Pet brands, retailers, service providers, distributors and investors alike turn to L.E.K. global team of experts for help navigating the pet industry. Positive macro trends are fueling continued spending growth in pet food, products and services. As in many other consumer segments, participants in the pet industry must carefully hone their brand propositions and architect go-to-market strategies that take into account evolving consumer needs, a shifting channel landscape and innovative competitors.

We are a leading advisor to the pet industry, and our extensive experience spans many areas, including pet parent segmentation and insights, channel and distribution strategy, new concept development, services and cross-channel strategy, growth strategy, and M&A support. Our work has covered all major product categories, from pet food and supplies to services to veterinary products, and we have worked throughout the value chain. 

Key questions and challenges

Our experienced professionals have a deep understanding of the internal factors and external market forces participants must contend with in developing winning strategies in the pet sector. We believe management teams need to be asking themselves a number of key questions as they seek to ensure they are well-positioned to thrive in the future:

  • Which segments of pet parents does our brand resonate most with today? Which segments are most attractive and/or present the most viable growth opportunities in the future?
  • Which pet purchase occasions are we serving today? Where are we under-penetrated, or most at risk from major disruptors such as Amazon and Chewy?
  • How can we tap into the emotional and experiential needs of consumers, which can be key drivers of wallet share growth and increased loyalty among pet parents?
  • Is our business taking advantage of premiumization trends that are occurring across the sector? To what extent are we tapping in to consumer demand for innovative products and better foods (e.g., organic, natural, grain-free, high-protein)?
  • How can we protect margins in light of both increasing pricing transparency across channels and share gains by aggressive online-only players?
  • What is the optimal role of ecommerce for our brand? What ecommerce and omnichannel strategies make the most sense in the near versus the longer term?
  • Are we benefiting or hurting from private-label products? How can we make this a value-creator for our business?
  • For retailers, how can services and value-added experiences enhance our value proposition and support store traffic and consumer engagement? Which make the most strategic sense?
  • How will new business models affect our business?

Examples of our work

To learn more about how we help clients create value in the pet sector, please refer to these additional insights and case examples:

  • A major pet food manufacturer wanted to grow its flagship brand’s sales within a leading national warehouse club chain. Facing a number of challenges given the channel’s historically limited assortment and a large private-label focus, L.E.K. assisted the client in developing a plan to significantly and profitably grow the business and identified tactics that could be extended to other brands in its portfolio. As a result of the strategy, this brand quickly became a top growth account for our client.
  • A private equity investor was considering a synergistic investment in both a private label/co-packer of wet and dry dog and cat food and a private label and branded dog treat manufacturer. L.E.K. performed a thorough review of market size and growth, channel dynamics, and competitive and brand position, and assessed the potential for revenue synergies between the two companies. The private equity client acquired the target companies and pursued the synergy opportunities we identified.
  • A major U.S. pet specialty retailer was looking for ways to capture incremental growth opportunity in urban and suburban markets. L.E.K. helped the client identify, assess, and prioritize a variety of potential smaller store format concepts. We further assisted in building the business case and defining the strategic tenets of the new concept design. The concept has been successfully rolled out, and has enabled our client to capture an incremental purchase occasion as well as grow its overall share of wallet with existing customers.
  • L.E.K. helped a pet specialty retailer dramatically enhance its in-store services strategy. We conducted a rigorous assessment of the current offer, logistics, value proposition and economics, and evaluated a holistic set of other potential service offerings and best-practice strategies. We worked with the client to synthesize a comprehensive services strategy and build an activation plan for reconfiguring the offer and acquiring the capabilities to execute and roll out across the chain.
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