The pet food market is officially booming. When the Covid-19 pandemic began, the whole world began spending more time at home – and many people chose to adopt pets to keep them company. Google Trends data indicates that search volume in cat, dog, and pet categories peaked between April and May 2020 at a level significantly higher than the five-year worldwide average. Shelter Animals Count, an organization that tracks pet adoptions, recorded a 15% increase in pet adoptions in 2020 compared to 2019. Accordingly, the $75.29B global pet food market is expected to grow to $90.32B by 2025.
New pets aren’t the only growth driver in this market. As Western families have shrunk, the family pet’s status has risen, with many “pet parents” now seeking out pet food that’s on par with human food in terms of quality. In emerging markets, pet owners are shifting from feeding their pets table scraps to feeding them commercial pet food. Pet food brands are capitalizing on this long-term growth potential by scaling up manufacturing and moving into emerging markets. Another way pet food brands are positioning themselves to profit? By using advanced data analytics to gain foresight into what’s coming in the industry, identify and prioritize trends and opportunities that support long-term growth, and add broad and deep external data sets to the internal data they already collect. Skai recently launched a new intelligence solution for the pet food market to help these brands take advantage of the market expansion.
Case study: How Skai helped a pet care company innovate
A major pet care company was struggling to keep up in the fast-paced, competitive pet food market. Traditional consumer validation methods – like focus groups – weren’t delivering results fast enough for effective product development. Skai’s solution was a perfect fit; our automated delivery of timely, ongoing insights based on a diverse array of data sets on the entire pet food market solved several problems for the brand and positioned them well for innovation.
Soon after our partnership began, the Skai platform uncovered an increase in pet owners’ positive sentiment around bone broth in pet food. Consumer interest had been growing for two years while key opinion leaders (KOLs) had increased their discussions around bone broth’s healthfulness. The Skai platform analyzed competitive product claims to reveal several values and benefits that resonated with consumers. Armed with extensive knowledge about current consumer interests, the brand achieved a 50% decrease in post-launch modifications and a 300% decrease in the time needed to bring new products to market, along with much higher immediate rates of return compared to previous launches. Today, the brand is expanding their use of the Skai platform to support other business units and product lines.
About Skai’s new market intelligence solution for pet foods
Skai’s new pet food Category Deep Dive provides a granular analysis of the entire market, built upon an enormous volume of data from a wide range of sales channels (including Amazon, Chewy, PetCo, and others), 3.2K KOL posts, 2.1M consumer discussions, 108.8K products, 3.3K patents, and more. Skai collects, connects, and contextualizes this data so that brands can zero in on data points at an attribute level – down to the ingredient, texture, packaging, animal species, specific benefit, etc. Overall, this new Category Deep Dive will help pet food brands make faster, better decisions across their entire go-to-market strategy by:
- Identifying white space opportunities
- Prioritizing the product development pipeline according to market trends
- Optimizing marketing effectiveness with the right message on the right channel at the right time
- Optimizing brand positioning and messaging to align with consumer interests and needs
Current market opportunities for pet food brands
The Skai platform has identified several intriguing trends within the pet food space:
- Digestive health is the most important benefit. Grain-free products are most strongly associated with digestive health in the pet food market. This aligns closely with another trend: the humanization of our pets. As grain-free and digestive health-focused human food products rise in popularity, those trends cascade into pet foods soon afterward, as pet owners want their pets to eat as well as they do.
- Homemade meals for dogs are trending, revealing a “meal prep” service opportunity for pet food brands. This is another trend that appears to have crossed over from the human world. As meal prep has become more common and desirable for people, pet owners look for ways to extend those benefits to their pets. Consumers are discussing this concept at length yet few brands offer this service, indicating an unmet need.
- CBD is a growing conversation topic among consumers. Reviews of pet products that mention CBD spike around the Fourth of July, likely related to pet anxiety around fireworks displays. As offices reopen and pets are left home alone once again, could the anticipation of separation anxiety drive further interest in CBD? This is still a niche topic in pet food, which leaves plenty of room for future expansion.
Interested in exploring how Skai can help your pet food brand make faster, better decisions? Contact us for a personalized demo.