PET FOOD TRENDS MIRROR THOSE IN HUMAN FOOD18/11/2022
The steady growth registered in pet product sales over the last ten years speaks for a shared love that involves almost half of the households worldwide, where nowadays domestic animals are literally considered as family members. In this sense, pet owners have shown not only the willingness to spend a significant amount of money to feed them with “proper” food, but lately their buying behavior is also calling for a significant revision of the entire sector.
Just like they would do for their own food shopping, pet owners are increasingly looking for clean labels, simple composition, local production and top ingredients. In other words, to stay competitive in such a rewarding market, pet food companies should please not only the palate of the domestic animals that eat their products, but also – and in the first instance – the pet owners buying them.
The attention paid to healthy diets and nutritional foods – that we saw exponentially growing during the recent pandemic – is now mirrored in the pet food sector. Although there seems to be no scientific evidence yet that health issues which affect humans can translate to health issues for companion animals, “pet parents” now favor products that prevent or improve resistance to diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Besides, in order to fully include their pets into the family’s healthy lifestyle, owners are more attracted to labels that mention the “free from” formula such as free from preservatives, artificial colorings, soja, wheat and grain, just to name a few.
If organic, non-processed food seems to be the future of the pet food sector, recent trends are influencing its marketing and communication too. Limited ingredients lists that make room for transparency and improved traceability – that privilege locally-produced, top-quality ingredients – are both priorities for the contemporary, conscious consumers. As the gap between human and pet food keeps narrowing, the so-called humanization of the sector is a reality that is already unfolding before us all.