The pet industry in the UK has witnessed significant growth and transformation in recent years, and in 2023, it will continue to grow and flourish. Pet ownership has become increasingly prevalent, with owners considering their beloved pets as cherished family members and spending on them as so! In total, the UK spend nearly £8 billion per year on their pets according to a recent study* and this is a 150% increase in Pet spending over the last 20 years. 

This blog post will explore the latest trends shaping the UK’s pet industry in 2023, as witnessed by our Animal Health and Pet Team at Noble Futures!

1. Personalised Pet Products and Services Continue to Be the Firm Favourite:

In the last year, the rise of UK pet owners seeking personalised products and services that cater to their pet’s unique needs and preferences is still growing. From tailor-made diets, supplements and customised grooming products, the market is seeing both new startups and established businesses leaping into this space. 

Added to the availability of subscription services for these tailor-made offerings, the appeal for pet owners in personalised options is not going away anytime soon. The biggest increase in subscription products has been in the pet food market. With the UK choosing to spend over £3 billion on pet nutrition last year alone, it is no wonder companies are keen to be the most visible in this hugely competitive and rewarding market. 

2. Technological Innovations for Enhanced Pet Care:

Technological advancements are revolutionising the pet care landscape in the UK. In the next year, we can expect continued growth in smart pet devices, such as automated feeders, fitness monitors, interactive toys, and GPS trackers. 

These innovations enable pet owners to monitor and interact with their pets remotely, enhancing their well-being and providing peace of mind for those who perhaps acquired their pets in lockdown and are supporting them through separation anxieties. The intersection of technology and pet care is a quickly evolving market.

3. Emphasis on Holistic and Natural Pet Products:

Pet owners are increasingly concerned about the health and well-being of their furry companions. Consequently, alongside the drive in human health, there is a rising demand for natural and holistic pet products. In the next 12 months, we can anticipate an increase in organic pet food options, eco-friendly toys and accessories, and natural remedies for common pet ailments featured in the most popular products list. 

Businesses prioritising sustainability, transparency, and environmentally friendly practices have begun attracting more eco-friendly-conscious pet owners. One of the areas seeing the biggest growth in the eco market is cat litter, with huge demands soaring for paper and wood varieties taking the largest market share going forward from the more traditional styles. 

4. E-commerce Dominance in Pet Retail:

The rise of e-commerce has significantly impacted the pet industry in the UK, and online shopping for pet products will continue to dominate. Pet owners appreciate the convenience of ordering pet supplies online, benefiting from doorstep delivery and a wide range of choices.

To remain competitive, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers must adapt to this trend by enhancing their online presence and providing seamless omnichannel experiences.

5. Focus on Pet Health and Wellness:

Pet owners are increasingly investing in preventive healthcare and overall wellness for their pets. This has increased demand for premium veterinary care clubs, nutritional supplements, alternative therapies, and pet insurance. Businesses that can offer comprehensive pet health and wellness solutions will find a receptive market in 2023. The collaborations between veterinary clinics, pet wellness centres, grooming parlours and retail outlets will further enhance the accessibility of such services.

6. Pet-Friendly Workplaces and Travel:

The concept of pet-friendly workplaces and travel options has gained popularity in the UK, with employers and travel companies now recognising the importance of accommodating pets in their policies. In 2023, we have seen a huge rise of businesses adopting pet-friendly policies, allowing employees to bring their pets to work and providing travel accommodations that cater to pet owners. This trend presents more opportunities for companies specialising in pet-friendly office design, travel services, and pet-friendly destinations to help these destinations adapt to their new pet policies. 

*Study realised by Petkeen 2023.