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A review of the forever growing pet grooming industry

A review of the forever growing pet grooming industry

Back at the start of the year I wrote a series of articles discussing the difficulties of developing a personal care brand in today’s market. However, since writing these articles I have seen a big increase in the amount of enquiries and orders for pet grooming products. Which has led me to think, strictly speaking they are not classed as ‘cosmetic’ products, but as a fast growing industry how would the development of the pet grooming industry stack up against the growth of the cosmetics sector?

Over the past 20 years we have seen an average growth rate of 4.5% year on year within the global beauty industry. It is forecast that the global beauty market will be worth an astounding £169 billion by 2017, with premium cosmetic products outperforming the mass market brands in Western Europe since 2011. Toiletries and skin care products take up the largest proportion of global sales with over 52% of overall revenue generated. Refining the above information, looking at the UK industry only; the UK beauty industry is worth over £15 billion and is the fastest growing luxury beauty market in the whole of Western Europe.

So, the questions now is, how does the pet ‘beauty’ market compare against the UK beauty industry? Well, over the past 6 years (2007-2013) there has been a staggering 30% increase on the revenue that is generated from the pet grooming world, with the value of the current UK industry thought to be worth over £4 billion (Euromonitor) per year. Whilst the UK beauty industry is worth over triple of what the pet grooming world is worth (in the UK), the gap is closing as more and more pet owners are spending large amounts of money on pampering their pets.

Following on from the above and the strong developments made in the pet care market, this brings a new question as to why this has come about and what does it mean for the pet grooming products? Pet grooming parlours are becoming a fashion in the UK, something which is extremely popular in the US and Japan already. With pet grooming becoming a fashion it has increased the demand for the products involved and in turn it has created an industry in itself. With demand increasing, both in pet parlours and high street retailers the standard of the products is continually improving as more and more attention is paid to the market.

Testing the quality and safety of products that are applied to human skin has been compulsory in the European market for many years, and the legislation surrounding testing requirements was revised last year by the European Commission. However, the legislation surrounding pet care products is less stringent. Despite this, I have seen a shift in the drive for quality by pet care brands over the past 12 to 18 months. Even though pet care products do not need to be tested to the same standard as that of a beauty product for a human, brand owners are spending large amounts of money on testing these pet care brands to guarantee the quality and that they are ‘safe’ for use. I believe that this is a result of the growth of the pet care world, and evidence of the drive for quality that the consumer now expects.

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I firmly believe that the pet care market will continue to grow over the coming years with new brands appearing on the market on a monthly basis. Whilst it will never be comparable to the ‘human’ beauty industry I do think that the pet care market will close the gap between itself and the beauty industry over the next 2 years. This development of the pet grooming market will only bring benefits to all stakeholders. A growing market provides opportunities for existing and new brands to grow, increasing the competition within the market place. This increased competition will help keep the price to a minimum and the quality will continually increase, which brings positive to the consumer and their pets. The only questions I have is how far can this industry go?