Consumer-Driven Trends Influencing the Future of the Pet Food Industry
Gone are the days when normal kibble and biscuits were good enough for your beloved pets. Your dog is more than just a pet – they’re family. Today, consumers have high expectations for quality, transparency, and healthfulness when it comes to the food they purchase for their family (yes, that includes their furry friends too). According to the American Pet Products Association, $72.56 billion was spent on the pet industry in 2018, with 42% of the total spent on pet food alone.
This year, online spending estimates on pet care will surpass online groceries with pet care accounting for $1 out of every $10, while online groceries will only account for $0.40 out of every $10. Looking ahead, pet food market share growth is predicted to continue trending upward. This increase in market share can be attributed to several drivers including the belief that pets are a part of the family, the human focus on wellness impacting pet wellness, and the digital innovations changing how pet care is monitored.
We believe there are key trends shaping the growing pet food industry.
Humanization of Pets
No longer are pets predominately residing in backyards; they rest on couches with their owners. 95% of pet owners believe their pet is part of their family. As a result, owners spend and splurge on their pets as if they were human beings. Millennials, who are the majority of pet owners today, claim they own a pet as “practice” before starting a family. Pet food manufacturers realized the benefit of redesigning their packaging, labeling, and product descriptions to mirror the humanizing appeal that pet owners want. Bags of pet food now feature realistic pets and appetizing food flavors such as Blue Buffalo’s Pumpkin and Cinnamon Dog Treats. Appealing to human consumer preferences is a targeted way to ensure the sales of pet food products as well.