Demographic trends are key to explaining the astonishing development behind the Colombian pet food market in recent years. According to press sources, back in 2000, the market was valued at just U.S.$60 million. We estimate the current value skyrocketed to nearly U.S.$600 million by the end of 2018.
Such an accelerated performance was attributable to the ramping demand for pet food products that reflected the vigorous growth in the pet population and, moreover, the steady expansion of pet food penetration overall.
The most recent population census in Colombia revealed that households comprising one member rose to 18% in 2018 – a large increase compared to the previous share of 11% in the 2005 census. This information suggests there were approximately 15 million families in the country and more than 2.6 million one-person households in 2018.
Particularly, the latter group represents an appealing market to pet food producers as these consumers are possibly more inclined to acquire pets and to spend readily on them.
On the other hand, trade sources state that pet ownership in Colombia is not as high as it is in other markets, with just over 43% of families owning a pet. Of that universe of pet owners, 70% have a dog, 15% have cats, while the rest own other animal species. In fact, a rather low pet possession rate is an indicator of future growth opportunities.
In Latin American markets, the biggest trial for the local industries is increasing the amount of pet food consumption as opposed to homemade preparations. In this regard, one limitation to further development of the pet food market in the region is the ample differences among rural and urban cities, in both income and consumption habit trends.
People in larger cities are likely the largest pet food consumers due to their busier lifestyles and the limited time they usually have. Therefore, as one-person households are largely comprised of young professionals who can afford pet food products, it is expected that such favorable demographic conditions will stimulate the present and future demand for pet food in the country, putting Colombia in the eye of the global industry.
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).
Pet owners want a lot from their pet food brands. They want primary proteins that suit what they believe is best for their animal. They want grains or they don't. They want something customized, but it has to be easy to understand.
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