As the pet population increases in Mexico, pet food manufacturers may be wondering about market opportunities and how to increase the purchase of premium pet food products.
According to press sources, the pandemic led to a 41% increase in online searches for pet adoptions in Mexico in 2020. In addition, a report by Triplethree International on premium pet food states that local new dog owners are initially not concerned about how much they must spend on pet food when adopting a pet.
In practice, dog adopters may choose a particular breed or size of dog regardless of the cost of feeding it. First-time dog adopters especially are likely to decide to adopt a dog based on their taste in breeds and the available space for the new pet.
However, once pet owners notice how much large-breed dogs eat, some might prefer to downgrade to less expensive pet food products. Such awareness likely pushes down the demand for premium products.
The Triplethree report explains, for instance, that the average annual expenditure of pet food for a Chihuahua can be as little as 9% of that for a Husky, assuming both consume the same pet food brand. Feeding a Husky with a premium pet food brand could amount to nearly US$1,500 per year, while the total for feeding a standard-price dog food falls to three times less. The average difference in cost between non-premium and premium pet foods is not as large as the difference in feeding a large dog versus a small one.
This information suggests that new dog adopters are conscious of the cost of feeding a dog only after they adopt one or more dogs and realize the amount needed to buy dog food. Therefore, brand loyalty is likely lower for large-breed owners than for those of smaller breeds.
The challenge for premium and superpremium pet food manufacturers is to have specific formulations at appealing prices to avoid such rapid downgrading to economy brands.
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).
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