Market research company Euromonitor International sees cats and senior pets in Asia as key growth drivers for premium healthy pet food and encourages suppliers to intensify their value-added health claims to push pet owners to trade up.
Emil Fazira, a Euromonitor consultant based in Singapore, said the pet cat population explosion in Asia over the last five years has been the result of busy city folks gravitating towards smaller animals that are quite independent and easier to keep in small houses.
“To balance work and personal facets of life, pet owners scrutinize the ingredients of pet food and seek convenient options to cater to their pets’ individual health needs and issues," said Fazira. "The new wave of cat owners in markets such as China, Indonesia and South Korea will require specialized products that can fulfill these needs.”
From 2017 to 2022, China's cat population exceeded the number of pet dogs by growing 143% more. During the same period, pet cat populations in Indonesia, India and South Korea grew at 16%, 15% and 13%, respectively, Fazira added.
Sales of pet food that provides life stage nutrition, especially for senior pets, has also grown strong in markets like Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand in the last five years. Innovations in this area consider a pet's age in targeting specific health issues. A good example of this is AIM30, a Japanese brand of cat kibbles with the amino acid A-30 that prevents kidney disease and aims to help cats live up to 30 years.
To grow their markets, pet food makers should engage pet owners more vigorously about their products' key health claims that justify greater spending, said Fazira, adding that product claims related to good nutrition and ingredients will be well received in rapidly growing Asian markets that registered significant sales in 2022.
The latest Euromonitor data positions Indonesia to be the fastest-growing market for cat and dog food globally, with a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 19% between 2022 and 2027, and in 2022 is predicted to total US$511 million. Thailand's pet food market, on the other hand, is said to be worth US$1.4 billion in 2022, and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 7% up to 2027.