SEOUL, Feb.11 (Korea Bizwire) – With the number of Korean pet-owners now exceeding 10 million, various businesses catering to the needs of pets are appearing.
The size of the pet industry was estimated to reach 1.8 trillion won last year. Despite the sluggish economy, ‘petfams’ (a term created by putting together ‘pet’ and ‘family’) are opening their wallets just for their pets.
According to the online shopping site Auction, the number of members who subscribed to ‘Pet+’, the company’s mobile pet membership service launched in September 2015, reached 35,000 people after only five months.
Pet+ provides a service that offers product suggestions for members’ pets. One member can register up to five pets. Features that help users search for the lowest price of a brand or product are available, and free samples and coupons are provided.
The products most commonly searched for by the members of Pet+ are everyday items for pets such as food, litter, clothing and toys. Premium down jackets to block the cold weather are also popular. Traditional Korean attire known as Hanbok has also been popular recently, due to the Lunar New Year, as there is a tradition of buying new clothing for family members before the holiday.
Fashion brand Hazzys is presenting Hazzy Doggie, a fashion line for dogs, and food and beverage business Dongwon is promoting its pet food in various ways.
Online shopping site Interpark is running an online drug store for pets. Sales of products related to pet health care, such as nutritional supplements, showed a growth rate of 364 percent in products for dogs, and 86 percent in products for cats.
Previously, products that boost the health of fur, bones and eyes of pets were popular. However, the recent trend shows that products are more specific in their function. Products that lower the stress levels of pets, non-antibiotic eye drops, and lactic supplements are popular among petfams.
As more and more people are perceiving their pets as family members, businesses that provide services that cater to the clothing, eating and living of pets are developing.
Premium foods such as organic foods for pets as well as pet hotels, spas, and beauty salons are growing in the industry. Also, pet funeral services have appeared.
Officials at Interpark comment that the increase in the number of single person households and an aging society have led to an increased number of pet owners. “As the population of pet owners reached 10 million, the pet industry is also evolving to provide more specified, premium services. We expect that the market will grow to six trillion won by 2020.”
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)