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Consumers continue to pamper their pets

BY Barbara White-Sax

Consumers may have tightened their belts in the current economy, but they aren’t skimping when it comes to their pets. The American Pet Products Association’s annual review of spending data revealed that overall spending in the pet category grew more than 6% to more than $48 billion in 2010.

More Americans own pets than ever before. The APPA said that the number of U.S. households that own a pet has increased by 2.1% to an all-time high of 72.9 million. And those pet owners are pampering their pets. Dog owners spend the most on their pets — an average of $364 a year. In 2010, there was a 30% gain in dollars spent on dog gifts, according to the APPA.

The APPA projected overall pet spending will increase 5% to exceed $50 billion in the coming year.

Pet owners are hungry for the “next big thing,” according to Bob Vetere, president of APPA. Pet foods offering more complete and balanced diets have grabbed a bigger share of the pet food market. Pet owners also are purchasing more pet health and beauty care products, including mouthwash and electric toothbrushes for dogs.

The APPA predicted strong growth for programmable feeding and drinking systems, automatic and battery-operated toys, self-cleaning litter boxes and self-warming pet mats.

 

 

The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Pet Care Mid-Year Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.

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Before hitting the books, students hit drug stores

BY Barbara White-Sax

Back-to-college merchandise is big business. “College students are starting to represent the most important segment of the back-to-school market,” said Perry James, an analyst with the NPD Group. The segment has grown, Perry said, since the weak job market has caused many college seniors to extend their education through graduate school.

Chain drug retailers are adding more merchandise to attract these consumers. “Drug stores have become a popular option for families shopping for back-to-college,” said Kathy Grannis, a National Retail Federation spokeswoman. NRF data from 2010 showed that 17% of college students planned to purchase their supplies at drug stores.

“The market for back-to-college has grown tremendously; students want more than a mini-refrigerator and an answering machine,” Grannis said. “Drug stores are expanding their merchandise to satisfy these young adults who have specific needs.”

It’s not unusual to find small appliances, such as tower fans, water filters, drip coffee makers and toaster ovens; decor items, such as throws, pillow bed rests and area rugs; and storage products on drug store shelves from July to September. Laptop accessories also are a crucial category.

Parents, long accustomed to opening their wallets for their kids, are willing to spend the money necessary to trick out Junior’s dorm room. That doesn’t mean they aren’t shopping around for the best deals. NRF data from 2010 revealed that more than half of parents said they were shopping for sales.

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Lighten up with LEDs

BY Barbara White-Sax

AMSTERDAM — Royal Philips Electronics has added the EnduraLED A21 17-watt bulb to its lineup of LED bulbs. The new bulb is designed to replace the 75-watt incandescent bulb while reducing energy consumption by 80% and lasting 25 times longer.
The new bulb, available in fourth quarter 2011, is the latest addition to the company’s portfolio of light-emitting diode bulbs that offer consumers the benefits of traditional incandescent bulbs, such as white light, without the high energy consumption. The company also produces LED equivalents to 25-watt, 40-watt  and 60-watt incandescent bulbs.

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