The Europe pet food market is projected to witness a CAGR of 4.5% during the forecast period (2021-2026). The COVID-19 pandemic has far-reaching implications within the pet food supply chain. Although there has been a lot done to guarantee the stability and continuity of supply at points of sales, there have been new costs and obstacles to deal with.
Pet humanization involves owners trying to incorporate pets into more aspects of their human lives, like holidays, nutrition, healthcare, and more, which is acting as a significant driver behind the growth of this market. There is an increase in the humanization of pets across Europe, as pet owners are treating pets like their own family members. According to the European Pet Food Federation (FEDIAF), around 38% of all European Union households possess a pet.
Cats continue to dominate the European pet market. The popularity of cats continued to increase during the last century in the region, according to various studies. The number of cat owners increased more than dog owners, due to the relative ease of having a cat as a pet in the modern lifestyle. Dry food, wet food, and semi-moist food are the major types of commercial cat food.
Among product type, dry food segment dominates the market as dry pet food offers many advantages, namely being very affordable, offering all the daily nutrition for the pet resulting in higher preference over other product type.
Therefore, as consumers are looking to plug the familial gap with a pet companion, it has resulted in a pet marketplace led by small animals, such as cats and dogs, as indulgent pet owners are happy to spend heavily on ensuring the best quality of food for their pets, which has driven the demand for pet food products in Europe.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Trend of Pet Humanization
The population of elderly people living alone, having reduced interaction with family, along with financial stability, are factors that are responsible for increasing pet adoption and the growing interest in proper pet nutrition among the elderly population. The twin factors of increased pet ownership among young millennials and those from the baby boomer generation are contributing to the growth of pet ownership across the region, especially for cats and dogs.
According to the European Pet Food Federation (FEDIAF), approximately 110.1 million cats, and 89.9 million dogs domesticated by the households in 2020. Across the European Union, 24% of pet owners own at least one cat, while 25% of pet owners have at least one dog. Hence, due to the increased parenting of pets, pet food manufacturers are offering premium products targeted toward pet owners, which is expected to contribute to the significant market growth during the forecast period.
The rapid pace of economic and societal changes can be linked to the trends in pet ownership. The market for pet food closely shadows the market for pets. Increasing urbanization leads to the breaking up of large households and separation from nature. These are often linked to the desire for pets. According to the USDA, Germany is the largest economy in the European Union. It assures the pet food market with 45.0% of the German households, owning a pet and 21.0% of the household owning more than one pet, which suggests the extent to which pet humanization has been adopted in the country. This is massively increasing the growth of the pet food market. ??
Cats Dominate the Market
Cats continue to dominate the European market as highly owned pets compared to other pet animals. The popularity of cats has continued to increase during the last century in the region, according to various studies. The number of cat owners has increased more than that of dog owners, which reflects the relative ease of having a cat as a pet in the current modern lifestyle. As reported by the European pet food industry federation (FEDIAF), Russia accounts for the highest pet cat population, followed by Germany, the increasing pet humanization in these regions is anticipated to drive the pet food industry in the European market. With the increased ownership of cats in the region, cat food continues to be the most popular pet food.
Companies are offering an increasing number of premium products as consumers are prepared to spend more on pet food that is healthy, nutritious, and improves their living conditions. For instance, in 2020, the German pet treat company Gimborn launched a line of functional pet treats. The products include squeezables, oil-based liquid treats, and munchables and crunchy treats for cats. It is planning to launch a milk-alternative product for cats, to be sold in individual and bulk portions for shelters and breeders. Therefore, the consumer trend toward cat adoption has driven cat food premiumization, which is anticipated to create an expansion of the cat food market over the forecast period.
The European pet food market is fairly consilidated, with significant players such as Mars Inc., Nestlé SA(Purina), Colgate Palmolive (Hill’s Pet Nutrition), Archer Daniels Midland (Neovia), Heristo AG, and Tiernahrung Deuerer GmbH, among others. Consisting of large multinational players, the market studied also houses a significant number of private label players. Apart from the presence of a loyal customer base, the major players of the market studied benefit from extensive marketing and innovation capacities. Almost all of the players have multiple stores, warehouses, and distribution outlets distributed all across Europe.
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By Asia Market Information & Development Company
• Oct 2021
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