Online search engines have become an important source of information for pet care suppliers, particularly pet food manufacturers for whom dog breed preferences are key data to better understand growth opportunities.
However, search engines have some limitations, such as low representation and lack of history or duration, as dog breed preferences can change in a relatively short timeframe.
A British company named Household Quotes undertook research based on Google searches by country to determine which dog breed was the most searched at that moment. Some of the results are surprising and likely provide a sketch of other consumer preferences, such as available living space, physical activity and companionship inclinations.
For example, the study revealed that in Brazil, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and most of the rest of South American markets, the Rottweiler is the most searched for dog breed. According to Eukanuba’s website, a 50-kilogram Rottweiler consumes between 385 to 430 grams a day of their breed-specific product.
In Mexico, the Chihuahua breed was the most popular in terms of internet searches, according to the Household Quotes study. Yet, in absolute terms, Chihuahua is not the most popular dog breed as it just represents around 10% of Mexico’s total dog population, according to Triplethree International estimates.
With Chihuahuas eating just around 70 grams of pet food per day, if the Chihuahua was indeed the most popular dog in that market, local pet food producers would face a real challenge in the coming years due to shrinking demand.
In Costa Rica, Guatemala and Chile, Pugs were the most searched for breed, and in Argentina, the Bull Terrier.
Although such results are not definitive, representing just a snapshot, it is worth evaluating them as they may reveal some of the current preferences in each market. Furthermore, understanding the dog population by breed is fundamental to assess the potential of pet food consumption and future pet food product portfolio varieties.
Finally, as a pet food market matures, pet food manufacturers need to launch products that increasingly provide value-added attributes. Such attributes are discovered after the industry gains a better understanding of their consumer targets.
Perhaps the research from Household Quotes is just a small yet useful step in the understanding of pets and the future of the market.
Iván Franco is the founder of Triplethree International and has collaborated on hundreds of research projects for several consumer goods industries. He was granted the Global Consultant of the Year award by Euromonitor International and authored the book 17 Market Strategies for Growth (in Spanish).
By Lindsay Beaton
As work continues on creating a new nutrition label that focuses on simplifying information for consumers, challenges remain.
By Tang Yu