U.S. retail sales of pet clean-up and odor-control products reached more than $4 billion in 2019, up from $3.5 billion in 2014, resulting in a 3.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the period, according to Packaged Facts.
Cat litter is by far the largest category in the pet clean-up and odor-control market, accounting for 73% of the vertical. In comparison, puppy training pads, dog waste bags, and accessories together account for 17% of the market while pet clean-up/odor-control preparations account for the remainder of the market.
Packaged Facts forecasts that the pet clean-up and odor-control product market will approach $5 billion by 2024. Here are eight trends Packaged Facts expects will influence growth in the market:
- Clean-up innovations: In the pet clean-up and odor-control market, innovations typically stem from a desire to make pet ownership easier and more appealing by simplifying some of the less pleasant aspects of pet care.
- Pet as family: One of the biggest industry-wide trends impacting the pet clean-up and odor-control market is the notion of pets as family members. When pet owners consider their pets family members they keep them in close proximity—both at home and when out and about—making clean-up products more necessary.
- Health and wellness: Part of the “pets as family” trend is an increasing focus on pet health and wellness. Pet owners are looking for clean-up and odor-control products that are safe while maintaining their pets’ overall wellness.
- Pet ownership trends: Should the cat-owning population show a return to growth similar to the recent rebound among dog-owning households, the clean-up and odor-control market would experience a significant gain in sales because cat litter makes up such a large component of the market.
- Millennials and housing: Unlike Boomers, Millennials often live in apartment settings. Although a current shortage of more pet-friendly housing is problematic for the pet market, it may actually benefit the pet clean-up and odor-control market. Apartment dwellers are more likely to seek out animals such as cats that don’t require being taken outside but need a litter box. Those that have dogs rely on clean-up products such as training pads and waste bags to enable them to keep their pets in a small space.
- Natural and eco-friendly: In spite of having been an enormous factor in the pet market for many years, Natural and eco-friendly products have been somewhat slow to impact the pet clean-up and odor-control. That is set to change as pet owners seek natural options that won’t harm pets or the planet. The environmental impact of cat litter and dog waste contribute to the development of natural clean-up products.
- Legislating pet waste: A large number of urban and suburban communities have laws that prohibit leaving pet waste in public spaces. While these laws are necessary, this means that pet owners need to be prepared to clean up after their pets. And although it may be rare for the “poop police” to actually enforce these laws, common courtesy also requires that pet owners leave sidewalks and streets as clean as possible so others need not fear tracking through the mess.
- Cat elimination habits: For litter marketers, the finicky nature of cats when it comes to the litter box is a challenge. How does someone convince a cat owner to try a new type of litter, especially when the change may mean the cat will no longer use it? A lot of innovation that goes into developing new litter is geared around not just making it easier on owners in terms of odor and clean-up, but making it more likely that cats will want to use the litter in the first place.