Barking Up The Right Tree: Singapore’s Up And Coming Pet Market | Tractus


The pet industry in Singapore has experienced a fast transformation over the past 6 years, with the value of the pet retail market rising from US$ 78 million in 2016 to an expected US$ 110 million by 2025, at a CAGR between 3-4%. This is despite Singapore having the lowest pet ownership rate among the top six ASEAN economies.

Key players like Mars Inc, Nestle SA, and Colgate-Palmolive Co have not only established themselves as market leaders in Singapore, but have also set high standards of excellence in pet care, providing a range of quality services and products that cater to the diverse needs of pet owners here.  Specifically, the pet food and cat litter sub-segments are shining stars.

Other key trends are shaping Singapore’s pet retail market landscape. One of the most notable is the shift towards premium pet products and services. Singaporean pet owners are increasingly looking for high-quality and organic pet food, luxury pet accessories, and personalized pet services. This growing demand for premium offerings has opened up new avenues for businesses looking to cater to the discerning tastes of pet owners. As a result, the demand for premium pet food options and advanced cat litter solutions has reached new heights, impacting not only large retail players but also smaller ones which focus on sustainably-sourced pet food, for example.

Consumer Purr-file and Growth Opportunities

Singapore’s pet owners form a diverse and dynamic group that reflects the city-state’s cosmopolitan character. Though Covid-19 lockdowns played a part in a rise in pet ownership, Rakuten Insights study showed that 70% of Singaporeans surveyed between the ages of 25-34 already had their pets before the lockdowns. Over 40% of those aged 16-24, however, got their puts during lockdown, with a growing number of millennials and young professionals welcoming pets into their homes. Many young families in their 30s and 40s also embrace pet ownership as a way to teach responsibility to their children.

Pet ownership in Singapore is not restricted to any particular income bracket. It spans a wide range, from middle-income families to high-net-worth individuals. The willingness to invest in pet care, premium products, and services is evident across income levels.  Singapore’s high average disposable income provides pet owners with greater financial freedom, enabling substantial investments in their pets. There have been cases, for example, where dog owners in Singapore have paid between US$500 – US$800 to settle the necessary paperwork and health checkups to bring their dogs along on holiday trips! This financial freedom sets Singapore apart from neighboring markets, allowing pet owners to prioritize the well-being and overall quality of life for their beloved companions. Furthermore, there is a growing community of social media influencers, both four-legged and two-legged, who have gained substantial followings on different platforms are driving the city’s passion for pets.

Technology is playing an instrumental role in the pet industry’s evolution. From pet tracking devices to smart feeding solutions, technology has made pet ownership more convenient and enjoyable. The rise of e-commerce and mobile apps has also made it easier for pet owners to access pet-related products and services, opening up opportunities for digital entrepreneurs.

The growth of local e-commerce platforms, such as Lazada and Shopee, has made it easier for pet owners to access a wide range of products and services. Mobile apps for pet care, pet-sitting services, and pet health tracking have gained popularity. This trend extends towards telehealth that offers online consultation for pets and their owners, where the number of users in Singapore increased by 8 times in a six-month period in 2021, with a current estimated market size of US$200M in Southeast Asia for pet telemedicine. Pet businesses are also adopting sustainable practices, with eco-friendly pet products and packaging becoming more prevalent. Additionally, the integration of technology, such as smart feeders and health monitoring devices, is enhancing the overall pet ownership experience.

Regulatory Environment

From a regulatory perspective, Singapore has established policies to ensure the welfare of pets and pet owners, which can have an impact on businesses in the pet industry. Singapore has strict regulations regarding pet ownership. For example, dog owners must adhere to the “Dogs (Licensing and Control) Rules,” which include mandatory microchipping, sterilization, and proper containment of pets. Understanding and staying up to date with these regulations is essential for businesses operating in the pet industry in Singapore. Non-compliance can lead to legal issues, fines, or even business closure, so it is crucial for businesses to prioritize adherence to these regulations to thrive in the market. For pet food suppliers, there is a need to keep a close eye on the labelling requirements, which includes accurate and comprehensive information about the product, such as ingredient, nutritional contents, feeding guidelines and manufacturer details. Pet food that contains meat can only be brought into Singapore from Animal and Veterinary Service approved sources and countries.

Paws-perous Outlook and Partnerships

Looking ahead, it is anticipated that Singapore’s pet business will continue to grow quickly, as pet owners prioritize the well-being and happiness of their furry family members. At the same time, the increase in adoption of sustainable practices and the integration of innovative technology in pet care will only enhance the overall pet ownership experience.

While some market players opt for partnerships with local distributors to tap into Singapore’s unique consumer base, others are venturing into the e-commerce space, offering convenience and accessibility to tech-savvy pet owners. The potential of the pet sector is also being recognized by existing retail giants such as NTUC Fairprice and Cold Storage, which are constantly increasing their product offerings and developing new channels of distribution. In this dynamic landscape, businesses aiming to succeed in the Singaporean pet industry will find value in strategic collaborations that are made with different local retailers. As this market continues to flourish, those who adapt and align with the evolving preferences of Singaporean pet owners are well-positioned to not only thrive here but also leverage Singapore’s reputation as a regional trend-setter to launch into ASEAN’s other, larger markets.

Authored by

Udai Panicker is Singapore’s Country Manager. Pei Wen Ng is a Senior Research Analyst based in Singapore.

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