Sure, companies like Zoom, Netflix and Shopify boomed during the pandemic. Looking beneath the surface, one hidden winner of the pandemic was the pet industry. 20% of American households adopted a cat or dog in the year from March 2020.
Our shift to purely online meetings, shopping and entertainment was an obvious benefit as stock prices skyrocketed. Looking beneath the surface, one hidden winner of the pandemic was rescue pups and kittens.
In 2020, pet ownership in the US soared by 67%. One in three millennials now owns a pet. We’ve looked at the benefits of pets in the past. An Australian study found that pet owners reported 15% fewer doctor visits than their non-pet counterparts. Based on similar findings it was estimated that pets saved the US healthcare system US$11.7b in 2015.
Now, research has been conducted on the impacts of pets during the pandemic. A study in the UK found pet owners showed less deterioration in their mental health and feelings of loneliness during the lockdown.
The love pets show is reciprocated. Premiumisation of pet care is a growing trend. Our dogs deserve a gourmet dinner, a customised leash and designer dog clothes, or so the market indicates. Over the last decade, spending on pets has doubled. Companies like Chewy, the US$30b online pet retailer has seen annual revenues rise by 3.5x since 2018.
US VC investment in pet care is also rising. Investment flows into pet care companies is already at record highs just 8 months into 2021. US$1.15b in deals have occurred.