What happens when an “exclusive” that has set you apart suddenly becomes available everywhere? Pet Specialty retailers are feeling this more than ever before in 2017 – wondering how to reclaim the momentum created by the remarkable success of natural pet products that once were the province of specialty pet shops alone.
In a featured presentation tomorrow at Petfood Forum, GfK’s Maria Lange (Business Group Director, POS Tracking – Pet) will explore “What’s Next for Pet Specialty?” – reviewing the trends that shaped 2016 in the dynamic pet marketplace, and looking ahead to the rest of 2017 and beyond.
Petfood Forum, which attracted over 2,600 pet professionals in 2016, is taking place today through April 5th in Kansas City, Missouri.
GfK’s POS (point-of-sale) data representing thousands of US Pet Specialty outlets showed slowing sales growth in the channel during 2016. Revenue for Pet Specialty rose just 2.2% last year – less than half the growth (4.6%) recorded in 2015. One possible cause: The premium food products that set Pet Specialty apart in recent years can now be readily found in mass channels and even online.
Lange will draw on GfK’s POS Pet data, as well as its FutureBuy® omnishopping research and other studies, to trace changes in consumer shopping habits and how they have transformed the pet food market. She will
• offer updates on sales in such key categories as natural, grain-free, and raw/frozen;
• explore emerging trends, such as Limited Ingredient (or “clean label”) food options and freeze-dried/dehydrated SKUs; and
• suggest what manufacturers and Pet Specialty outlets can do to counteract the effects of “mass premiumization.”
At GfK, Lange works with major pet industry clients, including leading manufacturers and retailers, to help them stay a step ahead of changes in the marketplace. She is expert at detecting trends in GfK’s unmatched purchase database representing about 11,000 Pet Specialty boutiques and superstores (and more than 30,000 veterinarian clinics) nationwide. Her analyses reveal emerging opportunities at the product, category and regional levels.
Lange is a columnist for Pet Business magazine and speaks frequently at industry events. She holds a degree in International Culture and Business Studies from Universität Passau (Passau, Germany).
GfK collects POS data from Pet Specialty outlets in numerous global markets, using standardized coding and data collection processes that allow for cross-country comparisons.