Growth is expected to continue.

(Press Release) ROCKVILLE, MD — The U.S. market for pet reptile products is seeing growth slow but steady growth, according to a new report from market research firm Packaged Facts.

It's increasing at a pace equal to or greater than the markets for other small pets, such as fish, rabbits, hamsters and birds. It had sales of $383 million in 2016, up 2 percent from the previous year, according to the report, called "Reptile Products: U.S. Pet Market Trends and Opportunities."

"Growth in the mass merchandiser and internet channels has helped improve overall sales, as have stronger sales in the food segment," said David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts. "Interestingly, we also see the pet parenting trend extending beyond furry companions to include reptiles. Reptile owners give their pets just as much love as dog and cat owners give theirs. What do these reptile owners want? The same things other pet owners want, namely safe and convenient items that make their pets easier to feed and care for."

With online sales markedly improving and pet specialty sales remaining stable, Packaged Facts forecasts the reptile products market will continue to grow at a steady rate looking ahead to 2021. Likewise, the strength of the market's top two segments — food and treats, and enclosure heating and lighting — are expected to sustain sales growth for reptile products.

Packaged Facts found marketer activity involving food and treats to be particularly intriguing due to the rising trend of specialized diets catering to specific species and specific lifestyle stages. While species-specific food has always been more common for reptile pets, more marketers are specifically calling out species in packaging to underscore this fact. And marketers are using packaging to differentiate which food products are appropriate for the specific lifestyle stages of different reptiles and amphibians.

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