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Packaged Facts: Pet market projected to reach $73 billion by end of 2014

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCKVILLE, Md. — With "pet humanization" now a multibillion dollar business in America, the push to provide four-legged companions with human-quality products has given rise to an new type of pet owner: the premium pet product shopper, according to U.S. Pet Market Outlook, 2014-2015, released Thursday. 

A number of pet product manufacturers and retailers have been crediting the humanization trend with driving their business, and premium pet product shoppers will help drive industry growth as the pet market reaches projected sales of $73 billion by the end of 2014.

In force for several years now, the humanization trend has multiple facets. Foremost, it’s a natural expression of the “pets as family” trend, whereby pet owners treat their pets like children and are highly receptive to products similar to the ones they use for themselves. Not coincidentally, many of the services and products entering the market today are directly reminiscent of human fare, no doubt appealing to the pet owner as much as the pet, comments Packaged Facts research director David Sprinkle. 

Examples include pet supplements like glucosamine and omega 3s; human-grade pet foods containing superfruits or touted as gluten free; and designer pet supplies, including Bottega Veneta pet bowls and Simmons Beautyrest pet beds.

According to Packaged Facts, as many as 70% of pet owners would be willing to spend extra to ensure the wellness of their pet. Likewise, close to one-third of pet product buyers (30%) agree that “I prefer to shop at pet product retailers that offer the best products available, even if they are more expensive.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, premium pet product shopping is most common among higher-income households. U.S. households earning $70,000 or more account for 54% of the aggregate pet market expenditure, and Packaged Facts believes these consumers to be footing the lion’s share of the bill for premium pet products and services. Generally speaking, better-off pet owners are also more likely to have been less affected by economic doldrums and are recovering more quickly.

 

 

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Groups explore total impact chronic disease has on cost, including lost productivity and wages

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Congressional Wellness Caucus and the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease on Thursday hosted a briefing to examine the impact of chronic, non-communicable disease and look beyond just medical costs to more holistically consider total productivity, particularly among the federal workforce.  

“With one in two Americans suffering from at least one chronic disease, every workforce is affected significantly – including federal employees – and would benefit from prevention and wellness strategies to improve health and also productivity,” said Ken Thorpe, PFCD chairman. “Efforts to improve overall health of employees have strong evidence of return on investment, and as our workforce ages, health improvement will be increasingly linked to economic wellness so taking action now is critical. As policymakers look for key initiatives to save costs, reducing the social and economic impact of chronic disease among the federal workforce should be at the top of the list.” 

"Employers are making critical decisions about healthcare coverage and financing. To realize the full value of their programs, employer decisions — both private and public — must encompass the impact of health and chronic disease on lost work time, workforce performance and productivity,” stated Thomas Parry, IBI president. 

According to a modeling tool developed by the Integrated Benefits Institute, federal employees are estimated to incur $27.2 billion annually in medical treatment payments, lost productivity and wage replacements associated with illness-related absences and underperformance on the job. Of those losses, illness related productivity losses and wage replacements surpass medical costs for employees and their dependents by 26%. 

IBI’s model is based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and proprietary sources. The results are an estimate for 2.6 million federal employees (including the U.S. Postal Service).

 

 

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Walmart and two non-profits promote women-owned businesses with new CPG logo

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Women's Business Enterprise National Council, WEConnect International and Walmart on Wednesday joined forces to establish a unique logo for retail packaging of products from women-owned businesses. The new logo will bring consumer recognition of products provided by women-owned businesses on store shelves both in the U.S. and international markets.  

Women-owned businesses that are WBENC and/or WEConnect International certified will be eligible to display the logo on their product packaging. Walmart's collaboration with WBENC and WEConnect International on the new logo is aligned with their overall strategy and focus on women-owned businesses.

"At Walmart we are committed to empowering women and impacting women-owned businesses from around the world-and so are our customers. In fact, we recently conducted a survey that found 90% of female customers in the U.S. would go out of their way to purchase products from women, believing they would offer higher quality," stated MiKaela Wardlaw Lemmon, senior director of Women's Economic Empowerment at Walmart. "We hope our collaboration with Women's Business Enterprise National Council and WEConnect International will make customers around the world more aware of great products from women-owned businesses, and help these women continue to grow their businesses."

In September 2011, Walmart launched its Global Women's Economic Empowerment initiative and as a part of this initiative, committed to source $20 billion from women for the US business and to double sourcing from women internationally by the end of 2016. 

Women-owned businesses contribute over $1.3 trillion dollars to the US economy and women are responsible for more than 80% of the consumer decisions globally.  

 

 

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