WITH a quarter of UK households having a dog, and nearly one in five keeping at least one cat, the nation’s love affair with its pets shows no sign of slowing down. And despite the financial pressures elsewhere, families seem to find the cash to look after their furry friends.
John Walgate, chair of the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) described the market as challenging in the association’s 2013 report. But sales in 2012, including bird food, were worth £2.5bn.
Within that figure dog food is worth £1.1bn a year. And while volume growth is flat, value growth is up 2%, reflecting price increases but showing also perhaps that dog lovers are prepared to trade up to give their pets a treat.
The PFMA report showed cat food up 1% by volume and 2% by value. The actual amount of bird food sold and the cash achieved both rose – up 3% by volume and 2% by value.
• Tony Raeburn, CEO of Pets Choice, sees the demand for healthy eating extending to pets.
“Currently, the stand-out trend is for good quality, natural pet food. Owners are more interested in the ingredients in their beloved pet’s food.
“Pets Choice offers a range of natural, high quality pet food and treats. For example, our Webbox Natural dog food includes 60% fresh meat with fresh vegetables and brown rice. Webbox Cats Delight Sticks contain 90% fresh meat and appeal to pet owners looking for more sophisticated ingredients.”
To tackle pet obesity, Cats Delight Tasty Tid Bits and Webbox Walkies for dogs have re-sealable packaging, feature recommended daily allowance and contain added ingredients to help pet owners who want to control their pet’s weight and food intake.