Through our market research, discussions, and work with our suppliers, B2B, and B2C customers in Europe, Asia, and the USA, we have been able to identify five significant trends common to all industry players globally, which are:
- Influence of Millennials and Gen Z
- Online sales
- Functional recipes
These macro-trends are linked to each other; they fit together perfectly and give a glimpse of a future, albeit full of challenges, that is positive for customers, especially our pets.
These five trends have been, among others, the pillars of our strategy to establish our concept in the long term and to meet the current and future needs of dogs and cats and their owners.
1. Humanization in the pet food industry
The trend towards humanization is to treat pets as family members and provide them with products and services similar to those offered to humans. This trend has been one of the main drivers of the pet food industry in recent years and is expected to continue to exert considerable influence over the next decade.
Several factors contribute to the trend toward the humanization of pet food. One of these is the growing awareness of the importance of a healthy diet for pets. Scientific research into the links between diet and pet health is increasing, and pet owners are now more selective about the food they feed their pets. They are looking for high-quality, natural, and nutrient-rich options.
One concrete proof of this change is the vocabulary used. We no longer say pet owners but pet parents.
Another factor is the growing trend to rely on pets as therapy and emotional support. As pets become essential to their parents’ well-being, the demand for foods that meet their specific needs and preferences is increasing. These include options suitable for animals with allergies or sensitivities and options with functional benefits, such as promoting dental health or reducing anxiety.
The trend toward humanization has had many consequences for pet parents’ budgets. They are willing to pay more for high-quality, nutrient-rich food and therefore see their food budget increase.
As a result, the trend toward humanization has encouraged pet parents to invest in a broader range of products and services for their dogs and cats. These range from grooming and training services to pet-friendly travel options and specialist pet insurance.
In general, the trend toward humanization has had a major impact on the pet food industry and its offerings.
2. Influence of Millennials and Gen Z
Millennials and Generation Z are leading the trend to humanize pet food. These younger generations have grown up with pets and see them as integral family members. They are also more sensitive to the health and well-being of their pets and are willing to pay more for high-quality products and services.
Factors contributing to the influence of Millennials and Generation Z on the trend to humanize pet food include the rise of social media, which makes it easier for younger generations to connect with other pet owners, share information about products and trends, and, most importantly, give their opinions.
This constant sharing of information leads to the booming of specialized pet food products and helps to drive demand.
The “online review generation” relies heavily on online reviews and ratings to make purchasing decisions. These “connected” generations have always had access to a wealth of information and reviews at their fingertips, influencing their purchasing habits.
A second factor is the growing awareness of the environmental impact of food production. Younger generations are more likely to favour sustainability and eco-friendly production. This trend has led to more pet food options based on natural ingredients, high protein content, and offering real functional benefits.
These elements impact pet ownersâ€™ budgets, as these high-end products and services are usually more expensive than traditional products.
3. Premiumization is on the rise
Over the last five years, there has been a sharp increase in premium and super-premium brands, and this premiumization is driving the entire market upwards.
Many pet parents are willing to pay more for premium and super-premium brands because they believe these products offer higher-quality ingredients and better nutrition for their pets. These brands may use higher-quality protein sources, such as fresh meat or fish, and may have fewer or no additives and preservatives.
â€œA premium dog food brand of may use real fresh protein as the primary ingredient rather than dehydrated protein powder.â€
Pet owners are becoming more aware of the importance of good nutrition for their pets and are willing to pay more for products that provide the best nutrition. This may include brands that use whole, natural ingredients and avoid fillers and artificial additives.
|% current value growth||2021/22||2017-22 CAGR||2017/22 Total|
|Dog Treats and Mixers||6.7%||9.6%||58.3%|
|Dry Dog Food||5.2%||5.8%||32.4%|
|Economy Dry Dog Food||1.4%||2.4%||12.5%|
|Mid-Priced Dry Dog Food||4.8%||4.7%||25.6%|
|Premium Dry Dog Food||6.8%||7.8%||45.8%|
|Wet Dog Food||9.5%||9.9%||60.0%|
|Economy Wet Dog Food||3.4%||3.1%||16.6%|
|Mid-Priced Wet Dog Food||6.6%||9.2%||55.2%|
|Premium Wet Dog Food||12.2%||12.8%||82.9%|
Human health concerns often influence the pet industry, and there is a trend toward more natural and organic products for humans and pets. Premium and super-premium brands may offer these types of products, which can be more expensive. For example, a super-premium brand of cat food may use fresh salmon pulp as the primary ingredient rather than conventional dehydrated salmon.
Premium and super-premium brands offer convenient packaging options, such as pre-measured, individual servings, or easy-to-open containers.
4. Online sales take off all over the world
It has become easy and convenient to buy pet food and treats online in recent years. It is not a coincidence, but a profound and voluntary trend driven by online marketplaces that offer many competitive advantages:
- Online retailers often offer a more comprehensive selection of pet food and treats, including items that are difficult to find in specialty shops. This endless choice in quality and quantity allows consumers to pick what they want.
- Online shopping also allows consumers to easily compare prices from different retailers, which can help them find the best deals on pet food and treats.
|% Retail value rsp||2017||2022||Diff %|
E-commerce growth is a global macro trend. In China, the share of pet food sold online will reach 58% by 2022. (source : Euro Monitor 2022)
- Online retailers offer home delivery of pet food and treats, which can be incredibly convenient for busy pet owners. Some retailers even offer subscriptions, in which pet food and treats are automatically delivered on a regular basis. It is also suggested, by default, to choose the subscription frequency.
- The proliferation of smartphones and other mobile devices has made it easy for consumers to shop online from anywhere, anytime. This real-time availability has further increased the convenience of online shopping for pet food and treats.
- Pet parents are becoming more aware of the importance of good nutrition for their pets and are willing to pay more for products that they believe will provide the best nutrition. Unlike the previous generation, online buyers are “label readers”. They take time to study ingredient lists, read reviews and even interact with brands to ask questions, suggest improvements or new products.
5. Functional recipes, a niche that becomes mainstream
Functional pet food and treats are products that are formulated to provide specific health benefits to pets beyond basic nutrition. They are designed to address health issues or improve overall well-being, and often contain added ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Just like humans, small, young, or old dogs and cats have specific nutritional requirements to help them grow and develop in good health.
Functional benefits have become a real entry key for many brands’ product ranges. This proves that we are in a premiumization phase and not anymore focused only on price.
Here are ten examples of functional pet foods and treats:
- Skin and coat health: Certain ingredients, such as the omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, can improve coat conditions, and reduce inflammation in pets with skin problems.
- Dental health: Functional dental sticks for pets combine the mechanical abrasion of plaque and tartar with the effects of natural ingredients such as green tea, parsley, and peppermint to limit the growth of bacteria that cause bad breath.
- Weight Management: Specific “Low-calorie” recipes help pets achieve and maintain an optimal healthy weight by providing a balanced diet and controlling caloric intake.
- Digestive health: Ingredients such as probiotics or prebiotics can help improve the digestive health of pets.
- Cognitive function: Recipes that support cognitive function in pets may contain ingredients such as omega-3 fatty acids or antioxidants, especially as they age.
- Joint health: Pets with joint problems related to their breed or age may benefit from functional pet foods and treats containing ingredients such as glucosamine or chondroitin, which can help support joint health.
- Allergy management: Pets with food allergies or sensitivities can benefit from formulated functional pet foods and treats that may contain hypoallergenic ingredients or be made with limited ingredients to reduce the risk of allergic reactions.
- Urinary tract health: Pets with urinary tract problems may benefit from functional pet foods and treats containing ingredients such as cranberries, which can help support urinary tract health.
- Heart health: Some functional recipes help to support heart health in pets. They may contain taurine or L-carnitine, which can support heart function.
- Immune system support: Functional pet foods and treats may contain antioxidants, which can support a pet’s immune system health. These treats help young and old dogs strengthen or defend their immune system.
A Marly & Dan snack is a delicious way of thanking your dog or cat for all the unconditional love it gives you. Sweet attention & a lot of affection.
We, at Pure Salmon Pet Nutrition, work daily to meet pet parents’ growing expectations for quality, transparency, and functional added value in our strategy and product development.