Finland is experiencing a “puppy boom”, with the Finnish Kennel Club registering more than 8% more puppies in 2020 than in the year before. However, due to demand being higher than supply at points, many potential puppy owners were unable to fulfil their wish in 2020, thus the boom is continuing in 2021.
There is a strong pet humanisation trend, which has been accelerated by the event of COVID-19 with people at home more often, for example adults working from home and children home from school for a period of time. This has resulted in stronger bonding between dog owners and their pets, stimulating pet pampering and premiumisation, which are trends expected to last long-term as owners continue to provide the best for their animals.
Mars Finland Oy maintained its lead in dog food in 2020, thanks to the success of its global Pedigree brand. The top player is followed by Suomen Nestlé Oy with Friskies, and Royal Canin Finland Oy’s Royal Canin (which is also owned by Mars Inc globally, as is Mars Finland), and Berner Oy’s Hill's Science Plan (whilst Berner is domestic, the company is owner globally by Colgate-Palmolive Co).
The key trends of premiumisation, pet humanisation and pampering will continue over the forecast period. Wet food is expected to remain more popular than dry food in the short-term forecast period, before the sub-categories even out and dry dog food takes a small lead in value terms.
Private labels are often associated with low prices and, thus, lower quality. This does not fit the premiumisation trend, therefore private label players have been focusing on launching higher-end lines.
While the dog population grows, growth in dog food comes from the increased spend per pet due to the ongoing premiumisation trend. It is therefore important for companies to utilise the 2020-2021 puppy boom and win loyal customers for the lifetimes of their dogs (ten plus years).
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This report originates from Passport, our Dog Food research and analysis database.
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