A presumptive appraisal of the U.S. pet products market would make most assume that ownership of feathered pets is…well for the birds. After all, the market for companion bird products has been challenged in recent years, as ownership of birds in U.S. households has taken a tumble. This is in stark contrast to the uptick in product sales for other pets, especially dogs and cats but also to a lesser degree smaller pets such as rabbits, hamsters, and even fish, according to a new report from Packaged Facts, Bird Products: U.S. Pet Market Trends and Opportunities.
There is evidence that the market for companion bird products still has the wind to its back. In the report, Packaged Facts identifies various market opportunities and factors lending the bird products market optimism for the future. These include:
Influential Hispanic and Asian-American consumers
The rising influence of multicultural consumers (African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, etc.) for years has been one of the most anticipated and overarching economic trends. For bird ownership, survey data reveals that Hispanics and Asians are far more likely than average to have a bird for a pet. Birds are the only companion animal type where this is the case.
Natural and Made in USA marketing
Natural has become an overarching trend shaping all pet products and has certainly made a powerful impact on the bird products market as well. The language supporting natural ingredients and materials now pervades marketing material through all segments, but is particularly noticeable in the food and treats and toys segments. Relatedly, a strong trend in the bird category is the marketers’ emphasis on products made in the U.S. This is a spillover from concerns among cat and dog owners about contaminated and subsequently recalled pet products sourced from other nations.
Chickens enter pet pecking order
There is a growing interest in chickens as pets and the number of people keeping backyard coops. Several companion bird marketers have embraced this new trend and are now offering products for this sub-category along with foods and cages for the more traditional companion birds such as budgies, canaries, and parrots. For example, Petmate has introduced an entire line of large coops under its Precision Pet brand, designed to hold multiple chickens, and in 2016, Central Garden & Pet introduced an entire line of products under its Kaytee brand for backyard chicken enthusiasts. The new Kaytee line includes everything from coops to cage accessories to treats and poultry feeds and supplements. The line now includes three different cages: a standard cage suitable for two chickens, a larger chicken coop with nesting box, and a wire enclosure for chicks.