Despite contracting volume sales of pet food, pet care in Ireland is maintaining steady value growth. Consumers, especially millennials, are willing to spend more on pet care as pet humanisation and the premiumisation of products accelerate.
Human trends, such as positive nutrition, seeking natural ingredients, clean label (no artificial colourings or preservatives), free-from and paleo foods, have crossed over into pet food. Other key trends include high-protein and high-meat content, which is related to pet owners’ search for higher-quality pet food products.
Mars Foods Ireland Ltd remains the clear leading player in pet care, holding the top position in a number of categories, notably dog and cat food, cat litter and other pet food. The company continues to invest in new product development to stave off the challenge from smaller brands, which offer complete nutrition or functional pet food.
The distribution of pet care in Ireland continues to experience shifts. Pet shops, pet superstores and internet retailing are seeing the greatest gains, but the discounters channel is also becoming more important, while supermarkets and hypermarkets are losing distribution share.
The value growth of pet care in current terms is expected to be higher in the forecast period than in the review period, due to the continued premiumisation of pet care as consumers seek the best for their beloved pets. However, Brexit is a significant threat that could hinder growth, with some economists predicting that a “hard Brexit” could have an even bigger impact on Ireland than on the UK.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Pet Care market research database.