Today’s Trend is about trends in the pet industry and how to profit from these trends for new products and services. Yes, I’m talking about those four-legged little creatures that many of us seem to have, or the pet birds or pet fish or pet reptiles or whatever.

Whatever your pet is, you are not alone. Just in the United States alone, there are 69 million homes with pets. So with that many pets, pet-related products and services are a huge business; $38 billion — that’s billion with a B — dollars a year. With that much money floating around, there’s plenty of opportunity for smaller businesses. So, for that reason, every year we call on an expert
in the pet industry to come in and predict the trends for the coming year.

Laura Bennett, who is the CEO of Embrace Pet Insurance [http://embracepetinsurance.com], has provided the top ten trends this year. I’d like to talk about just a few of the highlights of her trend predictions — ones that I think will possibly trigger some ideas for new pet products and services.

The first trend that she notes is that we can expect to see a lot of growth in unique pet goods. The emphasis there is on unique. She mentions items such as pet deli snacks, toys for pets, luxury items for pets, and convenience accessories such as programmable feeding and watering stations, warming mats and even self-cleaning litter boxes. As she also notes, high-end specialty pet stores are thriving despite all the big-box retail outlet emphasis on pet goods, because it’s the high end stores that are providing these unique pet goods.

The second trend she mentions is to expect considerable growth in pet services, such as grooming, boarding, pet photography, dog walking, pet sitting. As she notes, more pet owners are paying for these kinds of services, because in some areas of the country, it’s becoming socially unacceptable to leave your pet alone during the day, or leave your cat alone over the weekend.

You can expect to see more pet services, but you can also expect to see pet services banding together in partnerships. For instance, perhaps a breeder and a groomer of pets, getting together and providing services throughout the pet’s lifespan. Perhaps a doggie day care facility and pet hotel facility banding together with veterinarians. You can also expect to see pet insurance and pet trusts and pet cremation, burial, memorial services.

Another area that you can expect to see quite a bit more is pet-friendly environments. These are restaurants, shopping malls, and other places that actually welcome pets. Even hotels, such as the Starwood and Loews hotel chains, are doing more to welcome pets. Some states are even considering laws that will require pets to be accommodated in restaurants.

You can also expect to see some additional benefits happening in some of the websites online for pets. As Laura notes they are getting better and better. Urban Hound, Waggin’ Tails, and PawSpots are some of the websites that are attracting communities of pet lovers.

With all these pet trends there is sure to be an opportunity available for you if you have an interest in this area. So check out the pet industry.

With that I want to thank you very much for joining me on another show. It has been great to have you here with me.

Please do visit our podcast site, where you can be sure to find all the podcasts from our shows. That’s at www.smbtrendwire.com. Or visit the main Small Business Trends site for more text related small business trends information at www.smallbiztrends.com.

Thank you so much. See you next week; I’m Anita Campbell.

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2007, Small Business Trends LLC
www.smbtrendwire.com
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