New research results show that, despite inflation and price increases on pet food, owners continue to want the best for their pets.
As a result, delivering added value such as nutritional, health or sustainability benefits is key to retaining consumer interest in times of tighter budgets.
This new global survey has been conducted by the market research agency FMCG Gurus, on behalf of BENEO, with 2,500 dog and cat owners in the US, Brazil, UK, Germany, and China.
Most are staying loyal to their brand of choice by taking greater advantage of promotional offers or bigger packs
Price versus value
The research demonstrates that even though almost 9 in 10 surveyed pet owners feel that pet food prices have risen in the last year, only 1 in 6 pet parents globally has turned to cheaper products or brands as a result.
Most are staying loyal to their brand of choice by taking greater advantage of promotional offers or bigger packs.
In fact, price is considered less important when buying pet food compared to ingredient quality, nutritional value, taste and health claims. Over half of respondents are even willing to pay a price premium for pet food with health-promoting ingredients that have been scientifically proven.
more than 4 in 5 owners considering their pet’s health to be as important as their own
Pet parents are very concerned about their pet’s health and the survey results reflect this, with more than 4 in 5 owners considering their pet’s health to be as important as their own.
The link between their pet’s digestive health and overall health is also more widely recognised by pet owners, with over 3 in 4 cat and dog owners understanding that the digestive system has a positive influence on many aspects beyond the gut, such as bone condition, mental and physical wellbeing and the immune system.
It is not surprising therefore that the on-pack claims most likely to influence purchasing of pet food products include “promotes digestive health naturally” and “easy-to-digest”.
Natural and high-quality vegetal proteins are therefore a valuable resource for manufacturers
Demand for proteins and sustainable credentials
The survey also reveals that protein quality and content are important for 7 in 10 respondents. Additionally, sustainability claims are considered to some extent by 4 in 5 owners when choosing food for their pets. With more than half of cat and dog owners considering plant-based proteins to be better for the environment, it is no surprise that vegetal ingredient sources with sustainability credentials are of increasing relevance.
For instance, more than 80% of pet owners associate faba beans with being sustainable. Natural and high-quality vegetal proteins are therefore a valuable resource for manufacturers, allowing them to cater to pet owners’ interests, whilst formulating nutritious pet food recipes.
Dr Maygane Ronsmans, Product Manager Animal Nutrition at BENEO says: “The findings of this latest pet owner survey highlight that even in times of inflation, nutritional value and health remain a priority for pet food purchasers. Also, with pet owners more attentive to sustainability,”