How Retailization Is Changing the Veterinary Business

Growing nearly 6 percent in 2019 to top $30 billion in revenues, the veterinary channel today represents almost one-third (32 percent) of pet industry sales, surpassed only by pet food (38 percent) and trailed by non-food pet supplies (19 percent) and non-medical pet services (11 percent). Of the four pet industry classifications, vet services is forecast to grow faster than any other except the much smaller non-medical pet services, posting a 5.2 percent compound annual growth rate for the 2019-2023 period compared with 6.6 percent for pet services, 3 percent for pet supplies and 2.4 percent for pet food. From a dollar perspective, the veterinary channel is the biggest winner by far, projected to add $6.8 billion in value during the 2019-2023 period, compared with $3.5 billion for pet food, $3 billion for non-medical pet services and $2.3 billion for pet supplies. Given the paramount role of pet health as a market driver in the pet industry at large, a robust veterinary industry is no surprise. But as major veterinary and retail chains come on stronger than ever before, the U.S. veterinary business will be anything but business as usual.

In the December 2019 report, Veterinary Services in the U.S.: Competing for the Pet Care Customer, Packaged Facts observes: “One of the central challenges for the veterinary sector, as the anchor for pet healthcare, is a growing misalignment between what vets and pet owners view as pet care.

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