The overall cat population is expected to continue increasing and to fuel growth in cat food volume sales in 2021, despite a slowdown compared to 2020, which saw strong growth driven by a rise in cat adoptions. Volume sales in 2020 were also driven by consumers stockpiling in the first half of the year, leading to a short-lived boom in sales of multipacks and large pack sizes.
The growing popularity of healthier cat food has fuelled a rise in demand for more natural ingredients, including organic products, with pet specialist retailers focusing on their organic private label ranges, including Fressnapf with BioPlan and Zooplus with Zooplus Bio. Cat owners are also increasingly seeking products catering for special dietary needs, leading to the strong performance of grain-free variants.
Private label saw a slight increase in its share cat food in 2020. However, the overall performance of private label hides major discrepancies, with the ranges from specialist pet retailers including Fressnapf and Zooplus gaining share, as distribution through pet specialists increased and cat owners often opted for more premium private label ranges, while the private label from grocery retailers such as Aldi and Rewe saw declining shares.
In contrast to the decline seen in 2017-2019, cat food volume sales are expected to grow slightly between 2021 and 2026, boosted by the expected continued rise in the cat population, helped by the trend towards working in a home office. However, the ongoing trend towards smaller pack sizes may constrain volume growth prospects, while fuelling an increase in value sales through higher unit prices.
Products targeting special age and pet health conditions, especially allergies, are expected to continue gaining in popularity within premium cat food, with pet specialist stores offering a widening assortment of products targeting specific health needs and addressing allergies, notably through grain-free variants. The spring 2021 launch of the new Pro Plan LiveClear range by Nestlé Purina, catering for cat owners’ allergies to cat hair, also highlights a potential new dimension for cat food hypo-allergenic products, by also focusing on pet owners’ specific health concerns.
As the sustainability credential of cat food brands is increasingly seen as a key purchasing factor by cat owners, manufacturers are expected to focus on more sustainable sourcing and production, for example by offering sustainable packaging materials and ingredients sourcing. Terra Canis is seeking to increase the presence of its premium Terra Felis brand, which has placed sustainability at the core of its strategy, notably through its packaging and its production.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Cat Food industry in Germany with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Cat Food research and analysis database.
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