Premiumisation in The Age of Pet Parenthood

April 2016

With a growing number of pet owners around the world now referring to themselves as pet “parents”, consumer demand for everything from grain-free and frozen pet food to such products as licensed clothing and smartphone-controlled electronic toys is exhibiting strong growth. Which products have caught the premium zeitgeist in the pet care market over recent years, how have they done it, and with the premiumisation juggernaut showing no sign of slowing down, how is this trend likely to evolve?

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Premiumisation is here to stay

Pet care premiumisation is being driven by a host of socioeconomic factors (such as longer life expectancy, delayed marriage and childbirth, reduced fertility rates and social atomisation), and it appears set to deepen.

My furry baby

The gap between human and pet food continues to narrow, with a growing number of pet food offerings marketed as grain-free, all-natural, raw or containing superfood ingredients. In some ways, the premium pet food segment increasingly resembles the baby food market.

Emerging market pet parents

The pet parenthood trend is percolating down from developed economies to middle-class, urban and westernised consumers in emerging markets, creating new markets for premium pet food and products.

Porky pets

Obesity rates among pets are on the rise, as is awareness of this problem among owners (albeit at a slower rate). This is driving strong growth in demand for health and wellness pet food, as well as gadgets to help owners monitor how much exercise and food their pet is getting.

The connected, and branded, pet

With regard to such pet products as toys, clothing and accessories, premiumisation is increasingly being driven by branding (celebrities, luxury goods brands and even sports teams) and electronics gadgets that enable owners to track their pets and interact with them remotely.


Key Findings

Global Overview

Dog and cat food drive growth in global sales
Latin America and Asia Pacific increasingly important
Premium dog and cat food the key growth drivers
Premium cat food struggling in some European markets
Premium cat food sales more than treble in Chile
Premium dog food now a US$10 billion market in the US
China among best-performing premium dog food markets

Demand Factors

Pet parents, not owners
Health and wellness drives s ales of “natural” products
The emergence of the BRIC pet owner
Sustainability rising up the consumer agenda
The rise of the pet foodie
A new generation of indulgent owners
Celebrity culture increasingly visible

New Product Development in Pet Food

Nestlé bets on indigenous superfoods in Brazil
Freshpet puts refrigerators in the pet food aisle
Aggressive marketing pays dividends for Blue Buffalo
Food in the raw
Is customisation a bridge too far?
Porky pets drive demand for weight management
Going gourmet with Lily’s Kitchen
Can private label crack the premium segment?

New Product Development in Pet Treats

Natural trend percolates down to treats
Can artisanal pet treats go mainstream?
Consumers paying increased attention to sourcing
Treats for rabbits see modest success in Taiwan
Pet treats as seasonal presents

New Product Development in Pet Products

Natural ingredients gain traction in cat litter
Have pet , will travel
Smartphone-controlled feeder joins the anti-obesity fight
Do not leave your pet home alone
The quantified pet
Raw food trend an opportunity for pet dietary supplements
Designer licensed pet clothing and accessories proliferate


Premiumisation trend set to maintain its momentum
Sustainability set to rise up the agenda
Seaweed and insects as sustainable protein sources?
Retailing a lifestyle
Crowdfunding u ps the pace of innovation in pet products
Final conclusions

Report Definitions

Report terminology
Product category definitions


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