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According to the American Pet Products Association, the
pet industry is undergoing a rapid growth trajectory. Nearly 85 million homes
have pets, and in the last three decades, pet ownership has increased from 56%
to nearly 70%. This growth in pet ownership can be attributed to the
availability of online shopping and technology. However, much of this growth
has occurred because of our culture. As Generation Z and millennials have
entered into adulthood, they've increasingly embraced pet-loving and pet-owning
lifestyles to a greater extent than their parents. Currently, up to 32% of baby
boomers own pets, whereas 62% of pets are owned by younger cohorts.
With this increased focus on pet care, it’s no wonder that
pet food has experienced many changes. You can expect the following pet food
trends in the approaching New Year:
Focus on Health
Consumers no longer want to purchase traditional foods for
their pets. They want products with healthy ingredients. This means the
ingredients list must be clear and listed. Consumers want frozen,
made-to-order, and fresh food for their pets' diets. Although these products
will cost more, consumers are still making the switch.
Growth of Small Online Brands
Even though Chewy.com and Amazon are dominating the online
pet food industry, smaller pet food brands are finding their own niche in the
pet food market and establishing their own identity. Many shoppers are
gravitating towards such companies with the assumption that a niche company
would have a better focus on pet health, pet care, and pet food quality than
Pet owners like to give up to 10 treats a day to their
pets. The expectation of quality, fresh ingredients, and nutrition that we see
in pet food will carry over to pet treats as well.
Pet Food Education
Consumers today care greatly about what they're pets are
consuming. They want to know how their pets will benefit from a particular
food. According to education manager Kathryn Buffington from Nulo Pet Foods,
shoppers will spend an extra few minutes perusing through the ingredients lists
before making a purchase decision. They're trying to ascertain the quality of
food products. Consumers are looking for whole food ingredients, with natural,
human-grade, non-GMO components. With the presence of these indicators, it
points to less adulteration with the best nutritional components for their
pets. From a nutritional perspective, if the pet food is able to meet an
animal's nutritive requirements, then it will increase its longevity and
quality of life.
Pet Food Availability
Consumers used to shop at only brick-and-mortar shops for
their pet's needs. Now e-commerce has been added to the mix, which is
increasing on a daily basis. In addition, pet owners are now able to place
orders through apps on their smartphones. When improved shipping is added to
the process, the delivery of fresh and healthy pet food is expedited.
These trends in pet food in the New Year will enable pet
owners to improve the care and quality of life of their pets.