Sales of dog food continued to increase in Asia Pacific in both 2020 and 2021, although growth rates did slow slightly during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Dry dog food continues to dominate sales, in a region in which a number of countries still have very low per capita consumption and prepared food sales rates, although these factors offer strong potential for industry players to try and persuade dog owners to switch from using home-made dog food or scraps to prepared products.
The dog population in Japan is in ongoing decline, while it also shrank in China during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, with much slower growth expected for China over the forecast period than in the pre-COVID-19 years. This is naturally having an impact on dog food sales, with value growth slowing slightly in the last two years, but nevertheless remaining on a firm upward trajectory.
In Japan, one of the most well-developed dog food markets in the regions, aside from therapeutic dog food catering to different health issues, there is also growing segmentation within dog food in general, with products targeting different breeds and different age groups. This helps manufacturers to manage the volume sales declines, with products targeting smaller breeds often coming in smaller pack sizes but retailing at similar prices to larger packs targeted at larger dogs. Creating a more personalised approach to dog food is also helping to add value, with Japanese dog owners keen to provide the best for their canine companions.
E-commerce recorded strong growth during the pandemic, particularly during lockdown periods, but also with consumers looking for ways of minimising their exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Internet retailing now accounts for almost two thirds of sales in China and South Korea and more than a third of sales in Asia Pacific as a whole, with companies continuing to become more digitally active.
China, the biggest market, will be driving overall regional growth, but dynamic growth will also be seen in Vietnam, Indonesia and India. Dog treats and mixers will be the most dynamic category in 2021-2026, helped by the pet humanisation trend and owners’ general desire to reward their dogs with treats, particularly if they can boast functional claims such as supporting teeth and bone health.
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