In spite of the recession, the dog and cat food market in the U.K. remained buoyant, with value growth increasing by 4 percent last year to $2.7 million, according to a leading market research group, Mintel. Growth is occurring in the premium sector of the market, particularly in terms of cat food, where luxury single meal pouches and trays are continuing to take over from canned foods.
The increasingly anthropomorphic view of pets is a driving factor, with organic and natural products being sought out by increasing numbers of owners, mirroring their own eating habits. Nevertheless, there are clear signs, according to Mintel’s research, that people are also looking for better value for their money. This has resulted in the recipes of mid-range brands being improved, and packaging, too, has been upgraded.
The desire of owners to humanize their pets has led to manufacturers developing products that strike a chord with owners, such as gravy to pour on to dry food. The survey highlighted new developments in the U.S. market as well, such as restaurant-style dog meals (e.g., chicken primavera and Tuscan-style stew with braised beef), which are likely to have an impact in the U.K., along with celebrity chefs creating their own dog food ranges.
*The full report is available for purchase from Mintel; www.mintel.com.
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