Speaking to NutraIngredients-USA, Bookout said: “We thought we’d see a spike for demand in March and we did, but we didn’t really know what was driving that. Was that real demand or was that panic buying? The market flattened in April but then it came back up in May.
“I think the unanticipated consequence – in a positive direction for supplements on the animal side – the situation seems to have caused the market to increase and expand, and it appears that it is sustainable.
Bookout added that NASC expected the increase in demand would drop back at some point, but that has not happened.
“So why is that? I think that people are spending more time at home, they’re spending more time with their animals, they’re attuned more closely to their health and their behavior, and at the end of the day people think of companion animals as extended family members so they want to do the best for them as they do for themselves.”
Immune health surge for pet supplements, too
While demand for immune support products surged on the human supplement side in 2020 for obvious reasons, perhaps surprisingly, similar spikes in demand were also seen on the pet supplements side.
“The pet industry is a fast-follow industry. The trends that you see on the human side will rapidly transition into the animal side as well,” said Bookout.
“I think perception is reality,” he added. “We’re just more in tune with ‘immune health is important for us’, whether it’s COVID or any other declining process that affects a human or animal with age, and we just want to do the same thing for our pets as we do for ourselves.”
Bookout also discussed the changing retail landscape, concerns around supply of inputs such as packaging and ingredients, and why he expects more companies to enter the pet supplements market.
Watch the video for the full interview.