In the United Stated, chicken is the most popular flavor that owners are buying for dogs and cats across all three categories. In a country that spent $24 billion in the pet food market in 2015, that accounts for a significant amount of money. In nearly all other countries, chicken also was the most popular for dry dog food and dry cat food.
Spain’s pets get greater variety, with beef and fish flavors rivaling chicken for wet food and treats. France’s cats also receive variety equal to that in Spain in the wet food and treats bought for them, although chicken continues to dominate when owners select their cats’ dry food and their dogs’ wet and dry food.
The Czech Republic, Greece and China stand out in preferring beef flavor above all others for their dogs’ wet food.
“The US generally sets a trend on what is popular in pet food, but here we see clearly how different the individual markets are around the globe,” said Pushan Tagore, vice president of global marketing for pet care at GfK, in a press release. “Clearly the US has scope to innovate further within this area, to bring more variety to the palates of our four-legged friends.”
However, not all pets crave variety in the same way humans do. Recent research published in the journal Royal Society Open Science presented evidence that cats prefer foods based on nutrition rather than flavor. Over time, cats in the study perceived the fat and protein content in their food and regulated their intake to reach a target ratio of these nutrients.
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