In a 2022 survey of companion animal owners in the United States by Mintel, approximately one-third of consumers identified potential improvements in their pets' health and wellness as the main reason for considering switching their pet's food brand. This emphasis on health overshadowed reasons such as taste or price.
Cat owners reported somewhat more focus on health (33%) compared to dog owners (32%). Palatability ranked a bit higher among dog owners than cat owners, while cat owners put slightly more importance on price. Nevertheless, health and wellness stood out beyond both price and palatability as a reason for choosing a dog or cat food product.
Consumer demand for healthy pet food
“Reflecting the growing consumer demand for healthier pet food options is the expanding variety of pet foods with health claims,” Kate Vlietstra, global food and drink analyst at Mintel, wrote in her report on pet owner survey results. “A large portion of the market is willing to go the extra mile to secure these health benefits…
“In previous years, insect protein emerged as a trending ingredient in pet food, but pet food consumers now seem to be particularly interested in how their pet food is preserved. One of the key emerging options in the pet food aisle is fresh, frozen, and homemade options that lean into this demand for bespoke, freshly prepared meals for our pets. In the US, frozen pet food saw double-digit growth in 2020-21, while over half of pet food buyers choose freshly prepared options as they perceive them to be healthier than store-bought pet foods.”