Last year, I wrote a blog post around increase in pet ownership during lockdown. In May 2021, The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) released its annual pet population data showing that 3.2 million households in the UK acquired a pet since the start of the pandemic, bringing a total to 34 million pets in the UK. 8 months later, the petmania continues on.
The pet spending boom continues despite rising cost of living. An example can be found in retail company, Pets at Home, showing record sales and profit throughout Christmas. It said sales in the third quarter were up 8.7% on 2020 and 28.1% on 2019.
The retailer does not see this craze slowing down. The company’s retail arm welcomes in 25,000 new customers a week and more than 9,000 new client registrations for its vet business. In one BBC article, Matt Britzman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said there was a continuing trend of “pet humanisation”, with owners “passing their own health and food principles on to their pets – even going as far as having their own social media following”.
“That’s more opportunity for those in the business of servicing – it’s often the more premium brands that cater for these specific needs, giving a welcomed leg up to sales and margins,” he said.
“UK pet ownership shows little signs of slowing down as working from home becomes ever more popular and households favour locations that offer more space,” he added.
As a current pet owner, I can definitely agree with Matt. My cat has his own instagram page, and I spend quality time with him with Polestar’s flexible working policy. I can see this trend continuing onwards as the now adults of my generation (Gen Z) have a different relationship with their pets than quite possibly generations before.
Investors should definitely keep an eye on this market.
At Polestar, we have and are advising a number of businesses within this unique sector. With the rapid demand in this space, this could be a good time to explore your options for raising funding or securing a valuable exit. Like always, if you have any interest, please reach out!
“Pets are very much part of the family. We expect given the fact there are more pets in the country than ever before we expect revenue to be and continue to be very strong this year.”