The transformation of the pet food industry is already imminent. The last few years have seen huge changes in consumer demand that the industry has met with its best resources in order to satisfy every pet owner.
The 2021 pandemic has brought about a resounding change in the way many people think, live, and position themselves in the world, and this inevitably translates into how they treat, care for, and provide for their pets.
In this sense, the most expected is to find that the owners are inclined towards different options than those they used to choose in the pre-pandemic world. Factors such as being more at home, reducing spending money on leisure and entertainment, and increasing awareness about caring for the environment, the sustainability of pet products, and health care, have resulted in a boom in new trends. That, although we have already seen them appear in 2021, in 2022 they will no longer be optional to be a must in the game of demand.
In fact, we already know that many people decided to add a 4-legged friend as a result of the pandemic. A large part of the ‘new owners’ are millennials who, in countries where they can live alone, have found themselves immersed in loneliness that a pet could balance. Behind this group is the generation Z; although they are still young, we already know that as they come of age, they choose to adopt a pet.
Pet owners choose the smallest
The high rate of urbanization, the small size of households, and the practicality when it comes to caring for and cleaning, make cats the most chosen pets, especially by millennials, and especially by men!
Secondly, by their own logic, small dogs run. These types of pets have many conveniences:
- On the one hand, we know that young people and young adults live in (much) smaller houses than a few years ago, around 35-40 square meters. Let’s imagine a Rottweiler in a studio apartment! In addition, in many countries bans have been imposed on certain large breeds because they are considered to be of social risk. Thus, the options are reduced: the most logical and empathic thing, both for the human and the animal, is to look for one that, thanks to its size, can move comfortably and enjoy all the spaces of the house no matter how small it is. , as is the case with cats, which in a studio apartment find places to rest everywhere! On the windowsills, in cool corners in the sun, on armchairs…
- On the other hand, this type of pet greatly accompanies the lifestyle of today’s young adults: often with short and long trips, long stays away from home, etc. These animals are very easy to care for, either by inviting a friend or family member to stay home to be with them or by moving them to a third party’s home. They are, in one way or another, children who adapt to the needs of their parents.
Food decisions to make
The humanization of pets is a trend that has been present since 2020, since pet owners, especially younger ones, are convinced to transfer their own food decisions to pets as much as possible. His logic is linear: ‘if I make a decision for my health, why wouldn’t I make it to take care of my pets too?’
Between 2016 and 2020 there was a 41% increase in launches of this type of food.
With increasing awareness, owners are broadly opting for more natural diets (such as the BARF diet, for example) or science-based formulas in which each ingredient performs a specific function for the health of the dog. Pet (although naturally it would not have been ‘included in their diet’).
Sustainability in focus
In 2020, 21% of all new food launches worldwide were due to an improvement or innovation in their sustainability, both at the level of production and packaging and recycling.
Pet owners are beginning to look more and more at these details when choosing food, since today they are more aware of the importance of caring for the environment and the implications of continuing to contribute, even if it is buying, to their pollution.