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The State of Global Pet Care: Trends and Growth Opportunities

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Euromonitor International presented “The State of Global Pet Care: Trends and Growth Opportunities” at PIJAC Canada’s National Pet Industry Trade Show in September 2017. Below are key trends and insights that were highlighted at the Show.

The global pet care market is projected to reach sales of $110 billion in 2017, which is a major milestone for the industry. The industry has also grown a healthy 3% on average over the past five years, adding $14 billion in incremental growth.

This performance highlights how pets are more important to their owners than ever, especially in developed markets, and a growing pet population in emerging markets, with increasing disposable income and more westernized lifestyles.

In 2017, Euromonitor expects a 2% growth, which is a continuation of the growth seen in 2016. The pet care industry continues with its positive growth trend as the world pet population continues to expand and the pet humanisation trend deepens.

On the global level, dog and cat treats continue to be the best performing subcategories of pet care, with cat treats even experiencing yearly double-digit growth over the past five years. Consequently, they represent an important opportunity for manufacturers. Part of their success is that treats are a way for pet owners to bond and reward their pets, something that is becoming more important for them.

In 2017, the pet food market in Canada will continue to grow more dynamically than the previous year, despite a stagnation in the pet population, and boosted by the pet humanisation trend, which increased value sales, as pet owners are willing to spend more on their pets as they consider them an important part of the family.

On the other hand, the US continues with a decline or stagnation in volume as the dog population continues to decline, while value grows. Millennials have emerged as a major driver for growth in the US, especially in dog food, as this demographic is more likely than any other to view their dog as a member of their family. Consequently, this group is trading up to foods that match their own dietary trends, including premium and less processed pet food. This change towards more premium food has increased average prices and value sales.

But where are North American pet owners shopping? The retail landscape for dog and cat food has been dominated by a single trend for more than a decade – pet specialty store have taken share from “mass retailers”, as they offer a knowledgeable staff, on-site grooming and training services.

However, in the past few years internet retailing has emerged as a serious competitor to pet speciality stores. As tech savvy millennials become more prominent as pet owners, their proclivity for shopping online has translated into ecommerce growth.

Rising Pet Population Drives Volume Growth of Pet Care

The pet humanisation trend has gone hand-in-hand with a sharp increase in the population of small dogs (those less than 9kg), in both developed and emerging markets, with celebrity culture also playing a role.

Narrowing the Gap Between Pet Food and Human Food

Consumers have become more health conscious, and the human health and wellness trends are now transferring to the dog food market more rapidly than ever. For example, demand for gluten-free packaged food has increased sales of grain-free dog food, while the popularity of paleo diets has increased demand for raw dog food.

Obese Pets Boost Demand for Therapeutic Offerings

Obesity is a growing health problem among pets, with a growing number of veterinary practices opening weight-loss clinics. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 59% of cats and 54% of dogs in the US were overweight or obese in 2016, a figure that has increased over recent years.

This is driving sales of therapeutic dog and cat food in general, and calorie-controlled offerings in particular. Sales in North America of this type of product grew by almost 20% from 2012 to 2017.

The Connected Pet

The emerging pet gadgets space is particularly dynamic. It covers everything from activity trackers to toys and feeders that can be controlled remotely via smartphone, such as PetCube.

These items appeal to affluent owners who spend considerable time away from home and want to ensure that their pets are being adequately fed and stimulated.

For the future, the industry will continue with a healthy 3% growth globally in constant terms on average up to 2022, which will add 18 billion dollars in incremental growth, and, although the US will continue to dominate the pet care market, China will grow to become the third largest pet care market in the world. For Canada, Euromonitor expects a 2.2% growth in constant value sales over the next five years, with a special positive outlook for dry dog and cat food, as well as treats, and pet dietary supplements and other pet products.

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