Recent statistics show nearly 500 million dogs are and 400 million cats are kept as pets worldwide. And those numbers don’t include the various mice, turtles, birds, fish, reptiles, and other unusual animals that people keep as domesticated animals.
Attitudes toward pets have changed in general over the last few decades. More than ever before, consumers now view their pets not just as animals but as part of the family. Dogs are referred to as ‘fur-babies,’ and owners refer to themselves as parents, illustrating the elevated status that pets now occupy in the family unit.
Today, with so many people working from home, pets have become a more important part of the family than ever. In fact, 21% of pet owners reporting spending more money on their pets during the Covid-19 pandemic than pre-pandemic.
Here are some rather exciting pet products you may be interested in owning:
- The Pet Carrier Sweatshirt is for pet owners that may have some separation anxiety for leaving their little one at home.
- The Pooch Selfie (featured on the inventor TV show, Shark Tank) makes it simple to get your pet engaged in looking directly at the camera lens.
- Get a real artist to paint your pet from a photo you send in with Custom Painterly Pet Portraits. They are advertised as “an unforgettable way to pay tribute to a current furry family member, or to commemorate a pet who now lives on in your heart.”
- Live in a rainy city? How about a Dog Umbrella to keep your fur-baby dry on an afternoon walk?
Insights for Pet Food Brands: What’s Hot, Not, & Next
The global pet food market is expected to grow from $75.3 billion in 2021 to more than $90 billion by 2025. So, how can pet food companies keep up with the demand and grow successfully with so much competition?
Consumer and market intelligence platforms like Skai are increasingly used by pet food brands looking to keep a finger on the pulse of what is happening in the category in real-time and get ahead of the latest trends.
Skai collects more data than anyone else relevant to pet food (social reviews, product listings, ratings, reviews, patents, etc.) so that brands don’t miss a thing. Then, we apply natural language processing so that it’s easy to extract what is happening in the pet food category and why — and what will happen in the future. And we visualize the data in a way that makes it easy to understand for anyone from Insights, Marketing, Brand, Product Innovation, and more.
Our Pet Food category includes data from over:
- 108,000+ products
- 2,300,000+ consumer discussions
- 3,100+ key opinion leader posts
- 3,300+ patents
So what is the data showing us? Let’s take a look!
- Digestive Health is a crucial health area for pet owners as many animal issues can stem from poor digestion. Nearly 65,000 individual consumers have been commenting on this attribute in the last 12 months. Additionally, over 3,200 new pet food products mentioning Digestive Health were released on Amazon.com the previous year.
- Chicken seems to be always on the menu. It continues to be the most mentioned ingredient in new pet food products, found in 42,173 out of 108,831 pet food products monitored by Skai.
- Chewy is—across the board—the most popular texture in pet food today. It’s mentioned in 32.5% of pet food Key Opinion Posts, 40.7% of all pet food consumer posts, and highlighted in 27.5% of new pet food patents.
- Flea & Tick Control can be a significant issue for pet owners, especially those living in rural areas. But, it doesn’t seem like solving the problem with food is the answer. Just one pet food patent was filed in the last five years that mention Flea & Tick Control.
- Itching & Irritation Relief doesn’t seem to be high on the list of pet owners regarding what they feed their fur-babies. Less than 1% of all pet food consumer posts (0.88%) and less than 2% of pet food products (1.95%) are centered around Itching & Irritation Relief.
- Flaky is nearly non-existent in the pet food industry. Just 23 pet food consumer posts mentioned the texture in the last 12 months, and just 0.09% of pet food products claim to be Flaky.
- Aging Care. Maybe it’s the fact that we’re spending more time working from home with our animals, and we want to hold on to them as long as we can. Aging Care was mentioned in 11.87% of consumer posts about pet food and highlighted as a benefit in 12.25% of pet food products.
- Homemade. Pet owners draw a connection between high-quality and Homemade. There’s been a 69.8% growth in pet food conversations about homemade food over the last 12 months.
- Immune Health. In a recent survey, 72% of U.S. dog owners and 67% of cat owners feel that high-quality pet foods are effective preventative health care. Purina is the top online pet food brand with 1248 products claiming Immune Health as a benefit.
Top Pet Food Brands (by number of products on Amazon)
The Pet Food trend to watch: mental health
Throughout the years, numerous studies have proven that pets offer mental health benefits to humans. For example, they can help reduce stress, anxiety, & depression, ease loneliness, and encourage exercise.
But, who’s looking out for Spot’s mental wellbeing? It’s not like your dog or cat can ask you for a mental wellness day or speak to a therapist. However, it’s common knowledge that food can affect our mental health, so it’s no surprise that pet owners are interested to learn more about how food can impact their pets’ mental health too.
There has been a 301.4% increase in pet food consumer discussions over the last 12 months related to Mental Health, yet less than 6% of pet food products mention having this benefit.
Thirty-one pet food patents have been filed in the last five years that discuss mental health benefits. While that’s certainly not a tsunami of new products yet, this could be a new area for pet owners to focus on as a way to give back to those furry creatures who are so willing to help lift our spirits yet ask for so little in return.
To find out what’s hot, what’s not, and what’s next in your industry, please reach out today to schedule a brief demo of Skai’s market intelligence platform.