The growth of dog food in 2019 continued to be supported by rising demand for more natural ingredients and foods which are high in protein, with this being seen across both wet and dry dog food, as well as dog treats and mixers. Dog owners are not only focusing on the functionality of dog food but are also seeking more natural and premium products, for example which are grain-free, free from GMOs, contain no allergens, are fortified and have a high meat content, with sustainability also being seen as important.
Although dry dog food continued to account for the majority of dog food value sales, dog treats remained by far the best performing category in 2019. Sales continue to be driven by innovation, with manufacturers focusing on offering products containing both natural and functional ingredients that improve dogs’ oral hygiene.
Demographic trends are playing an important role in packaging development. With the country’s ageing population and urbanisation favouring ownership of smaller dogs, a wider offer of smaller pack sizes is evident.
Nestlé Purina PetCare remained the leading player in dog food in 2018, followed by Mars. The positions of these two multinationals can be largely attributed to ongoing heavy investment in new product development.
Smaller local companies in Italy are also seeking to tap into rising consumer demand for more natural and organic dog food. Companies such as Agras Delic, Happy Dog, Monge, Farmina and Almo Nature are taking advantage of consumers’ desire for more personalised products, tailored to their dog’s breed or life stage.
Private label players in both grocery retailing and chained pet shops and superstores are increasingly expanding their dog food selections as they are seeking to offer local consumers decent alternatives to branded products, but at more competitive prices.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Pet Care market research database.