38% of owners say they would cut back on their own food before their pet’s
WET is the way to go when it comes to dog food according to Butcher’s Pet Care.
The firm reckons the fact that more dog owners are choosing to buy wet food over dry is great news for the category as wet food commands higher prices.
And as well as consumers switching from dry to wet food, Butcher’s says, existing wet food buyers are going for more expensive packs.
Category manager Philip Cotterill said: “As described in a recent Mintel report, shoppers more than ever view their pets as a member of the family with now more than half interested in ‘human grade food’ for their animals.
“As a result, product quality has never been more important to the pet food market than now.”
Cotterill said Butcher’s offers 100% complete meals, with no bulking agents, which are both gluten-free and soya-free and Butcher’s is now the number one canned dog food brand in the UK.
But the market does face challenges, he noted. There has been a shift towards owning smaller dogs and overall dog ownership figures are beginning to decrease.
“With growth of category penetration looking unlikely in the short to medium term it is critical that brands and retailers work together to sustain and grow category value against potentially static volume,” Cotterill said.
“The only way to do this is to continue to develop innovative solutions to excite and delight pet owners with the view to driving more value into the category.”
Quoting Mintel figures, Butcher’s says 38% of UK pet owners would cut spending on their own food rather than their pet’s and 21% feed their pet according to a specific diet. It has a range of wet dog foods designed to meet different dogs’ needs including life-stage meals, leaner meals that aid weight control and food for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
• Wet foods for cats will continue to grow according to Town and Country Petfoods brand HiLife.
A spokesperson said: “We expect to see wet cat products, especially 50g mini pouches, continuing their growth.”
For dogs, HiLife says it expects natural treats to continue to grow, largely due to new product development and increasing consumer interest in more natural foods.
HiLife has recently expanded its Chews Day special care range with the addition of Pressed Bones and Hide Rolls.
• Iams says that according to Euromonitor the pet care market has grown by 26.4% since 2010. And it reckons pet lovers are particularly concerned over pet food meat content and ingredient quality.
Senior marketing manger Celine Gustin said: “This will continue as owners seek out options that not only offer their pets a tasty and varied diet but also contribute towards their health.
“We anticipate that the growing interest in the quality of ingredients used will drive a greater focus on the source and sustainability of protein such as fish and meat.”
In response to owners’ demand for healthy treats, Iams has launched a low-fat range.
Iams Minis are made without gluten and have no artificial flavours.
They are available in Chicken with Carrots, Lamb with Cranberry and Beef with Apple flavours.