Two trends are changing the pet food industry in China: the strong emergence of gourmet products, and the increasing popularity of online retailing.
China’s economy has shown steady growth over the last decade, from a GDP (gross domestic product) per capita of US$1,498 in 2004 to US$7,594 in 2014. The GDP annual growth rate over the past several years has hovered around 7.5%, with occasional jumps even higher—reaching just over 10% in 2010, according to the World Bank. Unsurprisingly, then, the annual per capita disposable income of urban households in China has also grown, from CNY15,781 (US$2,479) in 2008 to CNY28,844 (US$4,531) in 2014, according to Statista data.
Chinese consumers are beginning to seek out healthier and more expensive pet treats. Pet ownership has grown steadily in the past five years, with pet food sales doubling in that time.
According to Euromonitor International, sales of dog and cat food in China will increase 10.65% to CNY4.57 billion (US$700 million). Mintel estimates that sales of dog and cat food in China will grow to CNY7.1 billion (US$1.09 billion) by 2020.
Online pet food retailers have the potential to emerge and the second-largest distribution channel after physical stores, according to Euromonitor.
A baker holds a pet birthday cake made for her customer's dog in Changchun, Jilin province. It takes the baker about three hours to make the cake, priced around 100 yuan ($15).
While cat trends continue, the pandemic has added to overall slow-growth treatment of the cat food market.
Premiumization and humanization, as well as automation, fueled continued operation growth in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.