As in dog food, the premiumisation trend is driving growth in cat food. While premium cat food accounted for the highest share of retail value sales, the segment continued to register the fastest growth in 2019.
Trends from dog food are being transferred into cat food, with growing interest in products that are positioned as grain-free, locally sourced, high in protein and/or containing natural ingredients. These niches are more limited in cat food than in dog food, where grain-free and raw food have gradually gained significant sales.
Convenience remains a stronger trend within cat food than in dog food, with a higher share of sales being generated through modern grocery retailers as a result. Cats are more likely to be owned by busy consumers who appreciate the ease of buying cat food alongside regular grocery shops.
The two pet food giants Nestlé and Mars continue to lead sales of cat food due to their dominant position within the grocery retailers channel, which accounts for the majority of cat food sales. Nestlé has maintained its leadership by shifting to premium products, such as Purina ONE and Purina Gourmet, and engaging in frequent new flavour launches.
Home and garden specialist retailers is an important channel for cat food, with retailer Felleskjøpet benefiting from its strength in this channel and expanding its range of private label towards the end of the review period. Felleskjøpet’s position is stronger in dog food, which it led in 2018, but its mid-priced Matmons brand was ranked 9th in cat food.
Private label continues to perform poorly in cat food due to the strong premiumisation trend, with its overall share consistently declining in the review period. Cat owners are increasingly emphasising taste and high-quality ingredients.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Pet Care market research database.