The Italian pet food market continues to grow, according to forecasts based on IRI statistics. In 2015, the pet food sector for cats and dogs saw a turnover of EU1,914 million, and 2016 is forecast to end with an increase of 14.4 percent in large scale retail chains, 1.6 percent in grocery stores and 0.7 percent in traditional pet shops.
The forecasts, based on IRI statistics, were published in view of Zoomark International 2017, a trade show in Europe staged by BolognaFiere. The 17th edition of the fair will be held from May 11 to 14, 2017 in Bologna's trade fair center.
According to the 2016 ASSALCO-Zoomark Report published last May, 43 percent of Italians have at least one pet, which translates into at least 60 million pets in the country. In 2015, this broke down as follows: 6.9 million dogs, 7.4 million cats, 12.9 million birds, 29.9 million fish, and 3.2 million small mammals and reptiles.
Cat and dog food continues to be the main sector. In 2015, cat food accounted for 53.5 percent of the total Italian pet food market, with dog food at 46.5 percent. In recent years the number of products on offer has increased, and this trend is likely to continue in view of increasing specialization in the sector.
As for Italian pet owners buying behavior, there has been increasing interest in small formats (from medium to single-serve), connected to the growing popularity of small/medium-size animals and greater awareness of waste prevention. In addition to this, while purchasing frequency has decreased slightly, penetration has increased.
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