The overall population of other pets is expected to continue to fall in Ireland. Pet owners increasingly view pets as family members, which favours dogs and cats over, for instance, small mammals.
Among other pets, reptiles are the most profitable, with exotic animals becoming increasingly popular. Knowledge about keeping reptiles, snakes in particular, has increased, and although these pets are still niche, there are now many more vets trained to look after exotic pets and people are learning more about them through social media.
Increasing urbanisation in Ireland is reducing the sizes of living spaces. As people still wish to keep pets, small mammals such as rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters are becoming increasingly popular.
Mars Foods Ireland continued to lead other pet food in 2018 thanks to well-established brands such as Aquarian and Trill in fish food and bird food, respectively. Tesco private label is also significant thanks to its strength in small mammal/reptile food.
Burgess, which is owned by a British family, is an important brand in other pet food in Ireland, particularly its rabbit food varieties. They are high in fibre and fortified with vitamins and minerals to assist in rabbits’ eye health and coat/skin health.
As the popularity of other pets declines, the leading distribution channel supermarkets will likely offer fewer products, instead increasing its focus on dogs and cats, with pet shops and pet superstores becoming more important channels. Pet superstores will have an opportunity to provide a wider range of products, while independent pet retailers will most likely offer more niche products.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Pet Care market research database.