Petcare products purely based on luxury are trending in the UK. Previously such products were only available in speciality stores, but now their popularity has grown, and launches are coming from non-specialist retailers such as UK retail giant, Tesco.
Tesco launched a non-alcoholic drink called Pawsecco for cats and Bottom Sniffer beer for dogs. Both were created for the Christmas occasions, allowing consumers to celebrate the holiday with their pets.
Indulging pets has been a popular concept for years, where owners want to give their pets the best quality products, such as premium pet food, cleaners and shampoo. But these products were still items that pets needed, products that are essentially still functional and part of caring for an animal, even if at the luxury end of the spectrum. Now, even if a product or experience holds no true functionality, consumers want to treat their pets – in exactly the same way as consumers buy products as a reward based on desire, and not necessity.
Has this trend of pampering our pets gone too far?
According to GlobalData’s global consumer survey from 2015 Q4, 77% of consumers worldwide consider their pet(s) to be a member of their family. This is vital, since this is the main influence of what drives sales in premium petcare. All others stem from it, for instance, 55% of global consumers states that looks/appearance of their pet(s) is either very or quite important (according to the same GlobalData research).
An example of this is nail art for dogs by Warren London. A US-based luxury dog spa products manufacturer which launched Pawdicure Polish Pen, a range of nail varnish pens for dogs. The company’s Instagram account shows ranges of matching nail-art selfies between owners and their dogs.
Some luxury products can be seen by the owner as enhancing their relationship with their pets, by being able to share same experience or occasions. For example, pet prosecco and beer allows owners to celebrate special occasions with their pets, while pet beauty products will allow shared experiences which then can be used as social media currency. In many countries people are delaying having children, if having any at all, which creates more financial freedom and fewer time constraints, driving the pet humanisation trend.
People today consider their pets to be a part of the family therefore they want to reward the animals by treating them the way they would want to be treated, and this means products do not necessarily have to have functionality. Whether dog nail varnish is a step too far is for the owner to decide.