Pet humanization and product premiumization
Pet pampering is more prominent than ever, but owners are still looking for lower price points.
As reported in Packaged Facts’ Pet Food in the US (September 2014), premium petfoods (including mass premium and superpremium brands) accounted for 42% of petfood sales in 2014, followed by regular petfood at 30% and value petfood at 12%, with treats accounting for the remaining 16% share of sales (see Table 1).
Both the leading share for premium petfood and the significant (and expanding) role of pet treats attest to the importance of the pet humanization trend, which has reshaped the petfood industry over the last decades In the US market, pet humanization is now a given. A recent Packaged Facts consumer survey shows that 56% of pet owners strongly agree that their pets are part of the family, and another 27% somewhat agree (see Table 2). Conversely, and remarkably, only 4% of pet owners actively disagree (whether somewhat or strongly) that pets are part of the family.
As a natural expression of the pets-as-family mindset, pet owners have become highly receptive to products similar to those they use for themselves. Nowhere is this trend more evident than in product formulations and formats for petfoods and treats, given that food is such a personal (and familial) product. The consumer implications of pet humanization, however, extend far and wide, and some are less direct than others.
A vivid if not surprising pattern involves pet pampering behavior. Among consumers who strongly agree that their pets are part of the family, according to Packaged Facts survey data, 43% strongly agree that they…