Coronavirus (COVID-19) resulted in improved performances for dog food in many of the region’s countries, with consumers spending a lot more time at home with their pets than usual. The forecast period is expected to see generally higher annual growth rates than in 2016-2021, with higher spending on their pets having become engrained in many owners’ routines, as well as a general move to more expensive products such as treats or premium dry and wet food.
Dog food sales were increasing in Latin America in the pre-pandemic period, driven by growth in Brazil, with Chile, Mexico and Peru also adding new sales. The scenario in Argentina was different, with sales declining here as consumers’ disposable incomes came under pressure due to an ongoing recession.
Most markets in the region, including Brazil, the biggest, saw improved year-on-year performances in 2020, when COVID-19 hit the region. Although the measures taken to control the spread of the virus created a worrying financial situation for many consumers, home seclusion was a key driver behind a rise in pet adoptions and the humanisation trend in Brazil, for example, as owners had more time and closer contact with their pets at home. Spending a considerable amount of time with their pets was stimulating an increase in demand for dog treats, for example.
The sales share held by the e-commerce channel recorded strong growth during the pandemic, with consumers looking for ways of minimising their potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus, and also appreciating the ease and convenience of online shopping. However, given most of the main dog food distribution channels were able to remain open throughout the pandemic, store-based retailing has continued to dominate sales in Latin America.
Dog food is expected to record healthy annual value growth rates over the forecast period. Trends such as pet humanisation, increasing segmentation of the offer and rising health awareness will help drive growth, as will the fact that many owners were spending more time with their pets during home seclusion due to the pandemic, adopting the habit of, where possible, spending more on their canine family members during this period.
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