Hong Kong pet owners among top spenders in Asia-Pacific

Photo courtesy of China Morning Post

The pet industry in Hong Kong is witnessing steady growth, with pet owners investing nearly HK$700,000 (3.2 million baht) on average in their pets’ lifetimes. This positions them as one of the top spenders in the Asia-Pacific region’s pet care sector.

According to a survey conducted by OneDegree, a pet insurance company, 526 pet owners in Hong Kong were found to spend an average of HK$680,000 on the upbringing of their pets. The survey, published on Tuesday, March 12, revealed that the major spending categories included pet food and snacks (19.4%), veterinary visits and medication (17.2%), and health check-ups and dental care (9.8%).

Emily Chow, Deputy CEO of OneDegree, noted that pet owners no longer adopt an indifferent or lenient approach towards their pets. They place a high value on daily care, diet, and the overall health and wellbeing of their pets.

The popularity of pet ownership in Hong Kong has surged over the last five years. The number of domestic pets like cats, dogs, birds, and others has risen by 50,000, reaching a total of 1.19 million between 2018 and 2023, as per Statista. The pet industry’s sales have also grown by 50% over these five years, amounting to US$1.2 billion (42.8 billion baht) last year, according to Euromonitor data.

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Key factors like an ageing population, social isolation due to Covid-19, and the high costs of child-rearing have been identified as driving forces behind the growth of Hong Kong’s pet industry. These factors were highlighted in separate reports by the German Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and OneDegree.

Chow mentioned that pet owners nowadays not only seek veterinary care when their pets fall ill, but they also schedule regular check-ups and enrol their pets in insurance plans. However, despite the considerable investment in pet care, the pet insurance industry in Hong Kong is still relatively immature, with an estimated use rate of only about 5%.

The OneDegree report indicates that 16% of the surveyed pet owners were unaware of pet insurance. Among those who were aware, less than half had enrolled their pets in an insurance plan. Chow attributed this low uptake of pet insurance to a lack of education over the past decades and an insufficient understanding of veterinary expenses among pet owners.

Mainland China

Mainland China’s pet industry is also experiencing growth, albeit at a slower pace in recent years, partly due to Covid-19 and its impact on disposable household incomes. The average annual expenditure on dogs and cats by mainland pet owners was 2,875 yuan (14,000 baht) and 1,870 yuan respectively.

Although this marked a slight decrease compared to 2022, the total sales for the market were recorded at US$13.6 billion, approximately a 100% increase from 2018, reported Bangkok Post.

In mainland China, pet food accounted for the majority of pet care spending (52.3%), while medical products and services, including medication, physical examinations, and vaccines, made up 28.5%. The mainland pet economy is projected to reach 81.1 billion yuan in sales next year, as estimated by iiMedia Research.

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Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

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