South Korea’s growing pet population continued to underpin rising sales in all important pet care categories in 2019, with dog and cat food seeing particularly strong growth. In addition to growing numbers of pets to feed and provide for, secondary consumer trends such as pet humanisation and premiumisation are also spurring value growth across the board, including in the case of dog and cat treats.
Economy cat food accounts for a surprisingly high proportion of overall cat food sales in South Korea; a major reason for this is that there are many people who are in the habit of feeding the colonies of stray and feral cats that are a common feature of life in urban areas throughout the country. The stereotypical street cat feeder is a middle-aged or elderly woman who has taken pity on the cats that survive in the streets around her home, with this activity far more common in winter, when cats require more energy to withstand cold temperatures and are less likely to be able to find other sources of food.
In South Korea, sales of pet care remain far more fragmented than in most developed countries, with no company able to generate a value share in excess of 10% in 2018. One reason for this is that, in addition to the presence of strong global leaders such as Royal Canin, Mars Inc, Nestlé Purina and Hill’s Pet Nutrition, there are numerous robust and dynamic local players that have been able to take advantage of their local knowledge, short supply chains and close relationships with key retailers to present strong challenges to the global leaders.
South Korean consumers are among the heaviest users of internet retailing in the world, and there is no exception to this general rule when it comes to pet care. Indeed, many pet care items, including pet food, cat litter and bedding materials for small mammals, are bulky and/or heavy items, and this makes them ideal online purchases as the option for home delivery solves numerous inherent problems relating to transportation and represents supreme convenience for busy urban dwellers.
The forecast period is expected to see steady positive growth in sales of pet care in South Korea. As during the review period, the main trends underpinning growth are set to be the expansion of the pet population, especially cats and small breed dogs, and the increasing propensity of Korean pet owners to pamper their pets and do everything possible to provide them with the best food and healthcare products that they can afford.
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Discover the latest market trends and uncover sources of future market growth for the Pet Care industry in South Korea with research from Euromonitor's team of in-country analysts.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Pet Care market research database.