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Sector Trend Analysis – Pet food in Japan

October 2018

Executive summary

The humanization trend in pet food sectors has led pet owners to increasingly buy premium food that is customized to their pet's breed and age. They also consider their pets' health, allergies, level of fitness and general well-being and invest in pet dietary supplements and functional foods.

The markets in North America (US$32.7 billion retail in 2017), Western Europe (US$21.6 billion) and Japan (US$3.7 billion) are relatively mature but still offer opportunities, especially through premiumization. However, global growth in the dog and cat food sectors is expected to be driven by Asia Pacific (US$8.5 billion retail in 2017), Latin America (US$11 billion), and Eastern Europe (US$5.5 billion) as more consumers abandon table scraps and enter the market of prepared pet food for the first time.

The pet care industry is benefiting from urbanization in Asia-Pacific where pet owners spend more on their pets' health, food and well-being. The middle class is driving growth and more consumers are becoming pet owners.

Canada is the eighth-largest exporter in the world, and its main market is the United States (US$228.1 million in exports in 2017). Japan, ranked the third largest-importer from Canada, received 4.5% (US$23.5 million) of Canadian dog and cat food exports in 2017 with a 9.2% compound annual growth rate from 2013 to 2017.

The cat population in Japan sees stable growth and exceeded the dog population in 2017. Cat treats and mixers had the best performance in 2017 with a compound annual growth rate of 27.8% from 2013 to 2017. Retail sales of cat food grew by 3.7% (CAGR, 2013 to 2017) to US$1.7 billion while volume sales increased by 1.7% (CAGR, 2013 to 2017) to 244,906.3 tonnes in 2017.

Trade overview

The major dog and cat food importers are located in Western Europe and North America, with the exception of Japan. Canada was the fifth-largest importer of dog and cat food, reaching US$669.7 million in 2017. Japan was the sixth-largest importer of dog and cat food, reaching US$618.9 million in 2017.

World's major dog and cat food importers (US$ millions)
Country 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17 Share % in 2017
World 10,804.3 11,318.7 10,727.9 11,034.7 12,390.8 3.5 100.0
1. Germany 1,010.2 1,138.4 1,069.1 1,078.3 1,196.8 4.3 9.7
2. United States 663.8 690.9 765.3 780.0 842.9 6.2 6.8
3. United Kingdom 842.5 797.0 779.7 735.5 838.9 −0.1 6.8
4. France 549.5 534.5 578.0 650.0 680.4 5.5 5.5
5. Canada 643.2 658.5 630.0 623.1 669.7 1.0 5.4
6. Japan 780.5 730.8 657.7 641.0 618.9 −5.6 5.0
7. Italy 623.8 675.7 585.2 567.7 612.3 −0.5 4.9
8. Belgium 535.8 577.5 510.8 543.1 555.7 0.9 4.5
9. Netherlands 323.7 434.7 415.8 439.4 530.5 13.1 4.3
10. Poland 195.4 223.2 199.4 214.6 436.9 22.3 3.5

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Harmonized System (HS) Code: 230910

In 2017, Canada, ranked the eighth-largest exporter of dog and cat food, exported $US525.3 million worth of dog and cat food to the world, a 4% share of the total world exports of dog and cat food.

Japan, ranked the third-largest importer from Canada, received 4.5% (US$23.5 million) of Canadian dog and cat food exports in 2017 with a 9.2% compound annual growth rate from 2013 to 2017.

Top destinations for Canadian dog and cat food exports (US$ millions)
Country 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17 Share % in 2017
World 405.0 460.9 497.5 474.2 525.3 6.7 100.0
1. United States 248.7 277.8 310.6 252.6 228.1 −2.1 43.4
2. Russia 24.8 29.3 21.2 28.5 40.4 13.0 7.7
3. Japan 16.6 18.6 18.2 20.4 23.5 9.2 4.5
4. Hong Kong 6.8 12.3 11.3 15.7 22.7 35.2 4.3
5. France 4.9 7.7 11.4 9.8 17.3 36.9 3.3
6. South Korea 3.6 5.3 7.3 11.4 16.2 46.1 3.1
7. Mexico 12.0 13.0 11.9 11.9 15.7 7.0 3.0
8. New Zealand 9.2 11.2 11.2 11.4 14.9 13.0 2.8
9. Spain 5.6 6.4 8.4 11.3 12.0 21.2 2.3
10. Taiwan 7.4 7.6 7.6 8.1 10.6 9.4 2.0

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

HS Code: 230910

Market trends

Pet owners are looking for better quality products. Tightening global regulations for human food and beverages are also impacting pet food, highlighting the importance of food safety for humans and animals alike.

Premiumization
The humanization of pets drives a major global trend towards super-premium products, focusing on quality ingredients, including a greater interest in nutrients and protein, as well as claims related to social and ethical concerns, such as animal welfare and environmental sustainability (Euromonitor International, 2018).
Health and Wellness
Global trends which characterize the human food market have also trickled down to pet food in several markets, including the adoption of a wider notion of pet health and wellness, as shown by the diverse dieting regimes and the vast array of popular functional pet claims associated to foods that are allegedly good for digestion, for the skin, for the teeth, etc. (Euromonitor International, 2018). Pets are living longer and have specific needs for more functional foods.
Focus on proteins
Protein-rich diets are at the forefront. Grain-free diets are said to feed the "inner animal" of dogs or cats, reconnecting them to their wild ancestors and helping them to keep a good health and weight. Grain-free has become mainstream in the U.S. and is gaining popularity in other regions. New and more exotic protein sources, such as venison and boa, are also on the rise. Plant proteins are becoming widely popular within pet food formulations, including sweet potato, lentils, tapioca, quinoa and pea. Insect proteins are also generating interest and, according to Euromonitor International (2018), they will remain a key trend in the coming years.

Traditional and emerging markets for pet food

In 2017, the global pet food market was worth US$82.7 billion retail value. The traditional and most mature markets are located in Western Europe (US$21.6 billion) and North America  (US$32.7 billion). Together, they made up 65.8% of global retail value sales, driven mostly by premium and niche products. Canada was ranked the sixth-largest market in Western Europe and North America, reaching US$1.7 billion in 2017. The compound annual growth rates for all top ten countries have increased between 2.4% and 4.4% from 2013 to 2017. Both Canada and the U.S. recorded the same 4.4% CAGR over the past five years.

Global food market, retail value in 2017
Description of this image follows.
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  • Pet food: US$82.7 billion
    • Dog food: US$49.9 billion
    • Cat food: US$28.9 billion
    • Other pet food: US$3.9 billion

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

Note: B*=billion

Top ten markets in Western Europe and North America for pet food – retail sales (US$ millions)
Country 2013 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17 Share % in 2017 CAGR[f] % 2018-22
World 79,917.5 82,827.5 0.9 100 7.3
1 USA 26,842.2 31,084.2 3.7 36.8 4.4
2 United Kingdom 4,540.8 4,809.1 1.4 5.7 2.6
3 Germany 3,784.8 4,206.1 2.7 5.0 2.4
4 France 3,882.2 4,085.0 1.3 4.8 2.8
5 Italy 2,702.6 2,926.1 2.0 3.5 3.6
6 Canada 1,467.5 1,695.9 3.7 2.0 4.4
7 Spain 1,226.6 1,340.3 2.2 1.6 4.2
8 Netherlands 981.3 1,072.6 2.2 1.3 2.4
9 Belgium 615.4 696.9 3.2 0.8 4.6
10 Austria 537.9 626.2 3.9 0.7 2.7

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

f: Forecast

Over the 2013-2017 period, the fastest growing regions for pet food sales were Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Asia Pacific, and these regions also hold the best growth prospects for 2018-2022. In these regions, many consumers will enter the market of prepared dog and cat food for the first time in the coming years or will trade up to better quality products. In the Asia Pacific region (US$8.5 billion retail sales in 2017), 43.5% of sales were concentrated in Japan (US$3.7 billion, CAGR: 1.3% from 2013 to 2017), which is relatively mature.

Many of these emerging markets have a low percentage of pets that eat prepared food, which means that there is still an untapped potential for dog and cat food sales. For example, in China, prepared food accounted for only 2.6% and 7.3% of dog and cat nutrition respectively in 2017. By contrast, in a mature market such as Japan, these figures stood at 91.2% and 91.2% respectively in 2017.

Largest markets for pet food in other parts of the world – retail sales (US$ millions)
Country 2013 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17 Share % in 2017 CAGR[f] % 2018-22 Prepared dog food, 2017 (% of total) Prepared cat food, 2017 (% of total)
Brazil 3,408.0 5,193.8 11.1 6.2 10.6 38.9 29.1
Japan 3,533.9 3,717.1 1.3 4.4 1.7 91.2 91.2
Russia 1,752.1 2,941.5 13.8 3.5 7.9 15.1 29.1
Australia 2,288.9 2,432.4 1.5 2.9 3.5 44.8 68.9
Mexico 1,479.5 2,078.8 8.9 2.5 8.3 28.0 63.0
China 502.3 1,668.4 35.0 2.0 28.9 2.6 7.3
Colombia 494.8 952.7 17.8 1.1 14.7 26.4 25.8
Argentina 403.2 946.2 23.8 1.1 17.9 39.1 68.1
Chile 527.8 917.3 14.8 1.1 12.4 47.7 67.3
Thailand 552.2 858.5 11.7 1.0 11.5 22.7 33.1

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

f: Forecast

Retail sales by category in Japan

The cat population in Japan sees stable growth and exceeds the dog population in 2017. Cat treats and mixers had the best performance in 2017 with a compound annual growth rate of 27.8% from 2013 to 2017. Current value sales of cat food grow by 3.7% (CAGR, 2013 to 2017)  to US$1.7 billion while volume sales increased by 1.7% (CAGR, 2013 to 2107) to 244,906.3 tonnes in 2017.

Dog food is expected to see negative growth in both volume and current value sales terms in 2018 and over the forecast period. The dog population was surpassed by the cat population in 2017, impacting product development. This is mainly due to the increasing ageing population and single-person households in Japan, where a cat is preferred over a dog, as dogs require more care, such as daily walks and healthcare. The retail sales of dog food declined by −0.6% (CAGR, 2013 to 2017), down to US$1.8 billion, while its volume sales decreased by −2.3% (CAGR, 2013 to 2017) to 276,567.4 tonnes in 2017.

Average unit prices of dog food rose by 1% in 2017. Although dog food overall is expected to stagnate, the premium dog food segment will see the best performance over the forecast period due to the ongoing pet humanization trend.

It is worth noting that the retail sales of dry dog food remained almost the same for the past five years and its retail sales value US$1.2 billion in 2017 was six times higher than that of wet dog food (US$206.6 million), and almost three times higher than that of dog treats and mixers (US$449 million).

Dry food offers higher convenience while wet food tend to be marketed as a delicious treat.  Wet food is also easier to swallow. It is forecast that the retail sales of cat treats and mixers will have the highest compound annual growth rate of 9.9%, reaching US$172.7 million in 2022. Only the retail sales of wet dog food will have a negative compound annual growth rate of −0.6% from 2018 to 2022, down to US$197.0 million.

Historical and forecast retail sales of pet food, in US$ millions, 2013-2022
Category 2013 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17 2018 2022 CAGR* % 2018-22
Pet food 3,533.9 3,717.1 1.3 3,743.1 4,005.6 1.7
Dog and cat food 3,366.8 3,553.2 1.4 3,579.8 3,835.8 1.7
Cat food 1,490.8 1,723.4 3.7 1,763.5 1,979.4 2.9
Cat treats and mixers 40.3 107.5 27.8 118.4 172.7 9.9
Dry cat food 875.5 939.0 1.8 950.6 1,035.7 2.2
Wet cat food 574.9 676.9 4.2 694.5 771.0 2.6
Dog food 1,876.0 1,829.8 −0.6 1,816.3 1,856.4 0.5
Dog treats and mixers 471.5 449 −1.2 445.4 460.5 0.8
Dry dog food 1,172.2 1,174.2 0.0 1,168.7 1,198.9 0.6
Wet dog food 232.3 206.6 −2.9 202.2 197.0 −0.6
Other pet food[1] 167.1 163.8 −0.5 163.3 169.8 1.0

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

1: Other pet food: bird food, fish food and small mammal/reptile food

The retail volume sale of cat treats and mixers had the highest compound annual growth rate of 23.4% from 2013 to 2017, reaching 3,419.8 tonnes in 2017 even though it had 44 times less volume sales than dry cat food (152,183.8 tonnes).

It is forecast that cat treats and mixers will continue to have the best performance in volume sales at a high compound annual growth rate of 7.0% from 2018 to 2022, reaching 4,930.9 tonnes in 2022, even though it had 31 times less volume sales than dry cat food (154,062.2 tonnes).

Historical and forecast retail volume sales of pet food, in tonnes, 2013-2022
Category 2013 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17 2018 2022 CAGR* % 2018-22
Pet food 565,156.8 553,327.2 -0.5 551,017.0 538,068.1 -0.6
Dog and cat food 532,365.2 521,473.6 −0.5 519,250.0 506,885.3 −0.6
Cat food 228,540.5 244,906.3 1.7 247,831.0 252,387.7 0.5
Cat treats and mixers 1,475.0 3,419.8 23.4 3,754.9 4,930.9 7.0
Dry cat food 146,852.5 152,183.8 0.9 153,243.8 154,062.2 0.1
Wet cat food 80,213.0 89,302.7 2.7 90,832.3 93,394.6 0.7
Dog food 303,824.7 276,567.4 −2.3 271,419.0 254,497.6 −1.6
Dog treats and mixers 28,646.0 26,151.9 −2.3 25,890.4 25,223.7 −0.7
Dry dog food 233,069.4 216,234.6 −1.9 212,529.1 199,999.8 −1.5
Wet dog food 42,109.3 34,180.9 −5.1 32,999.5 29,274.0 −3.0
Other pet food 32,791.6 31,853.6 −0.7 31,767.1 31,182.8 −0.5

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Sub-category of cat food, dog food and other pet food

Dog and cat food products can be bought in many forms, the top being dry food and wet canned food. Dry food is usually less expensive, and has a longer shelf life in comparison to wet food.

Cat food

Japanese customers spent US$939.0 million on dry cat food and US$676.9 million on wet cat food in 2017. They spent more money buying premium dry cat food (US$556.7 million in 2017) than mid-priced (US$334.2 million) and economy dry food (US$48.1 million). But they spent more money buying mid-priced wet cat food (US$366.4 million in 2017) than premium (US$254.2 million) and economy wet food (US$56.3 million).

Cats are gaining popularity, particularly in more densely populated areas. Typically seen as less demanding than dogs, they are considered good companions. Gourmet products for cats are key to driving growth as cat owners are also increasingly feeding their cats with premium food (figures for premium cat food recently outperformed mid-priced cat food). Treats and mixers also registered interesting growth, but mixers still remain a niche category. It is forecast that Japanese consumers will continue to buy more premium dry cat food than mid-priced and economy cat food, reaching US$627.2 million in 2022. They will also continue to buy more mid-priced wet cat food (reaching US$412.7 million in 2022) than the premium and economy wet cat food.

Historical and forecast retail value sales of cat food, by category in US$ millions, 2013-2022
Category 2013 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17 2018 2022 CAGR* % 2018-22
Cat food 1,490.8 1,723.4 3.7 1,763.5 1,979.4 2.9
Cat treats and mixers 40.3 107.5 27.8 118.4 172.7 9.9
Cat mixers N/A N/A
Cat treats 40.3 107.5 27.8 118.4 172.7 9.9
Dry cat food 875.5 939.0 1.8 950.6 1,035.7 2.2
Economy dry cat food 47.1 48.1 0.5 48.2 50.2 1.0
Mid-priced dry cat food 317.1 334.2 1.3 335.6 358.2 1.6
Premium dry cat food 511.4 556.7 2.1 566.9 627.2 2.6
Wet cat food 574.9 676.9 4.2 694.5 771.0 2.6
Economy wet cat food 55.9 56.3 0.2 56.3 59.9 1.6
Mid-priced wet cat food 312.5 366.4 4.1 376.7 412.7 2.3
Premium wet cat food 206.5 254.2 5.3 261.5 298.5 3.4

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

N/A: Not available

More mid-priced dry cat food (72,532.0 tonnes) was sold than premium dry cat food (54,984.5 tonnes) in 2017. Similarly, more mid-priced wet cat food (57,394.3 tonnes) was sold than premium wet cat food (18,033.0 tonnes) in 2017. All of the four items above had positive compound annual growth rates from 2013 to 2017. It is forecast that both mid-priced dry cat food (72,313.7 tonnes in 2022) and mid-priced wet cat food (60,079.0 tonnes in 2022) will continue to outperform premium dry cat food (57,570.8 tonnes in 2022) and premium wet cat food (19,578.4 tonnes in 2022) in volume sales from 2018 to 2022.

Historical and forecast retail volume sales of cat food, in tonnes, 2013-2022
Category 2013 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17 2018 2022 CAGR* % 2018-22
Cat food 228,540.5 244,906.3 1.7 247,831.0 252,387.7 0.5
Cat treats and mixers 1,475.0 3,419.8 23.4 3,754.9 4,930.9 7.0
Cat mixers N/A N/A
Cat treats 1,475.0 3,419.8 23.4 3,754.9 4,930.9 7.0
Dry cat food 146,852.5 152,183.8 0.9 153,243.8 154,062.2 0.1
Economy dry cat food 24,806.1 24,667.3 −0.1 24,618.0 24,177.8 −0.5
Mid-priced dry cat food 70,121.2 72,532.0 0.8 72,822.1 72,313.7 −0.2
Premium dry cat food 51,925.2 54,984.5 1.4 55,803.7 57,570.8 0.8
Wet cat food 80,213.0 89,302.7 2.7 90,832.3 93,394.6 0.7
Economy wet cat food 13,945.8 13,875.4 −0.1 13,861.5 13,737.2 −0.2
Mid-priced wet cat food 50,559.0 57,394.3 3.2 58,542.1 60,079.0 0.6
Premium wet cat food 15,708.1 18,033.0 3.5 18,428.6 19,578.4 1.5

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

N/A: Not available

Dog food

Known as man's best friend, dogs are the most humanized animals and play an increasingly important role in their owners' lives in Japan. As a result, premium food led the sales in dry dog food (US$789.9 million in 2017) with a 1.2% compound annual growth rate from 2013 to 2017. Mid-priced wet food led the wet dog food (US$111.5 million in 2017) with a −4.6% compound annual growth rate from 2013 to 2017. But the compound annual growth rate for premium wet dog food increased by 0.6% from 2013 to 2017. It is forecast that premium dry food will continue to lead the sales in dry dog food (US$840.2 million in 2022) with a 1.4% compound annual growth rate from 2018 to 2022 while the mid-priced wet dog food (US$99.8 million in 2022) will continue to lead the wet dog food with a −1.9% compound annual growth rate from 2018 to 2022. However, premium wet dog food will see growth at a 1.4% compound annual growth rate from 2018 to 2022.

Historical and forecast retail value sales of dog food, by category US$ millions, 2013-2022
Category 2013 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17 2018 2022 CAGR* % 2018-22
Dog food 1,876.0 1,829.8 -0.6 1,816.3 1,856.4 0.5
Dog treats and mixers 471.5 449.0 −1.2 445.4 460.5 0.8
Dog mixers N/A N/A
Dog treats 471.5 449.0 −1.2 445.4 460.5 0.8
Dry dog food 1,172.2 1,174.2 0.0 1,168.7 1,198.9 0.6
Economy dry dog food 36.8 31.7 −3.7 30.7 28.9 −1.5
Mid-priced dry dog food 381.3 352.6 −1.9 344.5 329.8 −1.1
Premium dry dog food 754.1 789.9 1.2 793.5 840.2 1.4
Wet dog food 232.3 206.6 −2.9 202.2 197.0 −0.6
Economy wet dog food 22.7 18.5 −5.0 17.8 16.3 −2.2
Mid-priced wet dog food 134.8 111.5 −4.6 107.7 99.8 −1.9
Premium wet dog food 74.7 76.6 0.6 76.7 81.0 1.4

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

N/A: Not available

There was little difference between the volume sales of premium dry dog food and mid-priced dry dog food  (premium:97,911.1 tonnes, mid-priced: 100,765.3 tonnes in 2017). Both volumes went down, at a −0.8% CAGR and a −2.4% CAGR respectively from 2013 to 2017. Mid-priced wet dog food (22,507.6 tonnes) outperformed premium wet dog food (5,261.6 tonnes) in 2017. Both volumes decreased from 2013 to 2017, at a −5.6% CAGR and a −0.4% CAGR, respectively.

It is forecast that the volume sales of premium dry dog food and mid-priced dry dog food will decline to 96,034.0 tonnes and 88,965.9 tonnes respectively in 2022. Their compound annual growth rates will decrease at −0.3% and −2.5%, respectively, from 2018 to 2022. The mid-priced wet dog food (18,913.0 tonnes) will outperform premium wet dog food (5,122.4 tonnes) in 2022 but both volume sales decreased at a compound annual growth rate of −3.4% and −0.5% respectively from 2018 to 2022.

Historical and forecast retail volume sales of dog food, in tonnes, 2013-2022
Category 2013 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17 2018 2022 CAGR* % 2018-22
Dog food 303,824.7 276,567.4 -2.3 271,419.0 254,497.6 -1.6
Dog treats and mixers 28,646.0 26,151.9 −2.3 25,890.4 25,223.7 −0.7
Dog mixers N/A N/A
Dog treats 28,646.0 26,151.9 −2.3 25,890.4 25,223.7 −0.7
Dry dog food 233,069.4 216,234.6 −1.9 212,529.1 199,999.8 −1.5
Economy dry dog food 20,784.9 17,558.3 −4.1 16,943.7 15,000.0 −3.0
Mid-priced dry dog food 111,177.9 100,765.3 −2.4 98,246.2 88,965.9 −2.5
Premium dry dog food 101,106.6 97,911.1 −0.8 97,339.2 96,034.0 −0.3
Wet dog food 42,109.3 34,180.9 −5.1 32,999.5 29,274.0 −3.0
Economy wet dog food 8,408.0 6,411.7 −6.6 6,103.9 5,238.5 −3.8
Mid-priced wet dog food 28,346.0 22,507.6 −5.6 21,674.8 18,913.0 −3.4
Premium wet dog food 5,355.4 5,261.6 −0.4 5,220.7 5,122.4 −0.5

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

N/A: Not available

Other pet food

Fish food outperformed bird food from 2013 to 2017, reaching US$61.4 million and US$30.8 million respectively in 2017. However, fish food declined at a compound annual growth rate of −2.1% while bird food increased at a rate of 0.6% from 2013 to 2017. It is forecast that fish food will increase at a 0.1% compound annual growth rate (2018-2022), reaching US$60.5 million in 2022, while bird food will increase at a 0.9% compound annual growth rate (2018-2022), reaching US$32.0 million in 2022. Among other pet food, fish food shows the most stagnant growth in both volume and value terms compared to bird and small mammal/reptile food. Due to the constant decline in new ownership of fish, the fish population is constantly declining.

Historical and forecast retail value sales of other pet food in US$ millions, 2013-2022
Category 2013 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17 2018 2022 CAGR* % 2018-22
Other pet food 167.1 163.8 −0.5 163.3 169.8 1.0
Bird food 30.1 30.8 0.6 30.9 32.0 0.9
Fish food 66.9 61.4 −2.1 60.3 60.5 0.1
Small mammal/reptile food 70.2 71.6 0.5 72.1 77.3 1.8

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

The volume sales of bird food almost doubled fish food, reaching 14,594.3 tonnes and 7,398.4 tonnes respectively in 2017. Both had a negative compound annual growth rate of −0.1% and −2.1% respectively from 2013 to 2017. Small mammal/reptile food had a −0.5% compound annual growth rate from 2013 to 2017, with a volume sale of 9,860.8 tonnes in 2017.

It is forecast that the volume sales of bird food will continue to outperform fish food, reaching 14,333.3 tonnes and 6,859.8 tonnes respectively in 2022. Both will have a negative compound annual growth rate of −0.5% and −1.4% respectively from 2018 to 2022. Small mammal/reptile food will have a 0.2% compound annual growth rate from 2018 to 2022, with a volume sale at 9,989.7 tonnes in 2022. Similar to dog and cat food, small mammal food is also shifting towards premiumisation, due to growing demand in Japan.

Historical and forecast volume sales of other pet food in tonnes, 2013-2022
Category 2013 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17 2018 2022 CAGR* % 2018-22
Other pet food 32,791.6 31,853.6 −0.7 31,767.1 31,182.8 −0.5
Bird food 14,669.4 14,594.3 −0.1 14,608.9 14,333.3 −0.5
Fish food 8,063.2 7,398.4 −2.1 7,257.9 6,859.8 −1.4
Small mammal/reptile food 10,059.0 9,860.8 −0.5 9,900.3 9,989.7 0.2

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Dog and cat ownership

In Japan in 2017, 9.6 households out of 100 owned a cat, while 12.9 households out of 100 owned a dog. That is, 5.2 million households owned cats while 6.9 million households owned dogs in 2017.

Dog and cat ownership by % household and '000 households, 2013-2017
Category Categorization type Unit 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17
Cat % Households owning a cat % Households 9.9 9.8 9.6 9.6 9.7 −0.5
Cat Households owning a cat 000 Households 5,244.8 5,188.0 5,147.1 5,136.8 5,240.7 0.0
Dog % Households owning a dog % Households 15.0 14.4 13.9 13.6 12.9 −3.7
Dog Households owning a dog 000 Households 7,951.8 7,638.4 7,408.0 7,286.1 6,946.2 −3.3

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Note: data of pet ownership in Euromonitor is restricted to cat and dog only

Pet population

There were 19.5 million dogs and cats and 38.4 million other pets in Japan in 2017. The compound annual growth rate for both categories declined at −1.5% and −0.4% respectively from 2013 to 2017. It is forecast that both the population of dogs and cats and the population of other pets will continue to decline at a compound annual growth rate of −1.2% and −0.5% respectively from 2018 to 2022.

Historical and forecast pet population in Japan, in '000 animals, 2013-2022
Category 2013 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17 2018 2022 CAGR* % 2018-22
Dog and cat 20,686.3 19,467.7 −1.5 19,213.1 18,273.8 −1.2
Other pet 39,061.0 38,448.8 −0.4 38,288.3 37,563.7 −0.5

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

In 2017, cat food cost US$7,036.8 per tonne while dog food cost US$6,616.3 per tonne. Both wet cat food and wet dog food are more expensive than dry cat food and dry dog food. The compound annual growth rates of the unit price reached 1.9% for cat food and 1.7% for dog food from 2013 to 2017.

Pet food unit price

Pet food unit price in US$, per tonne, 2013-17
Category 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17
Cat food 6,523.0 6,714.5 6,851.9 6,947.5 7,036.8 1.9
Dry cat food 5,962.1 6,087.0 6,097.1 6,131.0 6,170.2 0.9
Wet cat food 7,167.1 7,350.0 7,461.9 7,511.6 7,579.4 1.4
Dog food 6,174.6 6,302.1 6,407.4 6,534.6 6,616.3 1.7
Dry dog food 5,029.6 5,168.0 5,251.9 5,359.9 5,430.2 1.9
Wet dog food 5,515.8 5,639.8 5,816.5 5,958.5 6,045.6 2.3

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Each household in Japan spent US$65.8 on dog and cat food and US$3.0 on other pet food in 2017. Japanese expenditures on other pet food decreased at a compound annual growth rate of −1.6% from 2013 to 2017. Compared to the countries with the highest (Singapore: US$415.6 in 2017) and lowest (Vietnam: US$1.8 in 2017) consumer expenditure on dog food, Japan has a below-medium expenditure on pet food.

Expenditure on pet food per household, in US$, 2013-17
Category 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17
Pet food 66.8 68.3 68.6 68.7 68.9 0.8
Dog and cat food 63.7 65.2 65.5 65.6 65.8 0.8
Other pet food 3.2 3.1 3.1 3.1 3.0 −1.6

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Distribution channels

Japanese pet owners usually buy prepared food for their pets in grocery stores, especially in supermarkets (19.6% in 2017). The other main channels used are specialized outlets such as pet superstores (16.3% in 2017) and pet shops (7.2% in 2017).

Another promising opportunity in the pet food sector is internet retailing, as pet food sales have steadily increased through this channel, reaching 10.5% in 2017 with a 3.6% compound annual growth rate from 2013 to 2017.

Distribution channels of pet food, 2013-2017
Channel 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17
Store-based retailing 85.5 85.1 84.7 84.5 84.2 −0.4
Grocery retailers 24.0 24.3 24.5 24.3 24.5 0.5
Modern grocery retailers 19.6 20.0 20.5 20.6 20.9 1.6
Convenience stores 0.8 0.8 1.1 1.2 1.3 12.9
Supermarkets 18.7 19.2 19.4 19.4 19.6 1.2
Traditional grocery retailers 4.4 4.3 4.1 3.7 3.6 −4.9
Other grocery retailers 4.4 4.3 4.1 3.7 3.6 −4.9
Mixed retailers 3.8 3.8 3.8 3.8 3.8 0.0
Mass merchandisers 3.8 3.8 3.8 3.8 3.8 0.0
Non-grocery specialists 57.6 57.1 56.4 56.4 56.0 −0.7
Pet superstores 13.3 14.3 15.2 16.0 16.3 5.2
Pet shops 8.2 7.7 7.4 7.2 7.2 −3.2
Health and beauty specialist retailers 7.4 7.4 7.6 8.1 8.4 3.2
Drugstores/parapharmacies 7.4 7.4 7.6 8.1 8.4 3.2
Home and garden specialist retailers 28.7 27.6 25.8 24.9 23.9 −4.5
Home improvement and gardening stores 28.7 27.6 25.8 24.9 23.9 −4.5
Other non-grocery specialists 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.2 0.2 N/C
Non-store retailing 10.5 10.9 11.4 11.6 11.9 3.2
Homeshopping 1.4 1.4 1.3 1.3 1.3 −1.8
Internet retailing 9.1 9.5 10.0 10.2 10.5 3.6
Non-retail channels 4.0 4.0 3.9 3.9 3.9 −0.6
Veterinary clinics 4.0 4.0 3.9 3.9 3.9 −0.6
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

N/C: Not calculable

Company shares

Mars Inc, Unicharm Corp and Nestlé SA clearly dominate the cat food sector, representing 45% of the market share in 2017, ahead of other competitors. However, Nestlé SA had a negative compound annual growth rate of −3.3% from 2013 to 2017. Inaba Pet Food Co Ltd gained the highest compound annual growth rate of 9.0% over the past five years.

According to Euromonitor, Unicharm Corp offers various types of cat food and its premium products and cat treats under the Gin No Spoon brand are performing particularly well in both dry and wet format. The company has extended and strengthened the line-up under Gin No Spoon, which offers wide ranges segmented by age, texture (dry, moist, wet, soup, purée etc.) and healthcare function (hairball care, kidney healthcare, alleviating vomiting etc.) with various package types (plastic bag, tin, pouch, individually-packed small sachets). With the increasing popularity of purée-type treats, Unicharm Corp also launched new purée-type gourmet treats, Mitsuboshi Gourmet, under Gin No Spoon in October 2017, using selective locally-produced ingredients. The company enjoyed a 5.8% compound annual growth rate from 2013 to 2017.

Top players in the cat food sector and their market share (% breakdown), 2013-2017
Company 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17
Mars Inc 15.8 18.5 18.2 18.1 17.6 2.7
Unicharm Corp 11.8 13.0 13.7 14.4 14.8 5.8
Nestlé SA 14.4 12.7 13.1 12.8 12.6 −3.3
Maruha Nichiro Holdings Inc 6.8 6.0 6.2 6.1 6.0 −3.1
Colgate-Palmolive Co 6.6 6.3 5.6 5.7 5.7 −3.6
Nisshin Seifun Group Inc 5.8 5.7 5.5 5.3 5.2 −2.7
Inaba Pet Food Co Ltd 3.4 3.5 3.9 4.3 4.8 9.0
Nippon Pet Food Ltd 3.7 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 −1.4
Pet Line Corp 3.8 4.1 3.9 3.6 3.4 −2.7
Hagoromo Foods Corp 1.1 0.9 0.7 0.8 0.9 −4.9
Smack Co Ltd 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.0
Yamahisa Pet Co Ltd 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.5 5.7
DoggyMan HA Co Ltd 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.0
Marukan Co Ltd 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.0
Procter & Gamble Co, The 2.1 N/C
Private Label 1.9 1.9 1.8 1.7 1.6 −4.2
Others 21.4 22.4 22.5 22.1 22.4 1.1

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

N/C: Not calculable

Mars Inc, Colgate-Palmolive Co and Unicharm Corp dominate the dog food sector, accounting for 49.8% of the market share in 2017. In particular, Mars Inc had a high compound annual growth rate of 9.6% from 2013 to 2017. Yeaster Co Ltd had the lowest compound annual growth rate of −8.9% over the past five years.

According to Euromonitor, the development of new products is seen especially in the premium dog food segment. Due to the declining dog population and the shift towards small breeds, dog food manufacturers are focused on developing value-added products in order to sustain sales. Gourmet-style products are received well by Japanese dog owners, who tend to be attracted by gourmet concepts because of the ongoing humanization trend. For example, Unicharm Corp launched new dog treats, called Ottotto, under its Grand Deli brand in 2017 by collaborating with major food manufacturer Morinaga & Co Ltd. Ottotto is a popular and long-selling savoury snack brand produced by Morinaga & Co. With this new launch, dogs can eat the same snack brand as their owners do. Since some dog owners prepare home-made dog food, further gourmet-style products are likely to be launched over the forecast period.

Top players in the dog food sector and their market share (% breakdown), 2013-2017
Company 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17
Mars Inc 16.8 24.0 24.3 24.5 24.2 9.6
Colgate-Palmolive Co 13.2 13.2 12.4 12.6 13.1 −0.2
Unicharm Corp 11.2 11.3 11.1 12.6 12.5 2.8
Yamahisa Pet Co Ltd 5.9 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.7 −0.9
DoggyMan HA Co Ltd 4.9 4.9 5.0 5.2 5.3 2.0
Marukan Co Ltd 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.5 4.6 2.3
Nisshin Seifun Group Inc 2.9 3.0 3.0 3.1 3.1 1.7
Nippon Pet Food Ltd 2.7 2.6 2.7 2.7 2.7 0.0
Iris Ohyama Co Ltd 1.8 1.7 1.8 1.8 1.8 0.0
Pet Line Corp 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.5 1.5 3.6
Nestlé SA 1.3 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2 −2.0
Yeaster Co Ltd 1.6 1.2 1.3 1.2 1.1 −8.9
DBF Petfood Co Ltd 1.0 1.1 1.0 1.0 1.0 0.0
Inaba Foods Co Ltd 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.0
Smack Co Ltd 0.9 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 −2.9
Procter & Gamble Co, The 7.7 N/C
Private Label 3.1 3.0 3.1 3.0 3.0 −0.8
Others 18.4 19.5 19.9 17.8 17.4 −1.4

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

N/C: Not calculable

Kamihata Fish Ind Ltd, Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc and Marukan Co Ltd are the top three players in other pet food sector, accounting for 43.8% of the market share. Itosui Co Ltd had the biggest compound annual growth rate of 10.7% from 2013 to 2017. Nippon Pet Food Ltd's market share decreased with a −2.4% compound annual growth rate from 2013 to 2017.

Top players in other pet food sector and their market share (% breakdown), 2013-2017
Company 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17
Kamihata Fish Ind Ltd 21.3 21.7 21.7 22.2 22.5 1.4
Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc 10.8 11.0 11.0 11.0 10.8 0.0
Marukan Co Ltd 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.4 10.5 0.7
Feed One Co Ltd 10.2 9.7 9.2 N/C
Yeaster Co Ltd 8.9 9.0 9.2 9.1 9.1 0.6
Pets Ishibashi Co Ltd 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 4.0 2.7
Natural Foods Co Ltd 3.2 3.3 3.3 3.4 3.5 2.3
Gex Corp 1.6 1.6 1.6 1.6 1.6 0.0
Nippon Pet Food Ltd 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.0 1.0 −2.4
Kurose Pet Food Co Ltd 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.0
Itosui Co Ltd 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 10.7
Nippon Formula Feed Mfg Co Ltd 10.1 10.4 N/C
Private Label 0.9 1.0 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.0
Others 27.2 25.9 25.8 25.8 25.9 −1.2

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

N/C: Not calculable

Brand shares

Gin No Spoon by Unicharm Corp is the top brand in cat food (10.0% share in 2017), followed by Kal Kan by Mars Inc (6.7% share) and Mon Petit by Nestlé SA (5.8% share). Gin No Spoon saw the biggest compound annual growth rate of 12.2% from 2013 to 2017.

Top ten brands in cat food and their market share (% breakdown), 2013-2017
Brand Company 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17
Gin No Spoon Unicharm Corp 6.3 7.5 8.6 9.4 10.0 12.2
Kal Kan Mars Inc 6.6 6.8 6.7 6.7 6.7 0.4
Mon Petit Nestlé SA 6.2 5.9 6.0 5.9 5.8 −1.7
Neko Genki Unicharm Corp 5.5 5.5 5.1 5.0 4.8 −3.3
Ciao Inaba Pet Food Co Ltd 3.4 3.5 3.9 4.3 4.8 9.0
Hill's Science Diet Colgate-Palmolive Co 5.4 5.1 4.5 4.6 4.6 −3.9
Sheba Mars Inc 4.2 4.4 4.4 4.4 4.4 1.2
Purina Friskies Nestlé SA 4.1 3.7 3.6 3.6 3.5 −3.9
Canet Pet Line Corp 3.8 4.1 3.9 3.6 3.4 −2.7
Purina ONE Nestlé SA 3.2 3.2 3.4 3.3 3.3 0.8

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Hill's Science Diet by Colgate-Palmolive Co leads the brand in dog food (9.9% share in 2017), followed by Pedigree by Mars Inc. (8.0% share) and Aiken Genki by Unicharm Corp (5.9% share).

Top ten brands in dog food and their market share (% breakdown), 2013-2017
Brand Company 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17
Hill's Science Diet Colgate-Palmolive Co 10.3 10.2 9.4 9.6 9.9 −1.0
Pedigree Mars Inc. 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.1 8.0 −0.6
Aiken Genki Unicharm Corp 6.3 6.4 6.2 6.1 5.9 −1.6
Petio Yamahisa Pet Co Ltd 5.9 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.7 −0.9
DoggyMan DoggyMan HA Co Ltd 4.9 4.9 5.0 5.2 5.3 2.0
Iams Mars Inc 4.6 4.7 4.9 5.1 3.5
Gonta Marukan Co Ltd 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.5 4.6 2.3
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Mars Inc 3.6 3.5 3.6 3.5 3.8 1.4
Royal Canin Mars Inc 3.2 3.5 3.5 3.6 3.6 3.0
Hill's Prescription Diet Colgate-Palmolive Co 2.9 3.0 3.0 2.9 3.2 2.5

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Hikari by Kamihata Fish Ind Ltd leads the brand in other pet food (22.5% share in 2017) followed by Tetra by Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc (10.8% share) and Marukan by Marukan Co Ltd (9.2%). These top three brands accounted for 43.8% of the market share in 2017.

Top ten brands in other pet food and their market share (% breakdown), 2013-2017
Brand Company 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17
Hikari Kamihata Fish Ind Ltd 21.3 21.7 21.7 22.2 22.5 1.4
Tetra Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc 10.8 11.0 11.0 11.0 10.8 0.0
Marukan Marukan Co Ltd 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.4 10.5 0.7
Nippai Feed One Co Ltd 10.2 9.7 9.2 N/C
Yeaster Yeaster Co Ltd 8.9 9.0 9.2 9.1 9.1 0.6
Pets Ishibashi Pets Ishibashi Co Ltd 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 4.0 2.7
Natural Foods Natural Foods Co Ltd 3.2 3.3 3.3 3.4 3.5 2.3
GEX Gex Corp 1.6 1.6 1.6 1.6 1.6 0.0
Kurose Kurose Pet Food Co Ltd 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.0
Angel Nippon Pet Food Ltd 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.0

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

N/C: Not calculable

Product launch analysis

From July 2017 to June 2018, a total of 433 pet food products were launched in Japan. There were 168 new variety/range extensions, 129 relaunches, 80 new packaging and 56 new products; 115 products were wet cat food, 112 were dry dog food, 65 were dry cat food, 40 were cat snacks and treats, 33 were dog snacks and treats, and 10 were wet dog food.

Launch type of pet food, July 2017-June 2018
Launch type Q*3 2017 Q4 2017 Q1 2018 Q2 2018 Total sample
New variety/range extension 62 23 38 45 168
Relaunch 36 50 30 13 129
New packaging 15 13 45 7 80
New product 15 17 18 6 56
Total sample 128 103 131 71 433

Source: Mintel, 2018

Q*: Quarter (every three months)

Among the top nutritional components in the launched products, 428 products (98.8%) have protein and fat, 394 products (91.0%) contained moisture and 393 (90.8%) products contained ash.

Top nutritional components (listed on pack) in the products launched July 2017-June 2018
Nutrition Q*3 2017 Q4 2017 Q1 2018 Q2 2018 Total sample
Protein 125 101 131 71 428
Fat 125 101 131 71 428
Moisture 116 93 126 59 394
Ash 116 93 125 59 393
Energy (kcal) 38 27 52 54 171
Calcium 27 42 70 12 151
Phosphorus 22 42 69 12 145
Vitamin E 25 53 39 8 125
Vitamin A 25 53 32 7 117
Total sample 128 103 131 71 433

Source: Mintel, 2018

Q*: Quarter (every three months)

Vitamin E is the number one ingredient (313 products) followed by food acids (310 products) and minerals (262 products).

Top ingredients associated with pet food products July 2017-June 2018
Ingredient Q*3 2017 Q4 2017 Q1 2018 Q2 2018 Total sample
Vitamin E 92 75 106 40 313
Food acids 87 72 103 48 310
Minerals 68 68 99 27 262
Vitamins (food) 62 68 102 23 255
Riboflavin (food) 52 66 94 22 234
Vitamin A 54 56 95 22 227
Vitamin B12 52 66 91 16 225
Choline 47 65 91 19 222
Pantothenic acid (food) 46 54 95 19 214
Vitamin B6 53 41 93 20 207
Total sample 128 103 131 71 433

Source: Mintel, 2018

Q*: Quarter (every three months)

The top three packaging types were flexible (141), flexible stand-up pouch (109) and flexible sachet (73).

Top packaging associated with pet food products July 2017-June 2018
Package type Q*3 2017 Q4 2017 Q1 2018 Q2 2018 Q3 2018 Total sample
Flexible 25 33 66 14 3 141
Flexible stand-up pouch 32 23 22 20 12 109
Flexible sachet 13 28 17 9 6 73
Can 8 8 3 14 1 34
Bottle 9 8 4 8 2 31
Flexible stick-pack 3 3 9 2 0 17
Tray 0 0 7 4 0 11
Skinpack 0 0 3 0 0 3

Source: Mintel, 2018

Q*: Quarter (every three months)

Products are also often positioned according to the age of pets. Senior pet food in retail sales in Japan (dry cat food: 30.3%, wet cat food: 32.0%, dry dog food: 39.2%, wet dog food: 40.6%) has been gaining popularity in recent years. Senior dogs and cats have specific needs, and more affluent consumers take these very seriously by acquiring food specifically formulated to help the pets cope with physical changes, such as joint problems or arthritis. Food targeting senior dogs and cats makes up the most significant share of retail sales in Japan.

Cat food and dog food by lifecycle in retail sales, 2017 (% breakdown)
Category Adult Kitten/Pup Senior Other Total
Dry cat food 18.4 8.3 30.3 43.0 100.0
Wet cat food 15.1 5.2 32.0 47.7 100.0
Dry dog food 41.3 8.6 39.2 10.9 100.0
Wet dog food 43.3 3.0 40.6 13.1 100.0

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

Note: "Other" refers to all the food that has no life stage clearly indicated on the package.

Pet fairs in Japan

There will be one international pet fair, Interpets Asia Pacific, taking place in Tokyo, from March 28 to 31, 2019, with 500 exhibitors. This event showcases product from the pets and veterinary industry and the theme is A Happy and Healthy Life With Pets.

With respect to domestic pet fairs, this year, the annual Pet Expo (in Japanese only) took place in January 2018 in Yokohama, in May in Makuhari, Chiba, and will take place in September in Osaka and in October in Nagoya. First held in 1994 in Osaka, the Pet Expo is an event organised for both pets and pet owners to participate in and experience. The Expo includes a wide variety of pet-related products on display as well as a zone with goods on sale.

For more information

International Trade Commissioners can provide Canadian industry with on-the-ground expertise regarding market potential, current conditions and local business contacts, and are an excellent point of contact for export advice.

For additional intelligence on this and other markets, the complete library of Global Analysis reports can be found on the International agri-food market intelligence page, arranged by region.

For additional Information on FoodEx Japan 2019, please contact:

Ben Berry, Deputy Director
Trade Show Strategy and Delivery
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
ben.berry@canada.ca

Resources

Sector Trend Analysis – Pet food in Japan
Global Analysis Report

Prepared by: Hongli Wang, Market Analyst

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