Small dogs make big impact on shaping Mexico's pet food industry

A recent report highlights a shift in consumer preferences toward small dogs causing a slowdown in the country's pet food production.

The preference for smaller breeds is having a marked impact on the overall demand for pet food volumes in Mexico.
The preference for smaller breeds is having a marked impact on the overall demand for pet food volumes in Mexico.
Pezibear | pixabay.com

Triplethree International's latest report, Pet Food in Mexico 2024, reveals a significant slowdown in pet food production, a trend likely to continue as a mid-term change in the industry's growth rate. Surprisingly, this slowdown isn't mainly due to inflation or income changes. Instead, it's due to a shift in Mexican consumers' preferences toward smaller dog breeds.

According to the research, local consumers are increasingly opting for smaller dog breeds such as Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers and Pugs. These breeds require a lower daily caloric intake compared to their larger counterparts, which has resulted in a gradual decrease in pet food consumption volumes year-over-year. Although the number of pet births continues to rise steadily, the preference for smaller breeds is having a marked impact on the overall demand for pet food volumes.

The presence of inflationary pressures in 2022 and part of 2023 might typically lead pet owners to reduce their spending on pet food. An interesting dynamic has emerged despite these economic constraints, however, as Mexican consumers are keen on maintaining pet ownership. This has indirectly influenced the growing preference for smaller dog breeds, which naturally consume less food. As a result, owners can keep pets affordably without the high costs associated with feeding larger breeds.

By focusing on high-quality products designed for smaller breeds and adding special features, manufacturers can stay profitable even as traditional pet food demand drops.By focusing on high-quality products designed for smaller breeds and adding special features, manufacturers can stay profitable even as traditional pet food demand drops.Csparks | pixabay.comChallenges and opportunities with smaller dog breeds

This trend poses both challenges and opportunities for pet food manufacturers. While the overall volume of food required may be decreasing, there is a growing market segment that favors specialized products tailored to the nutritional needs of smaller dog breeds. Additionally, there is increasing consumer interest in premium products that deliver enhanced nutritional benefits and incorporate specialty ingredients.

The advice for industry players is to adjust their production strategies to meet these new consumer preferences. By focusing on high-quality products designed for smaller breeds and adding special features, manufacturers can stay profitable even as traditional pet food demand drops.

While the structural slowdown in Mexico's pet food production reflects broader economic and social trends, it also highlights the adaptability required by the industry to cater to evolving consumer behaviors. The focus on niche markets and added-value products could be key to sustaining growth and profitability in an evolving market landscape.

Iván Franco is the founder of Triplethree International and has collaborated on hundreds of research projects for several consumer goods industries. 

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