The pet care industry is expected to achieve good growth in 2017, with a 2% rise expected in constant 2017 value terms. Pet owners are continuing to establish strong bonds with their pets, with pets becoming companions, friends or ersatz children. This humanisation phenomenon may not be new, but it has been driving the industry. The many ways in which it has done so are continuing to change. A good example is the continuous growth of dog and cat treats – globally the categories with the highest growth. Cat treats, in particular, has seen exponential growth in most regions, albeit from a small base, making it the most dynamic category globally in 2017.
Regional performance is varied. Unsurprisingly, the more mature regions of North America and Western Europe are posting slower growth, with Asia Pacific expected to post the highest growth (7%) in constant value terms in 2017. The picture changes dramatically if variable exchange rate and current prices are taken into consideration. Individual markets such as China and India are expected to post the highest growth rates in 2017 as consumers increasingly humanise their pets and many also shift to a commercially prepared diet.
Globally, pets are increasingly becoming part of all aspects of humans’ lives, and the relationship between humans and their pets keeps evolving. The way pet owners shop for themselves is key to the choices they make for their pets. The choices they make for themselves will be mimicked when chosing their pets’ diets. Manufacturers are increasingly adding new elements, targeting the functional element of nutrition and highlighting the key benefits it can bring to pets’ health.
Consumers are also increasingly aware and reminded of the importance of looking after their own health. Pet owners are also keeping better track of their pets’ health, constantly monitoring their activity levels - the rise of pet activity trackers, as well as gadgets that allow owners to interact with their pets even when not at home is testament to this.