Over the past few years, Petfood Industry has covered research suggesting that the bond between humans and animals can benefit pet owners’ health and lead to improved pet nutrition and sales of premium pet food.
In 2014, a Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) survey interviewed 1,000 US family doctors and general practitioners, with 97% stating they believe that that pet ownership benefits human health.
The survey also showed that 75% of the physicians have seen a patient’s overall health or a specific medical condition get moderately or significantly better after the patient adopted a pet; 87% said they’ve seen a patient's mood or outlook improve as a result of owning a pet; 60% have recommended that a patient get a pet; and 82% said that if medical evidence supported it, they would prescribe a pet for a patient.
More recent HABRI survey results provide evidence that those doctors' advice could lead to their patients purchaing premium pet food.
A 2016 HABRI report suggested that when owners are aware that pet ownership benefits human health, those people in turn are more likely to purchase premium pet food.
Specifically, when educated on scientific research about how owning pets is good for human health, 88 percent of respondents are more likely to provide their pets with premium pet food, and 92 percent are more likely to maintain their pets’ health, including staying current on vaccinations and preventive medicine, with 89 percent also more likely to take their pets for regular veterinary checkups.
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.