The initial results of the research conducted by Nomisma for Zoomark reveal the purchasing habits of pet owners in Italy for products in the non-food sector, including supplements, anti-parasite products, accessories, toys, hygiene products and cat litter.

Supplements and anti-parasite products are the most frequently purchased items in the non-food segment: 69% of owners bought these products over the past year.

 

 

Over 60% of Italian pet owners spent money on other home accessories, such as kennels, cages, food or water bowls and do-it-yourself pet care, hygiene and grooming products. 54% purchased toys for their four-legged friends, while 38% bought or replaced leads, collars or harnesses in the past 12 months.

The majority of owners allocated a maximum budget of €100 for all categories in the non-food pet sector over the past 12 months, while 16% of pet owners said they spent over €300 on electronic equipment alone.

 

 

High-spending pet owners

 

32% of the sample surveyed by Nomisma are considered high-spending pet owners: people who reported spending an above-average amount on pet accessories. For this category of consumers, the decisive factor when it comes to choosing to purchase a certain accessory is how much they know and trust the brand.

 

 

The majority of high-spending consumers have a lifestyle defined as "seeking luxury": in other words, they place most emphasis in their purchasing behaviour on an object's appearance and the personal gratification the pet owner receives as a result of the purchase.

These are 'Premium' consumers, who pay a lot of attention to products' overall quality, uniqueness and originality, their materials or textiles, and their durability, design and sustainability, but always focused on ensuring the best for their pet and protecting their wellbeing.

 

From a social and demographic perspective, the proportion of high-spending pet owners is the greatest in the 30-45 age category and among households with no children. This type of consumer prefers to purchase goods online.

Nomisma's analysis for Zoomark also identifies the parts of Italy where non-food spending is concentrated. The regions where households spend most on accessories are Lombardy, Lazio, Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany; these four areas account for over 60% of the country's overall spending on the non-food pet sector (around €280 million).

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Non-food purchasing channels

 

 

Turning to purchasing channels, 37% of the sample stated that they prefer to shop for pet accessories in specialised physical shops, and especially large pet shop chains.

main strength of the specialised physical channel named by survey participants was the option to see and test the products in person. They also appreciate the shops' proximity to their home and the opportunity to discuss and ask salespeople for advice and information.

 

However, 35% of those interviewed by Nomisma prefer online purchases: 19% predominantly on generalist websites like Amazon, and 16% on sites dedicated solely to pet products, or the websites of pet shop chains.

Online channel users are mostly looking for the cheapest price and a wider range of products. Another decisive factor is the possibility and ease of comparing different products on several websites before purchasing online.

 

16% of owners say they focus most of their spending in the large-scale retail trade, due to the convenience of being able to do their weekly shop at the same time, followed by the variable of price and the proximity of the stores to their main place of residence.

Only 7% of pet owners purchases pet accessories in discount stores and big markets.

 

Purchasing drivers

 


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What are the main drivers of Italian pet owners' purchasing choices?

The Nomisma survey reveals that personal taste and the price of products are the most important considerations, but sustainability is also an increasing concern for Italian pet owners, with 46% of interviewees stating they will place a greater emphasis on these aspects in the next 2-3 years.

This creates a challenge for the entire non-food segment, encouraging accessory manufacturers to create products with a smaller environmental footprint and to pay more attention to their internal and external social sustainability practices.

Knowing the brand or shop is also a major purchase driver for 20% of Italian pet owners.

 

Mattia Barchetti, Head of Market Intelligence at Nomisma, said:

'Nomisma's research for Zoomark predicts that spending in the non-food categories will grow over the next 2-3 years, and particularly spending on cat litter, supplements and anti-parasite products, and electronic equipment. The latter is expected to grow substantially, mostly due to the technological advances that are bound to impact this industry in the near future. More modest growth is predicted for leashes and muzzles, transport accessories, clothing and toys.'

'The indicators point to a positive macroeconomic situation', Barchetti continued, 'with the surge in inflation returning below the 2% threshold in the final quarter of 2023. Increases in contractual wages, coupled with rising employment rates and unemployment rates at historic lows, will give further impetus to a sector that has performed extremely well in recent years, despite the uncertain economic situation.'

The outlook for household spending is optimistic, and this will certainly have a positive impact on the constantly expanding Italian pet care sector.

 

About Zoomark

Zoomark is the B2B pet food and pet care trade show scheduled for May 5th-7th 2025 at BolognaFiere. Returning for the 21st time, it provides a global meeting point for the industry and distributors in the pet sector, and is the ideal place to forge new relationships, stay up to date and share ideas with a global audience seeking new partners and business opportunities.

 

Source: Zoomark


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