The UK pet care market is forecast to reach £4.5bn ($5.52bn) by 2021, an increase of 8.6% from this year, according to a report by Verdict Retail.

Titled 'The UK Pet Care Market 2016', the report states that pet accessories will be the fastest growing subsector of the market increasing by 14.8% by 2021, followed by health and hygiene at 9.8%. The report attributes the growth to rise in humanisation and wellbeing trends and online retail channels.

"The report provides results of a 10,000-participant survey, which revealed shopping in physical stores as the most popular form of shopping."

Humanisation of pets is a popular trend wherein pet owners are increasingly spending on premium items such as bedding, clothing, specialty food, gadgets and healthcare products, states Fiona Paton, retail analyst at Verdict Retail.

Mid-market players, especially grocers, are leading in offering premium pet products, but continue to face competition from discounters and single-priced players. Product innovation and unique products such as speciality food are expected to help grocers differentiate themselves from discounters and drive impulse purchases.

The report provides results of a 10,000-participant survey, which revealed shopping in physical stores as the most popular form of shopping. Demand for online shopping, however, is on the rise with 32.8% of consumers opting for online delivery.

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By GlobalData

Online pet care sales are projected to grow by 43.4% between this year and 2021. To remain competitive in the market, retailers need to adapt to these changing consumer shopping trends and offer multichannel services, along with additional local stores. Online retailer Fetch, for example, offers delivery convenience for customers by providing one-hour delivery slots and next-day delivery, explains Paton.