War, inflation affect European pet food price, availability

Along with lack of access to particular pet food brands, the prices of dog and cat foods have increased on average in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland and the Czech Republic.

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(Artmim | BigStock.com)
(Artmim | BigStock.com)

Along with the global problem of pet food price inflation, the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine has affected the prices and availability of dog and cat foods in Europe. Euromonitor International analysts documented this in their report, “How Inflation is Impacting Pet Food Products in Europe.”

Supply chain disruptions and competition for commodities have reduced the availability of dog and cat foods. The problem increases the closer pet owners live to the war. Lack of access to preferred brands has exacerbated challenges caused by rising prices.

“While the UK, the largest market by pet food sales in Europe by 2021 RSP terms, saw only an 8% decline in the number of available SKUs during the 8-month period of observation, Germany and France have experienced a more challenging environment of product procurement as they are in closer proximity to the war in Ukraine, with these countries’ online markets seeing available SKUs drop by 39% and 35%, respectively,” wrote the analysts.

Poland and the Czech Republic, also known as Czechia, both host large numbers of refugees from Ukraine. Many refugees brought their pets with them, further increasing demand for pet foods. Poland and Czechia had the lowest online availability of pet food brands in the Euromonitor report.

Pet food price inflation in Europe

Along with lack of access to particular pet food brands, the prices of dog and cat foods have increased on average in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland and Czechia.

“While the average unit price increases for these seven countries, and the six individual pet food categories being tracked, reached 21%, France experienced the strongest increase in unit prices of all countries with an average rise of 31% for the six cat and dog categories,” Euromonitor analysts wrote.

Nevertheless, the increase in pet food prices by leading brands may create opportunities for value priced brands. Lack of affordable pet food may be causing other problems for the European pet food industry.

Rising prices are driving pet owners to give up their dogs and cats, while others delay plans to get new pets. The French animal protection group La Société Protectrice des Animaux (SPA) stated that abandonment levels of dogs are up by 6% this year as of August, leading to completely full shelters operated by the organization.

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