Dog, cat owners in Mexico buying more premium pet food

Sales of premium pet foods continue to increase in one Mexican pet food store, but clients choose the lower priced premium brand.

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A specialty pet food store and veterinary clinic in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico | photo by Tim Wall
A specialty pet food store and veterinary clinic in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico | photo by Tim Wall

More Mexican cat and dog food buyers are choosing premium brands than ten years ago, thanks to greater awareness of pet nutrition, but consumers tend to choose the lower priced premium options, according to the staff of Hobbissimo, a pet food and grooming store in Ensenada, Mexico with an integrated veterinarian’s office.

“It’s been a slow process, but more than anything it is information that encourages people to buy the ProPlan and Royal Canin brands we sell,” said Sara Silva, pet stylist and clerk at one of Hobbissimo’s two locations. “They can buy other brands in the grocery store there [next door], but once they learn about the quality difference and how that affects their pets’ health, we get more clients.”

Of those two premium brands, the store sells more ProPlan in large bags, because it is the best for the price, said Silva. Large and medium-sized dog owners make up the majority of their customers. Just as in the United States, people increasingly treat their pets like children, she said, and they want to pamper them, but still have to be economical.

Therapeutic pet food sales in Mexico

Customers who do buy the higher priced brands often do so because their dog or cat needs a therapeutic formulation, said Tisbet González, DVM, veterinarian with Hobbissimo.

“Obesity and kidney problems are two of the most common ailments we see,” said González, “along with heart problems and dental disease.”

To increase sales of premium and therapeutic pet food, the Mexican pet food industry must educate consumers on pet nutrition and increase awareness of pet diseases that result from poor nutrition, González said. The internet and television are particularly important sources of information for Mexican consumers, she noted.

Improving palatability of therapeutic formulations could help retain customers, too, said González. Often when dogs or cats lose interest in therapeutic formulations their owners go back to conventional brands, despite health concerns. This issue is amplified when therapeutic brands are more expensive.

Register to learn and network at Petfood Forum

Hobbissimo was located near the site of Petfood Technology Workshop Mexico, held December 6. Attendees learned how to formulate and produce dry pet food, which dominates 88 percent of the Mexican market, according to speaker Ivan Franco, founder of market intelligence company TripleThree International.

To learn more about pet food trends and hear speakers such as Randi Zuckerberg and Temple Grandin, register for Petfood Forum, an exclusive event serving pet treat and pet food manufacturers. Petfood Forum will take place at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, on April 3-5, 2017. Early Bird registration is available now through February 1, 2017, and provides attendees with the opportunity to save up to US$300.

“The value that our educational sessions bring to our attendees is really one-of-a-kind, as content and speakers are carefully selected in order to ensure that we are providing information that really matters for the success of their business,” said Debbie Phillips Donaldson, editor-in-chief of Petfood Industry. “Educational session topics are going to be tailored to a variety of different roles in the industry as Petfood Forum truly is an event that an entire team can benefit from by attending.”

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