Catering to Man’s Best Friend is a multi-billion dollar business
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Catering to Man’s Best Friend is a multi-billion dollar business

A year ago, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that American birth rates had hit an all-time low. Commentators blamed it on the Millennial generation, which has proven to be lackluster compared to its parents when it comes to procreation. The U.S. is not an exception – the same story is playing out all across the developed world. However, while Millennials might not be having as many children, their affection is not going unused: the generation has embraced animal companions like no other before them.

Idexx Laboratories, a market leader in providing for our furry friends, has seen its share price appreciate by 39% so far this year

graph 0207 catering

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Americans spent an enormous $44 billion on pet food, supplies, and toys in 2016. And that figure is rising. In the same year, an incredible $400 million went towards outfitting pets with Halloween costumes. The following year, $593 million was spent on Valentine’s Day gifts for them. But surely, you say, how many people are buying Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets!? The answer may surprise you: a full 20% of all American consumers.

Britain’s pet spending shows it’s not just an American phenomenon

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Source: Statistica

A key focus for Idexx is the provision of diagnostic tools to make sure that Millennial “fur babies” (as a number of people are disturbingly referring to their pets) stay healthy. The industry is booming, and there’s plenty of room for growth. In the company’s last earnings call, CEO Jonathan Ayers described what was driving that growth:

“We still are discovering innovations to advance the customer's journey to believe in all areas, whether they are the importance of a fresh urinalysis to preventative care. It's amazing the amount of hidden disease.”

“We've done a study for wellness really well, absolutely nothing wrong, by the way nothing wrong to the pet owner, nothing wrong to the veterinarian upon the exam, and yet one in eight dogs and cats in the adult age, one in six in senior and two in five in the geriatric category have evidence of underlying disease when you run the basic chemistry, hematology and SDMA. I mean these are extraordinary numbers. And we're bringing these numbers to the field.”


Dominion holds Idexx Laboratories in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.

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