Study Shows More Britons are Turning to Home-Made Pet Food

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13th October 2014 11:18 - Retail

Research shows Britain’s are purchasing less pet-food, choosing instead to make their own with two fifths (41%) saying they provide their dog with home-made food. Consequentially, dog food sales are down 7% over the past five years from 744 million kg in 2009 to 694 million kg in 2013. Sales forecasts predict another 12% drop to 576 kg between 2014 and 2019. In 2013 the dog food market was valued at £1.1billion, up on the valuation of £993 million in 2009, mainly due to rising prices.

Today, almost two thirds (62%) of British consumers and three quarters (74%) of adults with children at home own a pet.  The value of pets is demonstrated by figures revealing one fifth (22%) of owners would spend less on their food before their pet’s meals. Yet 8% of owners admitted in the past three months they had cut back on pet-food spending.

Douglas Faughnan, Senior Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel, said: The pet-food market faces a challenging period with volume sales across both cat and dog food expected to decline. This is partly explained by the high proportion of cat and dog owners opting for homemade food for their pets, while the increasing popularity of treats and snacks is also having an impact.

Indeed, when purchasing pet food, one fifth (19%) opt for functional food e.g. with supplementary health benefits. A further, 13% of owners admit they would choose a product low in salt over its competitor, demonstrating owners’concern for their pets’nutrition. Natural ingredients were important for two fifths (38%) of owners; 17% said a weight management claim on food packaging would persuade them to purchase, rising to 22% of owners in London.

Manufacturers have taken note; 40% of pet-food launched in 2013 claimed no added preservatives, an increase from 35% in 2012.

While one fifth (21%) of owners worry about their pet gaining weight and a similar amount (22%) would like to see Guideline-Daily-Amount information for calories and nutrition provided on pet-food by retailers, around one in 10 (9%) purchasers are worried their pet won’t enjoy pet-food aimed at weight management.

Faughnan added:While obesity has been declared an epidemicamong Britons, it has also become a concern with respect to the pet population. Despite this considerable level of concern, weight control foods for pets remain a niche part of the market, accounting for a small part of the major supermarketsor pet specialistsproduct ranges.

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