World Market for Pet Care

May 2022

Boosted by more home-centric lifestyles since the pandemic, pet care real value sales globally grew by 6% in 2021. People spent more time with their pets, and the global pet population rose. Despite toughening economic conditions, pet humanisation is driving the premium segment and dynamic growth in pet healthcare and accessories. Pet owners increasingly favour the convenience offered by e-commerce models, whilst looking for more functional ingredients and sustainable propositions.

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Key findings

Premiumisation drives value sales growth

With hybrid lifestyles becoming the new norm, pet owners are spending more time with their pets and are gravitating towards more premium product offerings. Premiumisation is driving wet food growth in developing markets, and frozen varieties in mature regions, as well as therapeutic premium pet food. Premiumisation should translate into higher value growth over the forecast period; however, this will be mitigated by the inflation caused in part by the war in Ukraine.

Humanisation brings a greater variety of pet foods and products

Pet owners increasingly perceive their pets as part of the family, trying to give them food, products and services similar to those for humans. Brands are responding to this trend with launches of snacks, pet clothes and toys, and making pet food healthier and offering fresh options. This is resulting in growth in the pet care market as a whole, with particularly strong performances by pet treats and mixers, “other” pet products and pet healthcare.

Purchasing habits change, with strong growth in e-commerce

Pet owners embraced the convenience of online shopping during the pandemic, pushing up e-commerce’s share to 23% of global pet care retail sales in 2021. Online stores and subscription services enable the increasing offer of personalisation, while home delivery lends itself to large pack sizes and multipacks of portioned packs.

Role of functional and natural ingredients increases

Similarly to the packaged food market, functional and natural ingredients are making inroads in pet care. Clear and short ingredient lists, with claims that emphasise benefits for health and the natural origin of the products have become essential to positioning in the pet care market. Consumers are increasingly looking for ingredients tackling the specific health conditions of their pets, particularly digestive, joint, heart, dental and skin health, as well as mental wellbeing.

Sustainability drives alternative proteins and recyclable packaging

Pet owners are increasingly seeking products that they perceive not only to be better for themselves and their pets, but also for the planet, highlighting huge growth potential for more sustainable ingredients and packaging. Alternative proteins, with insect-based products being a focus of market development, are gaining in the pet food market, amid rising flexitarianism among pet owners. Companies that can seize and invest in this new growth frontier should perform well over the forecast period.

Introduction

Scope
Examining five trends shaping pet care

State of the Industry

Post-lockdown global pet care market continues growing at a lower pace
Cat food grows faster than dog food, as cats are considered easier to look after
Asia Pacific pet care market thrives due to the development of cat food
US keeps its leading position, while Asian countries are expected to grow faster
Emerging markets drive pet care market, with growth in wet cat food and pet products
E-commerce an increasingly important sales channel for pet care

Leading Companies and Brands

Top players gain grounds in the Americas, more fragmentation in emerging markets
General Mills reinforces its market position, while local Chinese companies soar
Nestlé SA closes in on Mars Inc at the top of the pet care hierarchy

Top Five Trends Shaping the Industry

Examining five trends shaping pet care
Premiumisation is the main driver of the pet food market
Wet pet food benefits from the increasing popularity of fresh options
Much innovation push offering up in pet treats and supplements
Private label gains credibility by raising quality profile
Pet humanisation is driving premium health propositions
Mental health and anti-ageing food claims permeate pet care
Legislative changes and high fashion for pets influence perceptions in Western Europe
E-commerce keeps growing, benefiting from the convenience trend
Copying humans: delivery, subscription and ghost kitchens for pets
Online platforms add services to pet food and product offers
Functional and natural ingredients
Natural and functional ingredients increase margins
Free from claim is trending in pet food
Sustainability push drives alternative protein foods and more recyclable packaging
Meat alternatives for pet food entering the mainstream
Focus on recyclability profile of large packs, while single-serve formats rise

Market Snapshots

Global snapshot of cat food
Global snapshot of dog food
Global snapshot of other pet food
Global snapshot of pet products
Regional snapshot: Asia Pacific
Regional snapshot: North America
Regional snapshot: Latin America
Regional snapshot: Western Europe
Regional snapshot: Middle East and Africa
Regional snapshot: Eastern Europe
Regional snapshot: Australasia
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