Improved performance projected for Canadian pet care market in 2014
Growth in total pet care current value sales in Canada in 2014 is expected to top that recorded in 2013, and also surpass the review period CAGR. Aside from modest growth in the local pet population, this improvement will be underpinned by rising demand for higher quality and more expensive products, particularly premium pet food products that offer advanced health and wellness benefits, fresh or natural ingredients etc. Such products have become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to the pet humanisation trend, improvements in distribution via mainstream retail channels and better education among owners about the specific dietary needs of different types of pets, different breeds and animals at different life stages.
Specialist pet care products move into mainstream retail channels
Distribution of more sophisticated and specialist pet care products in Canada has historically been concentrated in specialist channels such as pet shops, pet superstores and veterinary clinics. During the review period, however, a number of manufacturers successfully ventured into mainstream retail channels with such products. One of the most recent examples is Freshpet, a manufacturer of fresh/chilled dog and cat food. In late 2013 and early 2014, the company expanded beyond specialist channels and began distributing its products via mainstream retailers, including major grocery retailers chains like Walmart and Loblaws. The move has reportedly been a success, with company’s high quality but competitively priced products being well received by shoppers in mainstream channels.
Leading manufacturers face growing competition from smaller and niche players
While major multinationals such as Nestlé Purina PetCare Co and Mars Canada Inc continue to dominate pet care in Canada, a number of smaller companies have been gaining ground in the market in recent years. One of the strongest performers in this regard is domestic manufacturer Champion Petfoods LP, which made consistent value share gains in dog and cat food during the review period to claim fifth place in the category in 2013. One of the main factors behind this company’s progress has been its success in answering growing consumer demands for higher quality but competitively priced dog and cat food products made from natural, locally sourced ingredients. Over 2012-2013, its performance was further bolstered by its entry into dog and cat treats, which are among the categories that are benefiting most from the pet humanisation trend.
Grocery retailers strengthen their lead in pet care distribution
Grocery retailers continued to account for the largest share of total pet care current value sales in early 2014 thanks to their competitive prices and the general preference for the convenience of one-stop shopping among Canadians. These factors supported steady gains in the market value share held by grocery retailers channels over 2009-2013, as did the expansion of pet care assortments by major chains like Walmart and Loblaws. Such chains not only broadened their assortments of private label products and mass market brands, but also began carrying more sophisticated options that were previously only available in specialist channels, including Freshpet’s line of fresh/chilled dog and cat food. Specialist retailers still play a central role in distribution thanks to their ability to offer expert pet care advice and value added services, though recent economic uncertainty has seen their higher price positioning become more of a disadvantage when competing with mainstream grocery retailers.
Pet humanisation trend will continue to lift market performance
Pet care in Canada will continue to develop positively over the forecast period, with growth in total market value sales at constant 2014 prices expected to surpass that recorded during the review period. A similar improvement is projected with regard to growth in total pet food volume sales. The performance of the entire market will be lifted by the pet humanisation trend, whereby owners are increasingly inclined to treat pets like family members and purchase higher quality and more expensive products that can improve their health, happiness and general wellbeing. Manufacturers and retailers will work to capitalise on this trend by broadening their assortments of value added and premium products, especially pet food products made from natural ingredients. At the same time, companies will step up investment in the development and promotion of non-food products, most notably pet healthcare products and dietary supplements but also discretionary items of the kind found in the other pet products category (pet toys, accessories etc).
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The Pet Care in Canada market research report includes:
- Analysis of key supply-side and demand trends
- Detailed segmentation of international and local products
- Historic volumes and values, company and brand market shares
- Five year forecasts of market trends and market growth
- Robust and transparent market research methodology, conducted in-country
Our market research reports answer questions such as:
- What is the market size of Pet Care in Canada?
- What are the major brands in Canada?
- How did the downturn affect pet care spending?
- Which is the best-performing category within pet care?
- Which is the fastest-growing pet food manufacturer?
- How have pet specialists fared in recent years?
- What are growth prospects for pet care in the next 5 years?
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Pet Care market research database.