Top Five Pet Care Trends


Working remotely, pet owners continue to spend more time with their pets, treating them like family and seeking out more premium products. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused pet owners to embrace the convenience of online shopping and develop new shopping habits, which has contributed to the dynamic growth of e-commerce. The health and wellness trend extends from food to pet care, while the role of functional and natural ingredients increases significantly. At the same time, sustainability promotes plant-based and alternative protein options, as well as the development of recyclable packaging.

The positive impact of the pandemic on demand for pet care has only reinforced key market trends, which will continue to drive sales in the near term: namely humanization, premiumization, health and well-being, sustainability and digitalization.

New levels reached in the humanization of pets

Due to remote working, pet owners are spending more time with their pets and increasingly perceiving them as family members, trying to provide them with products and services that they would choose for themselves. According to Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyle Survey, globally, 71% of pet owners consider their pets members of the family and the number is growing sharply in developing markets . Legislative changes in Western Europe towards greater pet rights will further influence perceptions of pets. For example, in 2022, Spain introduced shared pet custody for couples after separation or divorce.

Treating their pets the same as children, consumers are seeking treats close to human quality, encouraging producers to launch treats in new formats of popular sweet and savory snacks. For example, in 2021, the German producer Trixie expanded its range of treats in the form of lollipops, pretzels, biscuits, waffles and donuts. Meanwhile, luxury fashion brands are moving into pet care, launching pet clothing, accessories and toys. The Italian online store Luxpets, launched in 2021, offers exclusive accessories from the most coveted brands in addition to personalized services.

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Premiumization: the perception of product freshness increasingly relevant

Humanizing pets, owners are increasingly eager to provide them with expensive, high-quality food and products. As consumers seek specific benefits from the products they purchase, brand owners are expanding their premium offerings in an effort to achieve higher margins. The growing popularity of small dogs is also contributing to the market growth, increasing the average price, as small breeds consume less in terms of volume. Private labels, traditionally focused on economy and mid-priced products, are beginning to develop premium offerings, competing with international market leaders through lower prices. Traditionally, private labels have not had a significant presence in the pet care sector, and premiumization is a key tool for retailers’ private label lines to gain market share from brands. This is particularly relevant in the context of tightening economic conditions.

Premiumization is driving the growth of wet foods in developing markets, particularly evident in Southeast Asia, as well as frozen varieties as well as premium therapeutic pet foods in mature regions. Fresh produce is also gaining ground alongside frozen food, particularly in the United States, but its presence is also expanding in other markets. For example, Taiwanese company Just Kitchen launched home delivery of freshly cooked pet food from a ghost kitchen in 2021. Although premiumization may contribute to future market growth, this will be dampened by inflation caused in part by the war in Ukraine.

Animal welfare through functional food ingredients

The growing demand for functional and natural ingredients extends from packaged foods to pet care. The shift from general wellness to specific functionality leads to ingredients that address digestive, joint, heart, dental, and skin health, as well as mental wellness. In 2021, Hill’s Pet Nutrition developed a specific kibble formula and processing method to improve pets’ dental health, while Nestlé continues to expand with its enriched kibbles that support digestive health. Probiotics, hypoallergenic ingredients and fortified superfoods are seeing growing demand. There is also growing interest in minerals and plants; for example, the premium brand Thai Lifemate, launched in 2021, offers pet foods containing ingredients to improve skin and hair, as well as the excretory system.

In mature markets, pet mental health is also receiving increased attention as consumers are increasingly concerned about the stress they experience when leaving them alone, particularly after isolation at home during confinement. For example, in 2021, British company Scrumbles launched Nibbles calming dog treats that contain ingredients for mental and gut health.

A sign that natural recipes are also favored, “free from” claims are gaining popularity in pet foods. As noted in Euromonitor International’s 2021 Product Claims and Positioning, the top four claims such as grain-free, artificial preservatives, colors and flavors are increasingly visible on product packaging. For example, in the United States, Made by Nacho launched a line of grain-free products in 2022.

Developing sustainability in packaging and ingredient selection

Pet owners are increasingly concerned about their impact on the planet, which creates growth potential for sustainable packaging and ingredients. According to Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Consumer: Lifestyle Survey, almost 60% of pet owners are trying to reduce their use of plastic and 45% prefer sustainable packaging. In response to the growing demand for recyclable materials, producers are launching more recyclable packaging; for example, Mars is implementing packaging for its Sheba brand with recycled plastic in Europe by 2022.

At the same time, a third of pet owners are trying to reduce their own meat consumption. In a context of growing flexitarianism among pet owners, alternative proteins, particularly insect-based, are gaining ground in animal nutrition. Identifying a growth opportunity, major players including Mars have launched plant-based products. Nestlé Purina has also moved into insect-based products, launching Switzerland Beyond Nature’s Protein pet food in 2020, which contains both insect and plant proteins.

The digitalization of the reinforced purchasing experience

During the pandemic, pet owners have become increasingly accustomed to the convenience of online shopping, while the offering has expanded significantly. The development of e-commerce stores and subscription services contributes to an increasing personalization of the offer and allows consumers to benefit from the comfort of generally seamless home delivery of large packages and multipacks. Pet food subscription services are also increasingly popular and encompass a wide range of brands, from niche specialty gourmet meals to mainstream brands, such as Royal Canin with its renewal service Club automatic.

E-commerce is growing at the expense of in-store retailers, who are slowly losing market share. According to Euromonitor International Consumer Voice; According to the 2021 Lifestyle survey, almost a third of consumers under the age of 45 purchase products for their pets via their smartphone, and this proportion is increasing every year. The development of online platforms by international pet food giants, such as Purina, is contributing to the consumer shift towards e-commerce. Nonetheless, e-commerce growth rates are generally slowing after the unusually high growth spike due to the emergence of the pandemic and as the channel matures in some markets like North America.

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Humanization, premiumization, health and wellness, sustainability and digitalization are the five key trends shaping pet care globally and expected to drive demand in the future. Consumers expect brands and retailers to meet their growing demand for high-quality, human-like, durable pet products and make the purchasing journey as convenient and quick as possible. In this regard, product positioning plays a crucial role in brand image, consumer loyalty and increased margins.

For more information and information, please refer to reportGlobal pet care market.


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One response to “Top Five Pet Care Trends”

  1. It is quite enjoyable for me to read through a piece that can provoke thought in both men and women. Please accept my gratitude for allowing me to leave a comment.

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