From Sustainability to Purpose: Mapping the Opportunity in Pet Care

January 2021

Sustainability represents a major new growth frontier in pet care. This report explores the primary challenges and drivers that are underlying this global trend. It then develops a proprietary Pet Care Sustainability Index that uses three different indicator types to help measure market potential and identify “where to play”. It concludes by profiling a series of disruptive brands that are innovating around sustainability and uses these case studies to develop a “how to win” playbook.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Sustainability trends are a new frontier in the industry

Sustainability represents a major new growth frontier in pet care. Whilst dietary and clean label claims still dominate the market, sustainable claims are growing as pet owners – who are more likely to buy sustainably made products than non-owners – look to make a difference in the face of climate change.

Sustainability in pet care is defined by two challenges

Two key trends in pet care – packaging and proteins – make sustainability a major challenge. Pet humanisation trends are creating demand for smaller sizes of hard-to-recycle plastic packaging, whilst the growth of meat-rich, “ancestral diet” pet food formulations has significantly increased the carbon footprint of the industry.

Broad pet owner interest highlights untapped potential

The current market for sustainable pet products is dominated by small premium brands. Pet owner surveys, however, highlight an interest that spans both income levels and generations. As such, the industry’s biggest players are making massive investments in sustainability that can appeal to an untapped audience.

Western Europe is the leading frontier, with white spaces for growth in emerging markets

Euromonitor International’s Pet Care Sustainability Index uses three indicator types to measure market potential. Western Europe scores as the leading frontier, followed by North America and Australasia. There are white spaces in emerging markets, as demand for green products outpaces product availability.

Diverse approaches and purpose-driven brands are important

Pet care brands are using a wide range of innovative approaches to achieve more sustainable outcomes; however, pet owners are becoming increasingly cognisant of potential “greenwashing” actions and are instead looking for purpose-driven brands that embody sustainability in all their objectives.


Key findings
Sustainability offers significant opportunities within pet care
Trends in tension: Sustainable living and ancestral pet diets
Trends in tension: sustainable packaging and pet humanisation
Trends in tension: sustainable packaging and pet humanisation (cont.)
Coronavirus (COVID-19): From sustainability to purpose
Measuring sustainability in pet care: Data types and market coverage
The state of product claims in pet care: How does sustainability stack up?
The market landscape for sustainability claims
The competitive landscape for sustainable pet food
Who is driving the push for sustainability?
Methodology: a three-pronged approach to market measurement
Pet food product claims: tracking digital share-of-shelf
Pet owners: reported green behaviour and trust in labels
The “green macroenvironment”: Euromonitor’s sustainability index
Where to play: Scoring markets for opportunities in sustainable pet care
Where to play: mapping the opportunity in pet care sustainability
White spaces: high-potential markets with low penetration rates
Leading players: Nestlé Purina Petcare Co
Leading players: Mars Petcare Inc
Disruptors in sustainability: Packaging
Disruptors in sustainability: Ingredients
Disruptors in sustainability: becoming a purpose-driven brand
Disruptors in sustainability: becoming a purpose-driven brand
Disruptors in sustainability: becoming a purpose-driven brand
Conclusion: opportunities and challenges in sustainable pet care
Pet Care Sustainability Index: methodology notes
Pet Care Sustainability Index: lifestyles survey questions
Pet Care Sustainability Index: standardising scores
About Via Online Tracking from Euromonitor International
Overview of Lifestyles Survey

Pet Care

This is the aggregation of pet food and pet products.

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