Healthy Pets, Happy Owners: Health and Wellness Product Development in Pet Care

April 2017

Mimicking trends in the (human) fmcg market, health and wellness has become perhaps the main driver of innovation in pet care. Dog and cat food brands now promise to aid weight management, slow cognitive decline in ageing pets or ape such human dietary trends as paleo and grain- and gluten-free. In pet products, natural ingredients and wellbeing have come to the fore, while electronic gadgets are enabling owners to monitor the activity levels of pets and even play with them remotely.

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Fur babies

Owners are increasingly unwilling to compromise on the quality of food they feed their pets. In this context, the pet food market is increasingly coming to resemble the baby food market, particularly in North America.

The evolution of protein

The types of protein used in dog and cat food are likely to become more diverse. Protein-rich alternatives to meat, such as insects and algae, are likely to slowly but steadily percolate into the mainstream market.

Online disruption

The growth of internet retailing has made it easier for pet food start-ups to leapfrog bricks-and-mortar retailers and reach consumers directly, challenging the dominance of incumbents and accelerating the pace of innovation in health and wellness.

Older pets, fatter pets

Lengthening life expectancy for dogs and cats and the increased prevalence of overweight and obese pets are major drivers of demand for health and wellness pet food and pet care products.

The connected pet

With such gadgets as activity trackers and wearables (for humans) going mainstream in the consumer electronics market, similar devices are becoming part of the day-to-day lives of a growing number of pets.

The accelerating pace of humanisation

Until fairly recently, it would take years for an innovation in the fmcg market to make the leap into pet food, but increasingly this transition can be measured in months.

The virtue of simplicity

Many increasingly equate simplicity with naturalness, so shorter ingredient lists are becoming synonymous with quality in the minds of some consumers.




Key findings
Health and wellness increasingly popular in pet food


Mattress maker jumps the species barrier
Big Brother is watching (and playing) with you
Keep calm and carry on
Ageing pets provide new opportunities
The quantified pet
Podgy pets help Colgate-Palmolive halt slide in market share
Internet retailing creates a niche for smaller brands
Mars targets rivals on price in UK therapeutic dog and cat food
Blue Buffalo takes an atypical approach to the therapeutic segment
Dutch rabbit food market does not appear ripe for premiumisation

Naturally Healthy

US consumers increasingly interested in all-natural cat litter
Dog food finds a niche in Slovakia by stressing “digestibility”
Belgian retailers bet on feline love of olives
Real fruit for dogs and cats
Chilled pet food brand seeks to jump the pond
Organic pet food a bridge too far for most Greek consumers
Grain-free dog food targets booming Bulgarian market
Limited distribution hampers Russian “human grade” offering
Less is more for Nestlé?
Can a premium dog shampoo cut it in private label-loving Austria?
Can a natural anti-flea spray handle the Mediterranean climate?
Keep calm and carry on wiping


Pet food and skin care with a human angle in South Korea
Bone broth for joint health
Can the subscription model work in pet food?
Mars targets Japan’s growing population of senior cats

Local Ethical and Sustainable

High standards come with a high price tag
Marketing a country, not just a pet food
Are US consumers ready for insects in their pet treats?


Pet care growth set to maintain momentum
Internet opens wide vistas for niche health and wellness brands
Owners will seek to alleviate pet obesity in greater numbers
Alternative protein sources set to proliferate


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