ROCKVILLE, Md. — U.S. retail sales of pet medications reached $8 billion in 2013, including sales through veterinarians, brick-and-mortar retailers and online according to a Packaged Facts report released Wednesday. This figure reflects a 2% increase over 2012 sales and a compound annual growth rate of 7% during the 2009-2013 period.
Growth in the overall pet medication category is attributable to the strength of several new product introductions, the return of Novartis products to the market (following the closure in 2012 of its Lincoln, Neb. plant), as well as continued strength of non-flea and tick drugs in the veterinary channel. By animal type, dogs accounted for the lion’s share of pet medication sales, at 77%, with cats representing the remainder.
Most marketers of pet medications in the U.S. slot into two groups: global pharmaceutical companies operating through animal health divisions and selling mainly through the veterinary channel, such as Merial; and pet product marketers selling through retail channels, including broad-line marketers like Central Garden & Pet and smaller companies focusing on over-the-counter pet health products. With the recent and ongoing cross-over into retail of formerly vet-only brands like Bayer’s Advantage and K9 Advantix, the pharmaceutical/veterinary vs. pet product/retail distinction is blurring, however. For many companies, antiparasitics are a key part of the pet medications portfolio, with flea-tick products representing their best-known consumer brands.
Looking to the future, Packaged Facts projects that pet medications sales will experience healthy returns through 2018. The market will grow from its 2013 level to more than $10 billion in 2018, reflecting a CAGR of 5%. As always, the biggest wildcard will be the weather for flea and tick sales. But as new products emerge in the coming years, the industry should be poised for healthy growth, noted Packaged Facts research director David Sprinkle.