If you are a startup looking to make a mark in the pet food sector, you are living in a great time with a productive future in-sight. The pet food companies and retailers have started to see increased sales of pet food products as compared to other mainstream food segments.
The pet food products, especially for dogs and cats, are currently trending in demand. The sudden boost in the pet food sector is due to increased pet ownership and consumers switching from home-cooked meals for pets to online channels and stores that sell specific pet foods.
In India, “Mars Incorporated” dominates the better half of the pet food market, acknowledges the growing demand in the pet food sector. Among the online pet food seller moguls – Flipkart, Snapdeal and Big Basket also confirmed that there is a sharp increase in the demand of packaged foods for the canines and felines. In fact, it has been the strongest in recent years even when compared to other categories in the overall FMCG segment.
Mars Pet Nutrition stated,
“Our portfolio of brands is growing at 20% this year as against 18.5% in 2018. Increase in pet adoption, rising awareness for a better nutritional profile, and lifestyle changes such as more food order-ins have made it easier for Indian pet parents to feed manufactured food.”
Recently launched Pedigree biscuits are priced at a reasonable INR 15, which has dog lovers and owners shift to pet biscuits for their pets from low-priced biscuits meant for human consumption.
What does Stats Say?
According to Euromonitor International, India’s pet food market has seen a grown of INR 2,110 crore in 2019 as compared to INR 1,346 crore in 2016.
Read More: The Future Of Pet Ecommerce Industry
The experts believe that there has been a gradual shift in the mindset of the people, from keeping dogs as security to making and treating them as a family member is one of the major mindset shift seen in the last decade. There are about 23 million dogs and over 4 million cats in India that are pets to humans.
“Pets have short lifespans and Indians will not compromise on fulfilling their nutritional needs,” said Bhupendra Khanal, CEO of Dogsee Chew, that sells premium dog treats made with yak and cow milk.
The bulk of sales growth is driven by the e-commerce sector in India, Flipkart, Amazon, and Big-Basket are ruling in the sector. In fact, Big-Basket has seen a growth of 150% this year in the pet food category.
“Pet foods is not a highly penetrated category and hence there is a large potential for growth online,” said Seshu Kumar, national head — buying and merchandising at BigBasket.
While the big guns – Flipkart, Amazon, and Snapdeal have seen 2x growth in sales in the pet category. Convenience seems to be the major factor that is driving consumers to eCommerce portals to shop for quality pet food. Since Pet products are not easily available at the neighborhood stores, the eCommerce sector is seeing a sharp increase in sales.
Another brand Heads up for tails, is expanding its resources to open more neighborhood stores that allow consumers to find quality home-made pet food products. They recently received funding and are planning to boost their eCommerce section as well.
“The economic slowdown has definitely impacted the industry. Consumers who would buy every month now than buy every six weeks. It’s early to tell but they may be shifting to home food for their pets,” said Rashi Narang, founder, Heads Up For Tails.
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