Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Pet insurance, pet food and pet care products are among the growth categories.
Globally, around 57% of households own a pet. Outside the U.S., New Zealanders own more pets per household than anywhere else in the world: approximately 64% of New Zealand households have at least one pet. In Australia, pets can be found in at least 62% of households. With a disproportionately high number of pets found in Australian and New Zealand households, demand for pet care products is strong in these markets. Dogs and cats are the most common pets, followed by fish, small mammals and reptiles.
With changes in household composition in Australia and New Zealand—in particular, declining birth rates—pet owners are spending more on their pets than they did five years ago. The relationship between humans and their pets has become much closer, with a significant rise in the proportion of households who report considering their pets to be family members. The overall market size of the pet care industry is quite substantial:
- In Australia, households spent $8.7 billion ($12.2 billion Australian), with an estimated $347 million ($490 million Australian) expended on pet insurance premiums each year.
- In New Zealand, the industry was worth an estimated $1.2 billion ($1.8 billion New Zealand), up from $1.1 billion ($1.6 billion New Zealand) in 2011, with the biggest slice of expenditure attributed to the pet food sector, which was valued at $534 million ($787 million New Zealand).
Growth in the Australia and New Zealand pet care market is expected in the premium segment of the market, as the rising trend of “fur baby” status for pets presents opportunities for Wisconsin firms that operate in sectors other than purely the pet food, grooming and accessories.
Products such as pet insurance are expected to grow in popularity, as household expenditures for child-related expenses decline due to declining birth rates. Companies can take advantage of these trends and sell their products to into the Australia and New Zealand markets. Wisconsin firms that specialize in pet care products are strongly encouraged to explore export opportunities in the Australia and New Zealand markets, particularly in the premium segment of the pet care sector.
Wisconsin exporters interested in forming distribution partnerships in the Australia and New Zealand markets are encouraged to:
- familiarize with the regulations related to imported foods and labeling for these markets;
- consider a market visit coordinated with a major industry event or trade show;
- connect with key players in the pet care sector, such as pet shop retailers and distributors; and
- familiarize themselves with the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia Inc.