Gloria Gan
China Consumer Lifestyle Research Analyst

Recently, more fashion brands have opened their pet clothes and pet home care product line. For example, the South Korean fashion brand MLB just launched the pet series with pet cloth, pet hat,etc.  Keeping pets is not only about feeding them anymore. The growth in categories of healthcare, beauty and leisure and home suppliers is becoming an essential part of pet care.

Mintel data reveals that half of Chinese urban dog or cat owners view pets as friends, and 34% of them perceive pets as a child. For most people, pets are not just animals. They are companions, friends, and ultimately, a part of the family. It is not surprising that pet owners increasingly care about the health, appearance and life quality of their furry companions.

How’s Chinese pet consumers habit-changing?

Mintel data reveals that more than seven in 10 dog or cat owners tend to follow scientific advice when keeping a pet, compared with only one in five owners who tend to keep pets in traditional ways. They become increasingly knowledgeable about pets’ living habits including pets’ physical and mental needs in daily.

Social petworking, an emerging opportunity of pet outgoing activities

Pet owners are increasingly taking pets on holiday, more than two-thirds of Chinese dog or cat owners would like to post pet photos/videos on social media, and participating in offline social activities.  As the lives of pet owners with pets become rich and varied, there is potential to explore more occasions that can support owners’ modern lives with pets. For example, pet artist photographs, pet festivals, and pet birthday celebrations will be popular concepts for the future.

What we think

The outbreak of COVID-19 had less impact on the pet market, indeed the desire for pet companionship is even stronger. Owners’ love and care for their pets will remain unaffected by the virus, and the pet market is expected to continue to grow after consumers’ financial status stabilises.

Pets are no longer merely animals but considered as friends and children. Owners are increasingly influenced by scientific knowledge and environmentally-friendly rearing attitudes and value the pet-keeping experience. They invest in all aspects of their pets’ lives, moving beyond just meals and snacks to provide good living conditions for pets, and demand activities such as travelling with pets, learning more about pets through lectures and pet training classes. Emerging spending such as pet healthcare, pet beauty and leisure activities for owners and pets are expected to boost the growing pet care category, particularly in light of the rising popularity of social petworking.