M/A/R/C Research has conducted multiple online surveys among US pet owners to better understand the impact of the COVID-19 health crisis on the animal health industry. Through this research we have focused on tracking specific tendencies among pet owners as well as a separate study conducted among those who adopted and/or purchased pets during COVID-19.
Through the eighth wave of the study fielded Feb 14-16, 2021, reactions to curb-side service are much more positive than initially anticipated with satisfaction remaining in the 90% range since Aug ‘20. 48% of respondents said they would use curb-side in the future after COVID has ended. Despite typically taking longer than a traditional visit, consumers appreciate the safety measures and convenience that curb-side provides. They no longer must spend time in the waiting room and can run other errands while their pets are being seen.
While some found their pets to be more stressed out by the situation, others thought that their pet seemed more relaxed during the visit because they didn’t have to be around other pets in a waiting room situation.
The United Veterinary Services Association – UVSA Research on Pet Owner Behaviors recently unveiled commissioned research on the impact of COVID- 19 and attitudes related to veterinarians as a result of the pandemic and quarantine rules and restrictions. The research was conducted by APG | O'HARA Research & Analytics in March 2021.
65% of pet owners responded positively that they pampered their pets. Some 26% of pet owners claim to have pampered their pets more since pre-COVID. Since pampering can include more food and treats, better attention to grooming, improved awareness of overall health conditions and better compliance with medications, it is not hard to understand how this 26% uptick in pampering alone could help explain the increased consumption of animal health products and services.
The United Veterinary Services Association (UVSA) is a not-for-profit organization which serves as a resource for supply chain innovation and the enhancement of animal care through its support of animal health distributors, manufacturers and other suppliers to the veterinary profession.
For the week ending July 24, 2021, the Canine and Feline core vaccine indices continue to moderate versus previous weeks as YTD growth slipped to +17.5% across the 32,000+ practices and shelter locations in the Animalytix Marketplace. Growth in Kennel Cough vaccine purchases, which provide a measure of the pet mobility, showed little movement at +17.6% YTD. Growth in Chronic care medication purchases held relatively steady to +8.0% YTD growth while growth in purchases of Surgical Suite consumables and Parasiticides continued to soften, finishing the week at +15.8% and +11.1% respectively. Overall, all segments remain in excellent positions versus 2020 sales volumes, suggesting continued strong recovery for the veterinary wellness and in-house pharmacy sectors.
Among the “Bellwether” Vetalytix zones selected for routine reporting primarily based on the relative size of annual Core and Lifestyle vaccines purchases, all zones are posting positive results vs PY but softening this week. The Seattle, WA zone leads with +27.4% growth YTD compared to 2020. Following closely behind were Boston, MA at +26.5% and Miami, FL at +23.9% YTD growth vs PY. Indianapolis, IN rounds out our “Bellwether” zones at the bottom with a very respectable +8.6% YTD growth. Annual Core and Lifestyle vaccine purchases were selected as the principal “Bellwether” metric given 50% or more of annual visits to a veterinary practice are associated with the administration of these products.
*Map displays YTD Core & Lifestyle Vaccines sales courtesy of Animalytix
This week’s totals for reported parasiticide purchases across all segments year to date through the week ending March 6, are ahead of 2020 results by an extremely robust +12.2% among the 32,000+ practices and shelter locations in the Animalytix Marketplace. The most significant YOY change in the market is the +49.7% growth in the canine combination flea and heartworm products (e.g. specifically Simparica Trio), as substitution continues to occurring at the expense of products from the canine flea and tick preventatives which are experiencing a decline softening decline of (-1.9%) YTD. Canine heartworm preventatives purchases moved ahead of 2020’s record strong sales for the same period, posting growth of +2.6%. Feline flea and heartworm preventatives are now ahead of last year at a robust +8.8% growth.
Among the leading “Bellwether” parasiticide market zones, Greenville, SC now leads with +32.0% growth in total parasiticide purchases followed by Philadelphia, PA at +31.8%. Among the lagging “Bellwether” zones is Los Angeles, CA at +1.9% versus the same YTD period in 2020 bringing all “Bellwether” parasiticide market zones into the positive YTD.
*Map displays YTD Canine/Feline F/T/HW Parasiticide sales courtesy of Animalytix
For the week ending July 24, 2021, aggregate YTD practice revenues held relatively steady at +11.7% net growth versus YTD 2020 for the ~4,000 reporting practices. The growth in unique patients was lower at +4.6% as was the number of unique clients at +5.1%. Total invoices continues positive at +4.2% YTD growth vs 2020 results.
Among the leading “Bellwether” market zones, Brooklyn, NY continues in the lead with a +23.8% YTD revenue growth and +11.0% growth in unique patients YTD. Among the lagging zones, the Miami, FL market is struggling at (-3.7%) revenue growth and +1.2% growth in unique patients YTD compared to 2020.
Following more current trends, the 3-week rolling average for practice revenue growth nationally improved at a positive +0.5%. Three census divisions posted positive results for the 3-week average revenue growth rates this week with six divisions showing positive movement over last week. The Mountain division is notable for the most recent 3-week period with a negative average revenue growth of +5.1%. The rolling 3-week average revenue growth index is designed to provide a view of relative robustness of growth trends (e.g., market velocity) for each reporting zone. A positive value indicates rolling revenue growth vs the previously reported 3-week period.
Map displays YTD total hospital revenue courtesy of Animal Care Technologies
*Indicates Merged Zone Group
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