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Authenticity, convenience and experience will be the trends to watch regarding the 2017 consumer, according to Euromonitor International’s latest consumer report, “Global Economies and Consumers in 2017.” As consumers reassess their priorities and values, they will continue to drive overall market direction according to their needs.
These trends have been quite prevalent in the pet food industry in recent years, with pet owners demanding transparency (ingredient sourcing, processing and production, companies’ philanthropic endeavors), ease-of-use (labeling, serving size options, packaging) and specialization (need-specific formulas, limited or “no” ingredient diets, human food equivalency). But with 2017 shaping up to be an uncertain economic year, the consumer landscape requires a more nuanced eye than ever.
In emerging markets, growing urbanization is driving the need for infrastructure development in 2017, according to Euromonitor’s report. In terms of pet food, this news bolsters the current trend of watching developing pet food markets for opportunities to combat the slower growth of more mature markets. China, for example, is expected to grow significantly as its increasing middle class settles in the country’s two largest cities (Shanghai and Beijing). Similarly, Mexico’s developing pet food market is also among the fastest-growing as disposable income in the country’s larger cities allows pet owners to feed their pets commercially.
Further, says Euromonitor, three-quarters of high-income households will live in the world’s major cities, which means a significant portion of the world’s pet owners will live there, as well — they’ll have money to spend, and will play a significant economic role in determining what lands on the shelves of their pet food supplier of choice. This throws more mature markets into the mix: the US, UK and Canada are planning infrastructure investment with the aim of boosting economic growth in 2017. US cities such as New York or San Francisco will easily add over 10,000 high-income households this year, says Euromonitor, meaning, once again, more potential money to be spent on pets in these more affluent homes.