Pet Care & Veterinary Packaging Trends

Trends in Pet Care & Veterinary Packaging

The pandemic saw a rise in the U.S. pet population as people spent more time at home, able to care for a new pet. According to a GlobalData survey, 39% of Americans said they bought or adopted a pet during the lockdown period. This increase in the number of domestic animals is driving record sales of pet-related products.

Introduction

Berlin Packaging has identified three major trends – Health & Wellness, Humanization, and E-commerce – that are fueling product development and package design in the pet & veterinary care category. Let’s explore how these trends are translating into new products with high consumer appeal and secondary packaging the meets the stringent requirements of the online, direct-to-consumer channel.

IRI data show that sales of pet products rose by 7% in the second quarter of 2021 compared to last year. This represents the category’s highest sales growth since 2017. Here are some of the trends we see dominating the booming pet & vet category.

Health & Wellness

Today’s consumers care greatly about the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. Owners are taking better care of their animals, concerned with both physical and emotional health as well as pet longevity.

These concerns are driving the pet healthcare category, including dietary supplements and pet insurance. Consumers are buying vitamins, probiotics, CBD, beverage supplements, and other products that provide unique functional benefits.

In addition to supplements, owners want healthier, high-quality foods for their pets. This can include the use of all-natural ingredients, meals created for specialty diets, and fresh foods.

Packaging is a great way to communicate a brand’s premium positioning and create a better consumer experience for both pets and owners.

Berlin Packaging supplies the 32 oz container and 5L tubs for BJ’s Raw Pet Food, makers of fresh, raw “Farm to Bowl” meals for dogs.

Their polypropylene plastic packaging provides a temperature range that allows for freezing and heating the raw food. The rectangular and square shapes are ideal for easy filling, storage, shipping, and stacking.

Both sizes offer tamper-evident resealable lids that keep the food fresh and boost consumer confidence in the product’s safety.

The pet supplement industry is set to hit $1 billion by 2027, according to an analysis by Grand View Research.

BJ’s pet food package. Winner of a 2021 National Association of Container Distributor’s (NACD) award for excellence in packaging.

Humanization

The rise of pet supplements, premium foods, and specialty diets is indicative of another trend – the humanization of pets.

This trend has a big impact on pet products as dogs, cats, and small animals are now considered members of the family.

Pet parents seek to provide a higher level of care and comfort for their animals, much as they would for themselves. Treadmills for dogs, pet furniture, and weighted blankets are all examples of innovation based on human behaviors.

“At the end of a year unlike any in recent memory, pet owners demonstrated an unshakable commitment to the pets in their lives, with the premiumization and humanization trends continuing to drive pet owner behavior.” – American Veterinary Medical Association

Pet product packaging is also mimicking the styles and silhouettes of human product packaging. Berlin Packaging's Studio One Eleven® worked on custom packaging for Petchup, a food topper that makes dry kibble more exciting and enjoyable. The bottle design was inspired by condiments made for people, with a familiar silhouette and convenient snap-top closure reminiscent of ketchup.

E-commerce

While e-commerce was experiencing growth in the pet category prior to COVID-19, it was accelerated by the pandemic.

According to Euromonitor International, the share of pet care e-commerce is not expected to fall, even after the past two years of exceptional growth. This is due to the convenience, value, and selection of online platforms like Chewy and Bark Box.

Bulky items like cat litter and pet food benefit from auto-ship programs offered by many online retailers. Subscription programs are also on the rise as consumers appreciate getting a curated selection of products delivered conveniently to their door.

However, e-commerce packaging has unique challenges, including the risk of damage in shipping. Breakage, leakage, and denting can lead not only to replacement costs (which can be up to 17x the cost of the original shipment) but also to damaged reputations.

It is important to partner with suppliers who understand the complexities and unique requirements for e-commerce packaging.

As an APASS certified supplier, Berlin Packaging has a team of engineers and industrial designers who specialize in e-commerce packaging solutions.

“Drop testing from various heights and other extreme scenarios must be included for any packaging to make sure it will survive this new e-commerce supply chain.” – Shar Puskala, Studio One Eleven

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The brands mentioned in this report are trademarks of their respective owners. Inclusion of these brands in this report is not meant to imply an association with or endorsement from the respective trademark owners.