After a record year 2021, and despite an increase in the pet population, growth of the pet shop market slowed sharply in 2022.
The cause: supply chain disruptions, shortages and rising commodity prices. The food segment, by its essential nature, suffers less from this tension. Consumers are however on the lookout for promotional offers, and sometimes change references to turn to cheaper products.
Beyond the price factor, masters are looking for the diet that best suits their pet’s needs and preferencesbut also to their personal consumption pattern.
Let’s decipher together 10 Petfood 2022 trends!
1. Dry food vs. wet food: towards cohabitation?
For some years now, the wet food are back in the limelight, and their benefits – water content, palatability, satiety – highlighted again.
For cats in particular, the manufacturers of Petfood use ingenuity to make products more practical, more attractive, but also innovative. Their high price however, remains a limiting factor for some buyers.
Dog owners consume less of this type of food, but after years of decline, the market is still growing.
In parallel, the dry food continue to grow, both in dogs and cats (+10.6% in value for dogs between December 2020 and 2021 and +14.4% for cats).
To provide itself, the network GMS remains the owners’ favorite circuit. The growth of the phenomenon of bi-nutrition is clearly visible there, especially for the shelves for cats, well balanced between dry and wet.
2. What place for meat in the Petfood of tomorrow?
This is an example ofanthropomorphism well known: pet parents tend to transfer their eating habits to their animal. The subject of meat consumption is therefore totally topical for Petfood 2022. However, there are a few surprises in store!
Two tendencies are clearly opposed:
- On the one hand, unsurprisingly, more and moremeatless foods – or at least without beef – are appearing. Vegan references are also developing. Among them are in particular veggie mouth treats, such as Aston’s Cookies “To have an aperitif with your master”.
- On the other hand, we observe on the contrary the placing on the market of products with a very different positioning, which animal instinct In the center. So raw references continue to grow, emphasizing natural instinct, meat and protein content, whole cuts and so on. Unlike our German neighbours, vegetarian food is ultimately still underdeveloped in France, where owners still see their animals as the carnivores they are.
3. Alternative proteins: focus on insects
Since the question of insects has been raised in the human diet, it has also attracted interest from the Petfood side. So much so that Petfood has come to outpace advances in human nutrition. As the founders of Tomojo explain, the insect market responds to a need for new sources of animal protein, which stems from an environmental observation associated with a search for premiumization that can no longer go through noble meats.
Several start-ups are now present on the market (Tomojo, Reglo, Ekinoé, etc.), and are of interest to investors: evidence of this is the fundraising of 1.8 million euros by Reglo, and 3 million by Tomojo.
Also note: the association between Ynsect and Pure Simple True, under the Bernie’s brand.
4. Functional food, do you want some here?
Nothing new under the sun, food now goes beyond the simple satisfaction of a basic need. The goal : make our animals live longer and healthier.
- Digestive disorders
Among the other most present promises, we find in particular growth, weight management – more than 40% of French dogs being overweight – or even immunity. The presence of omega 3, vitamins and minerals are also increasingly highlighted.
the CBD is not to be outdone: we are no longer the only ones to benefit from its virtues! Solutions for anxiety and stress are in fact increasingly sought after (see list above).
Little news on the market: a functional food for masters, with kibbles to reduce allergens from cat hair (Purina Liveclear)
5. When our diets become those of our animals
Surprising… or not: the vegetarian diets, gluten-free, lactose-free, soy-free, but also superfoods, exotic flavors and trendy foods are gradually making a place for themselves in the Petfood market.
The Spanish Dogfy diet, a kind of “As I like” for dogs, even made its appearance in 2020.
Some examples of foods with innovative flavors:
6. Respect for fauna and flora, subjects at the heart of our concerns
The ethical and environmental concerns are not forgotten when it comes to feeding our pets. Manufacturers have understood this, and are integrating them more and more into their products. Forza 10, for example, uses compostable and recyclable packaging, while Dog’s love promises recipes developed without animal testing.
Some go even further, and integrate these issues into the heart of their approach, such as Riga with its slogan “people, pets, planet”, Purina and its new CSR commitments, or even Mars Petcare and its 100% sustainable fish supply. At the same time, Petfood sales organic have been growing for several years now, and the aspect local or short circuit is often highlighted.
7. Petfood 2022 continues its digitalization
Petfood is not left out either digitalization. While physical commerce is still a priority, online sales continue to grow, especially for sweets. They have increased by 11% in one year, and now represent approximately 15% of purchases of animal products. Subscription formulas, such as that offered by Ultra Premium Direct, are even beginning to appear.
Pet food connected is also on the rise: electronic vending machines remain the first category in the sector, but are diversifying with food vending machines allowing the master to record his voice and broadcast it during the distribution of food (Nutri 200).
8. Increasingly discerning consumers
Just as they would for a member of their family, owners are increasingly attentive to the originthe composition etc products they buy for their animals.
This research is explained by a need on the part of petparents to minimize their personal impactbut also by a search for what is better for their animalwhich today occupies a real place in the home.
The naturalness therefore has its place at the heart of this quest: without additives, without colorings, without artificial flavors, without preservatives, without enhancers, without GMOs… the products must tick all the boxes.
Cereals are therefore always on the sidelines. The guarantees of quality and reassurance are put forward: design with veterinarians, Made in France, scientific evidence… All while keeping affordabilitysure !
Other companies choose to put consumers at the heart of their product design. The co-creation is indeed highly appreciated by them, and allows them to design a product that meets their expectations as closely as possible.
Note: once conquered, consumers often remain loyal to their pet food brand… Hence the importance of doing everything possible to seduce them first!
The protein animals used must also be of quality. On this point, the American Freshpet could well have a head start on its competitors. After making its mark in the US, it arrived in France last June, and offers rolls and sachets of food for cats and dogs kept cool. These are rich in animal protein, ready to eat and steamed. Will this type of product be able to find a place for itself despite the well-established purchasing habits of French petparents?
9. The quest for perfection
The food offered must also be custom made, designed for the animal: according to its breed, age, etc. This segment of individualization has been operated by Royal Canin for many years.
All of these aspects invariably lead to a premiumization petfood, which is found in the communication of products, and highlights the exceptional qualities of the animal, and the quality food, perfectly adapted to its needs, to which it is necessarily entitled.
10. Innovation takes many forms
We have seen it, Petfood innovates in many ways.
the pleasure remains an important driver of innovation, as shown by “Gourmet Révélation”, a cat mousse topped with a sauce coulis, which is in the top 10 of the most revenue-generating new products in 2021. Faced with the monotony of their animal’s diet, owners are therefore looking for variety and palatable products. The treats market is also growing (+20.3% for cats and +13.6% for dogs).
The research of practicality is not neglected either: the packaging is more and more practical to handle.
Purina goes even further and directly encourages innovative start-ups in the Pet sector with its Unleashed program in favor of innovation for pettech. Among these are 2 start-ups on the introduction of alternative proteins and 4 on digital solutions for quality of life, well-being and care.
Beyond Petfood, Petcare is also innovating!
Brands are offering increasingly natural and eco-responsible products for the well-being of our companions. Some even incorporate CBD into their formulas.
If this article inspires you and you want to work on petfood topics, contact us!
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