Pet Supply Industry Defies Economy

We're not holding back on spending for our pets!What recession? While the U.S. economy is still struggling to find its footing, the pet supply industry is booming. A new report from Packaged Foods found that retail sales of non-food pet supplies totaled $11.1 billion in 2011 -- up 2% from 2010.

Although the boom isn't as robust as the 5 percent growth the industry reported in 2007, the report signaled that sales will continue rising throughout 2012 and beyond.

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Packages Food noted that industry is steadily growing despite the economic conditions because the strong bond between animals and humans drives demand for better and more expensive products. Upper class households are especially willing to splurge on their pets -- and the numbers of cats and dogs in all homes across the country are growing, creating more pet owners who need to provide for their expanding families.

A new trend in pet products is the creation of those with a likeness to human fare -- which makes them more appealing to the pet owner, who in turns buys items they may not need.

Additionally, more pet supply companies are branching out from their core businesses, adding cross-over items to their product list. Examples include Kong and Nylabone, which are expanding from chew toys and non-edible chews into pet treats and supplies like leashes.

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