Language selection

Search

Sector Trend Analysis – Pet food trends in the European Union

December 2018

Executive summary

In 2017, the European Union pet food industry was worth US$24.1 billion and is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 3.5% (2018-2022) to reach US$28.2 billion in 2022.

As more people begin to see their pets as family members, they have increasingly demanded pet foods that are similar to their own preferences. This humanization of pets has led to a "premiumization" of pet foods, where foods that have claims such as "organic," "raw" and "no additives or preservatives" lead in sales.

While the standard pet foods are forecast to continue growing from 2018 to 2022, premium products, such as therapeutic dog and cat foods, are predicted to experience the fastest growth among pet products.

Germany was the top importer of dog, cat and bird food in 2017. With over Can$404.6 million in imports, it more than doubled the second highest importing country, Austria (Can$187.9 million).

Liechtenstein, a microstate that is part of the European Economic and Schengen areas, was the top exporter to the European Union with Can$346.8 million in 2017. Canada was ranked the fourth-largest exporter with Can$179.1 million.

From January 2015 to December 2017, there were 8,138 pet food products launched in the European Union, with the most product launches occurring in the dog snacks and treats category.

Pet population and ownership

The pet population in the European Union (EU) grew steadily, from 353.3 million in 2013 to 358.1 million in 2017. Fish made up the largest total pet population, at 42.9% in 2017, followed by cats (20.9%), dogs (17.9%), small mammals / reptiles (16.9%) and birds (11.1%). Each type of pet is expected to remain similarly ranked in population from 2018 to 2022. However, the small mammal and reptile population is forecast to narrow the gap with the dog population.

The overall growth is explained by key factors such as lower marriage rates and delayed parenthood. People still desire companionship and are buying pets with their extra money. In general, small animals are growing faster due to urbanization. People are moving into smaller spaces and working more, which is not ideal for big, high-maintenance animals.

However, birds and fish are forecast to have smaller populations by 2022. The EU banned wild bird imports after declaring the species invasive in 2005. Following the ban's implementation, the number of imported birds dropped from 1.3 million in 2005 to 130,000 in 2011. Fish popularity seems to have been negatively affected by increased knowledge of pet care. Fish bowls and generic pellets are generally not sufficient for healthy fish, and the price and time needed for better care is much higher.

Pet population in the European Union: historical and forecast, '000s of animals
Category 2013 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017 2018 2022 CAGR* % 2018-2022
Total population 353,309.3 358,100.2 0.4 357,863.7 358,749.9 0.1
Fish population 153,685.3 151,668.9 −0.3 150,726.1 148,887.4 −0.3
Cat population 68,373.1 73,835.7 1.9 74,281.4 75,930.9 0.6
Dog population 61,538.2 63,269.1 0.7 63,404.4 64,011.7 0.2
Small mammal/ reptile population 59,514.8 59,655.1 0.1 59,916.5 61,282.5 0.6
Bird population 39,955.3 39,499.0 −0.3 39,493.5 39,278.7 −0.1

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Pet ownership in the European Union: historical, '000s and % of households, top three populated countries
Category 2013 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017 2013 % 2017 % CAGR* % 2013-2017
Cats 2,215.7 2,431.0 2.3 22.9 23.7 0.8
Germany 7,583.3 9,157.7 4.8 19.0 22.0 3.6
France 7,647.4 8,740.3 3.4 27.5 30.5 2.6
United Kingdom 5,231.6 5,696.9 2.2 19.5 20.6 1.4
Dogs 2,491.7 2,655.7 1.6 24.7 25.2 0.5
Germany 5,590.6 7,052.0 6.0 14.0 17.0 5.0
United Kingdom 6,331.5 6,537.6 0.8 23.6 23.6 0.0
Italy 5,650.1 6,349.7 3.0 21.6 23.1 1.7

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Retail market size

Pet food in the European Union experienced strong growth during the period, from US$21.9 billion in 2013 to US$24.1 billion in 2017 (2.4% CAGR). The market will grow even faster from 2018 to 2022, with a 3.5% CAGR. Dog and cat food made up most of the market in 2017, at 46.9% and 45.5% of the market respectively. The market will continue to grow with the increase in the pet population.

In recent years, pet food has experienced premiumization, whereby healthier and more nutritionally dense products are bought, despite a higher price. Pets are also starting to be humanized and seen as part of the family. This has led to consumers demanding products that are similar to their preferences. Many households are going from feeding leftovers and scraps to their pets to prepared meals designed for pets that offer more nutritional value. In addition, the market is forecast to continue growing with the increase in distribution channels. Many superstore locations are beginning to carry pet food and Internet retailing is becoming more popular.

Pet food in the European Union: historical and forecast retail sales in US$ millions
Category 2013 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017 2018 2022 CAGR* % 2018-2022
Total Pet food 21,858.3 24,056.1 2.4 24,601.8 28,185.8 3.5
Dog food 10,238.2 11,279.4 2.5 11,542.8 13,300.2 3.6
Cat food 9,845.2 10,940.5 2.7 11,215.6 12,876.6 3.5
Other pet 1,774.9 1,836.5 0.9 1,843.5 2,008.8 2.2

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Dog food in the European Union: historical and forecast, established and emerging markets in US$ millions
Country 2013 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017 2018 2022 CAGR* % 2018-2022
Total dog food 10,238.2 11,279.4 2.5 11,542.8 13,300.2 3.6
United Kingdom 2,200.9 2,205.8 0.1 2,167.4 2,367.5 2.2
Germany 1,569.1 1,835.9 4.0 1,870.0 2,046.7 2.3
France 1,722.8 1,823.3 1.4 1,851.9 2,054.7 2.6
Poland 295.9 370.6 5.8 393.5 500.2 6.2
Romania 199.8 301.0 10.8 347.0 562.8 12.9
Finland 181.0 228.6 6.0 237.6 274.2 3.6

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Cat food in the European Union: historical and forecast, established and emerging markets in US$ millions
Country 2013 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017 2018 2022 CAGR* % 2018-2022
Total cat food 9,845.2 10,940.5 2.7 11,215.6 12,876.6 3.5
Germany 1,916.2 2,083.1 2.1 2,137.2 2,367.5 2.6
United Kingdom 1,857.7 2,013.4 2.0 2,014.9 2,229.8 2.6
France 1,784.4 1,903.6 1.6 1,932.2 2,192.9 3.2
Poland 277.2 367.8 7.3 392.1 500.8 6.3
Czech Republic 125.1 163.4 6.9 177.1 228.8 6.6
Romania 87.3 146.9 13.9 172.6 285.4 13.4

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Other pet food in the European Union: historical and forecast, established and emerging markets in US$ millions
Category 2013 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017 2018 2022 CAGR* % 2018-2022
Total other food 1,774.9 1,836.5 0.9 1,843.5 2,008.8 2.2
United Kingdom 482.2 589.9 5.2 594.6 693.4 3.9
France 375.0 358.0 −1.2 358.7 378.5 1.4
Germany 299.5 287.1 −1.1 289.1 316.0 2.2
Hungary 6.5 7.4 3.3 7.8 9.1 3.9
Finland 5.2 5.5 1.4 5.6 6.3 3.0
Bulgaria 1.5 1.7 3.2 1.8 2.1 3.9

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Mars Inc. and Nestlé SA dominated from 2015 to 2017 in the European Union. Mars Inc., with its Pedigree and Whiskas brands, had nearly a quarter of the pet food market share. Nestlé SA followed behind with 19.0% market share in 2017, with brands such as Purina Adventuros and Purina Gourmet Gold. Collectively, other companies saw their market share increase from 16.0% to 18.5% between 2015 and 2017. Smaller brands have gained market share through increased distribution in pet superstores and online. In addition, companies such as Blue Buffalo Pet products, gained popularity by positioning their food as natural and organic.

Pet food in the European Union: historical company retail market share in US$ millions
Market Player 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Mars Inc. 5,518.8 5,607.3 5,694.9 5,762.5 5,858.6 1.5
Nestlé SA 4,146.7 4,264.0 4,455.0 4,473.2 4,573.3 2.5
Colgate-Palmolive Co. 750.9 779.6 809.3 832.8 862.2 3.5
Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. 179.4 796.7 806.6 819.9 837.8 47.0
Agrolimen SA 560.8 581.6 610.4 634.8 655.3 4.0

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Market segmentation

As the pet population for pets increases, the demand for pet food across all segments has grown. Owners are increasingly focusing on foods that keep their pets in the healthiest condition and specialized for their animal's breed, gender and age. As a result, premium pet food that often has the healthiest claims grew the fastest during the 2013-2017 period and is forecast to have the strongest growth during the 2018-2022 period.

Dog food

There was a steady compound annual growth rate (2.5%) for dog food between 2013 and 2017 and it is expected to increase to 3.6% between 2018 and 2022. While dry dog food made up 52.6% of sales, dog treats and mixes and wet dog food had faster growth rates at 5.6% and 1.9% compared with 1.5% CAGR for dry dog food. All categories are expected to experience stronger growth from 2018 to 2022, except dog treats and mixers.

In addition to dog food for their pet's specific breed, owners are becoming interested in new trends. Products that highlight gluten-free or superfood ingredients, such as cranberries, blueberries and acai berries, are becoming increasingly popular. Consumers believe these ingredients bring the same benefits to pets as they do to humans. Freeze-dried food is also becoming more popular, as owners feel they are providing their pets with a fresh meal once it is ready to serve.

Dog food in the European Union: historical and forecast market segmentation in US$ millions
Category 2013 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017 2018 2022 CAGR* % 2018-2022
Total dog food 10,238.1 11,279.4 2.5 11,542.7 13,300.3 3.6
Dry dog food 5,585.8 5,928.9 1.5 6,056.9 6,933.0 3.4
Premium dry dog food 2,347.3 2,694.8 3.5 2,795.5 1,312.7 -17.2
Mid-priced dry dog food 2,128.9 2,083.9 −0.5 2,091.1 2,309.0 2.5
Economy dry dog food 1,109.5 1,150.3 0.9 1,170.3 3,311.3 29.7
Wet dog food 2,630.8 2,839.9 1.9 2,872.7 3,207.9 2.8
Premium wet dog food 814.9 982.3 4.8 1,012.7 1,189.8 4.1
Mid-priced wet dog food 1,084.4 1,114.4 0.7 1,109.6 1,204.2 2.1
Economy wet dog food 731.5 743.2 0.4 750.4 813.8 2.0
Dog treats and mixers 2,021.5 2,510.6 5.6 2,613.1 3,159.4 4.9
Dog treats 1,941.0 2,423.9 5.7 2,526.4 3,071.5 5.0
Dog mixers 80.4 86.7 1.9 86.7 87.9 0.3

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Mars Inc. has remained a dominant player in the dog food industry due to its brand recognition and competitive prices. It continues to remain relevant in the increasingly segmented market through its acquisitions over the years. For example, to address its positioning as only a mid-priced pet food company, it purchased Procter & Gamble's Iams, Eukanuba and Natura to bolster its premium sales. However, Mars Inc.'s natural food offerings are lackluster and other brands that target this segment are gaining market share.

Dog food in the European Union: historical company retail market share in US$ millions
Market Player 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Mars Inc. 5,982.3 6,120.7 6,209.2 6,274.0 6,383.0 1.6
Nestlé SA 3,205.2 3,261.2 3,343.9 3,426.6 3,505.4 2.3
Colgate-Palmolive Co. 1,052.4 1,088.2 1,131.3 1,172.3 1,211.7 3.6
Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. 875.1 902.8 941.8 972.4 1,004.3 3.5
Agrolimen SA 14.8 868.7 894.2 923.4 955.6 183.5

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Cat food

Between 2013 and 2017, cat food sales grew at a compound annual growth rate of 2.7% from 2013 to 2017 and are expected to grow by 3.5% from 2018 to 2022. Wet cat food was the primary source of sales, making up 59.7% of the total sales in 2017. Dry cat food and cat treat and mixer products have grown at a faster rate, however, and are expected to grow faster than wet cat food.

As cats become the preferred pet in countries with higher population densities and cities that have small homes, the cat food market is set to continue its strong growth. Western Europe is the largest market for cat food due to product innovation and higher cat humanization leading to more premium cat food purchases. However, many Eastern European countries have a higher percentage of cat-owning households and favour economical food products.

Cat food in the European Union: historical and forecast market segmentation in US$ millions
Category 2013 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017 2018 2022 CAGR* % 2018-2022
Total cat food 9,845.2 10,940.4 2.7 11,215.7 12,876.4 3.5
Wet cat food 5,998.2 6,532.5 2.2 6,662.8 7,478.0 2.9
Premium wet cat food 2,299.8 2,678.2 3.9 2,771.2 3,209.8 3.7
Mid-priced wet cat food 2,822.7 2,940.8 1.0 2,961.9 3,222.0 2.1
Economy wet cat food 875.7 913.5 1.1 929.7 1,046.3 3.3
Dry cat food 3,194.6 3,521.2 2.5 3,626.6 4,273.7 4.2
Premium dry cat food 1,461.7 1,712.0 4.0 1,776.2 2,143.1 4.8
Mid-priced dry cat food 1,334.7 1,358.5 0.4 1,385.8 1,594.6 3.6
Economy dry cat food 398.3 450.6 3.1 464.6 536.1 3.6
Cat treats and mixers 652.4 886.7 8.0 926.3 1,124.7 5.0

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Nestlé SA became the most popular cat food producer after introducing many new premium products under its Purina brand. However, an overreliance on the Purina brand could be troublesome for the company. Each new Purina product blurs the lines between the company's offerings. This is causing Nestlé to lose market share, as companies such as Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc. are positioning themselves into specific segments, such as natural and organic. Nestlé purchased established natural brands Zuke and Merrick in 2013 and 2015 respectively, to widen its portfolio.

Cat food in the European Union: historical company retail market share in US$ millions
Market Player 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Nestlé SA 8,525.0 8,861.8 9,417.2 9,725.6 9,963.5 4.0
Mars Inc. 9,173.3 9,236.9 9,442.6 9,581.2 9,749.9 1.5
Colgate-Palmolive Co. 1,335.7 1,396.5 1,442.5 1,470.4 1,524.7 3.4
Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. N/A 1,118.0 1,127.2 1,147.1 1,171.4 1.6
Agrolimen SA 753.4 782.3 832.1 876.0 903.0 4.6

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

N/A: Not available

Other pet food

While fish have the biggest population in the European Union, small mammals and reptiles have the largest market outside of dogs and cats. Together, they make up around 60% of the market for other pets. Between 2013 and 2017, the other pet food market had a CAGR of 0.9% and is expected to increase to 2.2%. The largest markets are in urbanized countries, such as France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy, where there is less space to accommodate larger pets.

Premiumization has not affected other pet foods as much as cat and dog food. The pets in this category are not humanized to the same degree and there has not been as much demand for food with specific health claims or for certain breeds. However, there is some growth in premium brands for birds and fish, as new products claim to enhance their colours, luminosity or other features. Treats for these pets are also being introduced and becoming popular as a way to strengthen the bond between pet and owner.

Other pet Food in the European Union: historical and forecast market segmentation in US$ millions
Category 2013 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017 2018 2022 CAGR* % 2018-2022
Total other pet food 1,774.9 1,836.5 0.9 1,843.5 2,008.8 2.2
Small mammal / reptile food 1,005.7 1,102.2 2.3 1,108.5 1,232.4 2.7
Fish food 393.2 369.1 −1.6 368.4 392.5 1.6
Bird food 376.1 365.1 −0.7 366.5 383.8 1.2

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Vitakraft has gained the largest market share by introducing its brand Vitakraft Premium in the slowly emerging premium market for other pets early on. The company also introduced treats for pets in this category, such as birds and reptiles, which have been gaining in popularity. Due to the smaller size of the market, Vitakraft mostly advertised in magazines or online, as opposed to large marketing campaigns. However, the company has begun to shift its focus towards the more profitable cat and dog food after its merger with German pet food company Deuerer.

Other pet food in the European Union: historical company retail market share in US$ millions
Market Player 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Vitakraft Pet Care GmbH & Co KG N/A N/A 283.1 279.7 280.9 −0.4
Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. 171.9 169.5 167.8 165.2 163.3 −1.3
The Bob Martin Co. 3.6 3.7 3.7 101.7 100.5 129.9
Inspired Pet Nutrition Ltd. N/A N/A N/A 76.7 79.1 3.1
Versele-Laga NV 59.1 57.8 57.8 58.6 60.1 0.4

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

N/A: Not available

Distribution channels

In 2017, 54.5% of pet food distribution was done through modern or traditional grocery retailers, such as supermarkets, hypermarkets, discounters and independent grocers. This was followed by 32.5% of the sales being distributed through non-grocery specialists, such as pet superstores and home and garden specialists. The remaining distribution was mostly done through veterinary clinics (4.8%) and Internet retailing (7.2%).

Supermarkets and hypermarkets accounted for almost half of total pet food distribution. With many chains in the EU, such as Tesco, Carrefour and Lidl, having 5,000-10,000 locations available and the ability to sell at lower costs, they have been able to be the dominant force in many industries for years. However, there have been steady decreases in many grocery retailers, as grocery retailers lost −1.5% CAGR of the distribution from 2013 to 2017.

Other channels have been steadily increasing their distribution market share. Pet superstores gained 2.1% CAGR over the period, while smaller channels, such as drugstores and pharmacies and home and garden specialists in the other non-grocery specialist category, had 8.8% CAGR and 1.3% CAGR increases respectively. The biggest change was the increase in Internet retailing, with a 12.5% CAGR increase in pet food distribution over the period. The Internet has quickly gained popularity in many countries due to the wide selection of different brands. The products bought online can often be found even cheaper than in store, as there are no logistics or delivery costs from a distributor for the seller.

Pet food in the European Union: historical distribution by channels in % share
Channel 2013 % 2014 % 2015 % 2016 % 2017 % CAGR* % 2013-2017
Grocery retailers 57.9 57.2 56.5 55.3 54.5 −1.5
Supermarkets 26.3 26.1 25.8 25.4 25.1 −1.2
Hypermarkets 20.1 19.8 19.6 19.0 18.6 −1.9
Other grocery retailers 11.6 11.4 11.1 10.9 10.8 −1.8
Non-grocery specialists 31.6 31.8 31.9 32.3 32.5 0.7
Pet shops 15.3 15.0 14.7 14.8 14.8 −0.8
Pet superstores 10.6 11.0 11.4 11.5 11.5 2.1
Other non-grocery specialists 5.7 5.8 5.9 6.0 6.1 1.7
Internet retailing 4.5 5.2 5.9 6.6 7.2 12.5
Veterinary clinic 4.9 4.8 4.7 4.8 4.8 −0.5
Mixed retailers 1.0 1.0 1.0 0.9 0.9 −2.6

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

European Union trade

In 2017, countries outside of the European Union exported Can$1.4 billion worth of dog, cat and bird food to the EU. Most of these imports originated from Liechtenstein (Can$346.8 million), China (Can$318.7 million) and Thailand (Can$304.5 million). As part of the European Economic and Schengen areas, Liechtenstein has an advantage in selling to the EU, accounting for almost 25% of pet food imports to the EU in 2017 despite being a microstate, due to the fact that there is a large pet plant there.

Prior to the implementation of the Canadian-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), Canadian pet foods were often subject to tariffs of 948 euros/tonne. Now, products that are primarily manufactured in Canada or the EU receive preferential, duty-free treatment as products manufactured in Canada that meet the rules of origin conditions can be imported duty-free into the EU without volume limitations. Since CETA's implementation in September 2017, the number of imports from Canada per month has grown by 6.4% compared with the previous year's period.

Pet food in the European Union: historical import statistics from top seven countries in Can$ millions
(Harmonized system codes: 230910, 100830)
Country 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Total  849.6  1,048.2  1,222.1  1,262.3  1,404.8 0.1
Liechtenstein  171.9  208.4  199.1  163.4  346.8 0.2
China  106.3  120.4  150.2  168.7  318.7 0.3
Thailand  165.3  204.7  252.2  279.0  304.5 0.2
Canada  113.3  120.5  154.3  163.0  179.1 0.1
United States  59.7  88.8  109.0  109.8  108.2 0.1
Switzerland  138.6  165.1  168.7  177.4  31.0 0.2
Serbia  9.5  10.4  14.1  22.8  30.3 0.3

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

The top three EU countries to which Canada exported pet food in 2017 were Spain (Can$22.8 million), France (Can$22.2 million) and Italy (Can$16.7 million). France and the Netherlands had the most significant compound annual growth rates of 44.4% and 44.3% respectively from 2013 to 2017.

Top European Union countries to which Canada exported pet food, in Can$ millions, 2013-2017
Country 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Total 100.4 110.1 130.3 135.1 168.3 13.8
Spain 12.1 16.8 20.3 22.4 22.8 17.1
France 5.1 8.6 14.6 13.0 22.2 44.4
Italy 7.4 10.5 9.0 11.9 16.7 22.4
Belgium 27.6 20.2 20.7 16.0 15.0 −14.1
Germany 8.9 8.7 9.8 10.6 12.3 8.6
Netherlands 2.8 4.0 3.0 5.2 12.0 44.3
Poland 6.1 6.2 7.4 9.9 12.0 18.4
Sweden 4.1 6.1 9.2 10.3 11.9 30.2

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

The top three Canadian provinces that exported pet food to the EU in 2017 were Alberta (Can$121.35 million), Ontario (Can$29.03 million) and British Columbia (Can$12.42 million). Alberta and Ontario had the highest compound annual growth rates of 29.5% and 20.0% respectively from 2013 to 2017.

Canadian pet food by province: historical export statistics to the European Union in Can$ millions
(Harmonized system codes: 230910, 100830)
Province 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Total 100.36 110.15 130.29 135.15 168.35 13.8
Alberta 43.14 49.12 75.30 89.12 121.35 29.5
Ontario 14.01 37.42 32.61 25.90 29.03 20.0
British Columbia 12.27 15.95 13.14 13.21 12.42 0.3
Saskatchewan 4.48 5.32 5.48 5.15 4.29 −1.0
Quebec 25.08 0.80 1.73 1.23 0.62 −60.3
Manitoba 1.36 1.51 1.99 0.51 0.60 −18.7
Nova Scotia 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.03 0.04 18.5

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound annual growth rate

Product launch analysis

From January 2015 to December 2017, a total of 8,138 products were launched in the European Union. The most popular category was dog snacks and treats with 2,577 products launched, followed by wet cat food (2,037) and wet dog food (1,243). There were fewer cat snacks and treats (891) and dry dog food (715) released during that time period.

During that same period, 4,541 products contained ingredients with an animal origin (according to ingredient claims), along with 4,149 products with vegetable-based ingredients, 3,816 with nutritional ingredients, 1,951 with sugar-based ingredients and 437 with soy-derived ingredients. Many of these products were launched as primarily new products or varieties, an example of the growing market for pet food.

Top countries in the European Union for new pet food product launches, 2015 to 2017
Description of this image follows.
Description of above image
Denmark 2.9%
Sweden 3.1%
Czech Republic 3.4%
Netherlands 3.8%
Italy 7.1%
Poland 7.8%
France 8.0%
Spain 8.1%
United Kingdom 17.0%
Germany 19.2%

Source: Mintel, 2018

Increased consumer expenditures on pet food have resulted in more new product launches to align with health trends. Most of the products in the top subcategories, such as no additives/preservatives, vitamin/mineral fortified and digestion and urinary tract, were new (1,441, 568 and 562 respectively). This was followed by product launches as part of a range extension and new packaging to emphasize the benefits.

Number of pet food product launches by claim in the European Union, 2015-2017
Category Claim Number of products
Pet Pet – adult 4,488
No additives/preservatives 2,733
Digestion and urinary tract (functional pet) 1,404
Skin and coat (functional pet) 1,331
Teeth and tartar prevention (functional pet) 1,245
Natural No additives/preservatives 3,438
Pet – adult 2,299
Low/no/reduced allergen 1,011
Low/no/reduced sugar 912
Digestion and urinary tract (functional pet) 888
Minus No additives/preservatives 1,332
Low/no/reduced sugar 1,204
Pet – adult 1,032
Low/no/reduced fat 692
Low/no/reduced allergen 504
Positioning Premium 918
Pet – adult 897
No additives/preservatives 840
Social media 505
Low/no/reduced allergen 479
Plus Vitamin/mineral fortified 1,405
Pet – adult 986
No additives/preservatives 924
Skin and coat (functional pet) 578
Digestion and urinary tract (functional pet) 541
Total sample 8,138
Source: Mintel, 2018
European Union top pet product launch types, 2015-2017
Launch type Number of products
New product 3,569
New variety / range extension 2,936
New packaging 1,072
Relaunch 401
New formulation 160
Source: Mintel, 2018
European Union top pet product sub-categories, 2015-2017
Subcategory Number of products
Dog snacks and treats 2,577
Cat food wet 2,037
Dog food wet 1,243
Cat snacks and treats 891
Dog food dry 715
Source: Mintel, 2018

Product examples

Assorted Natural Tuna Adult Cat Food in Delicate Broth
Company Nestlé Purina PetCare
Brand Purina Gourmet Crystal Soup
Category Pet food
Sub-category Cat food wet
Country United Kingdom
Launch type Relaunch
Price in US dollars 2.66
Claims No Additives/Preservatives, Pet –Adult

Description: Purina Gourmet Crystal Soup Assorted Natural Tuna Adult Cat Food in Delicate Broth has been relaunched with a new pack featuring the 2017 Product of the Year seal and with a new brand name, previously known as Purina Gourmet Soup. This product is said to provide a unique sensorial experience and be full of nature's finest ingredients. It is made with natural tuna, contains no added artificial colourants, preservatives or flavouring and retails in a four by 40 gram (g) unit package containing the following varieties: delicate broth with natural tuna, garnished with shrimp; and delicate broth with natural tuna and anchovies.

Source: Mintel, 2018

Chewing Rolls with Chlorophyll
Company Gifi Diffusion
Brand GiFi Doggy & Co
Category Pet food
Sub-category Dog snacks and treats
Country France
Launch type New variety / Range extension
Price in US dollars 7.16
Claims Breath-Freshening, Teeth and Tartar Prevention (Functional Pet)

Description: GiFi Doggy & Co Rouleaux à Mâcher Chlorophylle (Chewing Rolls with Chlorophyll) are now available. The product is said to freshen breath and to reduce the formation of tartar. It retails in a 5-count. pack.

Source: Mintel, 2018

Spearmint Dental Chews
Company Town & Country Petfoods
Brand HiLife Essentials
Category Pet food
Sub-category Dog Snacks and treats
Country United Kingdom
Launch type New packaging
Price in US dollars 3.21
Claims No Additives/Preservatives, Social Media, Teeth and Tartar Prevention (Functional Pet), Whitening

Description: HiLife Essentials Spearmint Dental Chews have been repackaged in a resealable 150 g pack with 10 chews featuring the Facebook and Twitter logos. According to the manufacturer, this high-quality product not only tastes great but also helps provide the dog with a fun way of living a full and satisfying life. Research shows that daily use of chews like these can reduce tartar build-up, help keep teeth and gums clean and healthy, and keep breath fresh. The product for whiter teeth is made from natural hide and contains no nasty additives.

Source: Mintel, 2018

Cat milk drink
Company DM Drogerie Markt
Brand Dm Dein Bestes
Category Pet Food
Sub-category Cat food wet
Country Germany
Launch type New variety / Range extension
Price in US dollars 0.88
Claims Eyesight (Functional Pet), Heart and Cardiovascular System (Functional Pet), Low/No/Reduced Allergen, Low/No/Reduced Lactose, Low/No/Reduced Sugar, No Additives/Preservatives, Pet – Adult, Pet – Junior, Vitamin/Mineral Fortified

Description: Dm Dein Bestes Katzenmilch (Cat Milk) contains no additional sugar, preservatives, colourings or flavourings and has less than 0.1% lactose. It is specially designed for adult cats and kittens six weeks and older and is easily digestible thanks to its low lactose content. It also contains vitamins A, D3 and E and taurine, which support heart and eye function. This product was made with veterinarians and retails in a 250 millilitre bottle.

Source: Mintel, 2018

Opportunities

The forecast growth of the total pet population, except for birds and fish, will result in continued growth in pet food demand in the European Union. As consumers become more aware of health issues in pets, products that are more diet friendly or target certain issues for pets are forecast to grow faster. Products that are natural, organic, sustainable and transparent in terms of ingredient sources are becoming increasingly favoured by customers.

Consumers are increasingly using the Internet to find information on pet care and even buy pet products. Some companies, such as the UK-based company Lily's Kitchen, are using their social media profiles to provide tips to consumers, while also establishing a stronger bond. Growing Internet use will benefit small companies, which will not have to compete for shelf space in stores.

CETA's implementation has had a substantial effect on Canadian exports to the European Union. With eliminated or reduced tariffs, Canadian exports increased by 6.4% over the October–April period since implementation. While the top three markets for pet food (United Kingdom, Germany and France) are expected to grow steadily, Romania, Bulgaria, Finland and Poland are expected to post a higher rate until 2022.

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.

Additional information on specific countries in the European Union can be found on the European Union Overview page.

For additional information on SIAL 2018, 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 trends in the European Union
Global Analysis Report

Prepared by: Jonathan Inada, Market Analyst Intern

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (2018).

Photo credits
All photographs reproduced in this publication are used by permission of the rights holders.
All images, unless otherwise noted, are copyright Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada.

To join our distribution list or to suggest additional report topics or markets, please contact:

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Global Analysis
1341 Baseline Road, Tower 5, 3rd floor
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada, K1A 0C5
Email: aafc.mas-sam.aac@canada.ca

The Government of Canada has prepared this report based on primary and secondary sources of information. Although every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) assumes no liability for any actions taken based on the information contained herein.

Reproduction or redistribution of this document, in whole or in part, must include acknowledgement of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as the owner of the copyright in the document, through a reference citing AAFC, the title of the document and the year. Where the reproduction or redistribution includes data from this document, it must also include an acknowledgement of the specific data source(s), as noted in this document.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provides this document and other report services to agriculture and food industry clients free of charge.

Report a problem on this page
Please select all that apply:

Date modified: