Animal Health Industry – The Challenges and Opportunities
The animal health industry has seen great change within the past decades as it transitions from traditional treatment of animals with classical medicines to one of animal prevention, welfare, and maintenance. The two dividing segments of this market are the production animals and companion animals, with an emerging industry of aquaculture making a recent splash into space.
As animal health outgrows its old definition, new labels start evolving to encompass the mounting market including products like animal wearables, nutraceuticals for livestock, diagnostics, and pet insurance. ‘Animal Care’ is trending to be the new definition of animal health, and together, is estimated to be worth $60 billion with a projected growth rate of 7%.
The Challenges and Opportunities
There are several obstacles that the animal health industry is currently facing with some of the world’s heaviest questions resting on its shoulders. Issues like the rising demand of animal protein, feeding 9.7 billion by 2050, creating a sustainable system for food production, consumer’s demand for transparency, maintaining animal welfare, and all these problems to be solved at a low cost.
On the companion animal side of things, the ‘humanization of pets’ along with the ‘the internet of things’ has pushed veterinarians to become innovators by offering services to companion animals which mirror that of human medicine as well as switching the model of a traditional practice, to one that offers modern technology, amenities, medicine, and information. Because of these evolutions and the advancement of technology, this market is ripe for innovations on both the production and companion animal sides of the table.
Innovations in Animal Health
If one was to go back in time 10 years ago, they would be hard-pressed to find many startups specializing in animal health technologies. With the shifting needs of the industry, there are now forum and competitions all over the globe specifically for innovations in animal health.
The Kansas City Animal Health Corridor and Kisaco Research put on forums every year to give entrepreneurs a platform to pitch. New initiatives and resources are popping up all the time for animal health startups such as the Digital Animal Summit, Stonehaven Consulting launching their Start-Up Desk, or Zoetis collaborating with the Veterinary Health Innovation Engine. Finding funding for these startups is also becoming more accessible as angel funds such as Innovation in Motion out of Kansas City, and VC funds such as CAH Capital, Fulcrum Capital, or Mars Petcare’s $100 million venture fund offer millions of dollars of capital to innovative entrepreneurs.
Going from an academic to an entrepreneur, to now a consultant, I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Animal health has evolved so dramatically in the past 10 years, it is thrilling to think of where we could be in the next 10 years. With projections of this industry outperforming the NASDAQ, it is clear to see why animal health is a hotbed for opportunities. I look forward to contributing my expertise and supporting the emergence of this growing market to not only feed humans more efficiently but also to create the best life possible for our pets.
Amanda Curtis Burkardt
Founder and CEO