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Pet Food - UK - August 2016

“Greater attention to transparency of ingredients is required to overcome consumers’ concerns about what exactly goes into pet food. This comes against a backdrop of confusion over ingredients lists on pet food. As such, the concept of “clean labels” can be just as relevant for pet food as it is for human food.”
– Emma Clifford, Senior Food and Drink Analyst

This report examines the following issues:

  • Opportunities are ripe for high-welfare and British-reared meat and poultry
  • Superfoods can be super in the pet market, too
  • Reconnecting with nature with “paleo” products for pets can reap rewards

The ongoing humanisation of pets is translating into stark similarities between the pet food and human food markets. Premiumisation is currently shaping both markets, with clear signs of shoppers trading upwards in pet food. That consumers have become more health-minded and nutritionally aware has radiated outwards to the food they feed their pets. As such, trends such as so-called “positive nutrition”, the emphasis on natural ingredients, free-from and even the “paleo” high-protein approach to food have crossed over into pet food.

This Report focuses on the retail sales of pet food for cats and dogs through all retail channels, including direct to consumers. Food is categorised as dry, wet, snacks and treats. Cat drinks are also included.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Value sales up 3% year on year in 2015
              • Figure 1: Total UK retail value sales of cat and dog food, 2011-21
            • Dry cat and dog food continue to lose share
              • Sales of snacks are on an upward trajectory
                • Market factors
                  • Two fifths of adults own a pet
                    • Families with kids are most likely to be pet owners
                      • The shift towards rented homes and smaller households is a threat
                        • Companies and brands
                          • Cesar is the only top five dog food brand to post growth
                            • Whiskas fails to claw back ground on new market leader Felix
                              • Figure 2: Leading brands’ sales in the UK retail wet and dry dog food market, by value, 2015/16*
                            • Dog snacks accounted for a third of pet food launches in 2015
                              • Most 2015 launches were free from additives and preservatives
                                • Adspend on pet food up 12% year on year in 2015
                                  • The consumer
                                    • Pet owners tend to opt for a mix of foods
                                      • Figure 3: Types of pet food bought and/or prepared, by type of pet bought for, June 2016
                                    • Complete foods hold most appeal, but provide limited standout
                                      • Awareness that different pets have different needs
                                        • Figure 4: Factors deemed important when buying pet food, by type of pet bought for, June 2016
                                      • ‘Try before you buy’ is an attractive proposition
                                        • High-welfare pet food offers huge potential
                                          • Figure 5: Interest in innovation in pet food, June 2016
                                        • Superfoods can be super for pets too
                                          • Raw pet food mimics an “in the wild” diet
                                            • Figure 6: Attitudes towards pet food, June 2016
                                          • Demand for more transparency
                                            • Fewer ingredients and “clean labels” can build trust
                                              • Figure 7: Further attitudes towards pet food, June 2016
                                            • What we think
                                            • Issues and Insights

                                              • Opportunities are ripe for high-welfare and British-reared meat and poultry
                                                • The facts
                                                  • The implications
                                                    • Superfoods can be super in the pet market, too
                                                      • The facts
                                                        • The implications
                                                          • Reconnecting with nature with “paleo” products for pets can reap rewards
                                                            • The facts
                                                              • The implications
                                                              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                                • Vales sales up 3% year on year in 2015
                                                                  • Volume sales edge tentatively upwards
                                                                    • 11% growth forecast over 2016-21
                                                                      • Dry cat and dog food continue to lose share
                                                                        • Sales of snacks are on an upward trajectory
                                                                          • Two fifths of adults own a pet
                                                                            • Families with kids are most likely own pets
                                                                              • The shift towards rented homes and smaller households is a threat
                                                                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                • Sales up 3% in 2015
                                                                                  • Figure 8: Total UK retail value and volume sales of cat and dog food, 2011-21
                                                                                • 11% growth forecast over 2016-21
                                                                                  • Figure 9: Total UK retail value sales of cat and dog food, 2011-21
                                                                                  • Figure 10: Total UK retail volume sales of cat and dog food, 2011-21
                                                                                • Forecast methodology
                                                                                • Market Segmentation

                                                                                  • Dry dog food continues to lose share
                                                                                    • Sales of snacks are on an upward trajectory
                                                                                      • Figure 11: UK retail value and volume sales of dog food, by type, 2013-16
                                                                                    • Wet cat food dominates
                                                                                      • Figure 12: UK retail value and volume sales of cat food, by type, 2013-16
                                                                                  • Market Drivers

                                                                                    • Three fifths of adults own a pet
                                                                                      • Figure 13: Pet ownership, by type of pet, May 2014, May 2015 and June 2016
                                                                                    • Owning just one dog or cat is the norm among owners
                                                                                      • Figure 14: Number of pets owned, June 2016
                                                                                    • Families with kids are most likely to own pets
                                                                                      • Figure 15: Pet ownership, by age and presence of children under the age of 18 in the household, June 2016
                                                                                    • The ageing population is a challenge
                                                                                      • The shift towards rented accommodation presents a challenge
                                                                                        • Figure 16: UK housing stock, by tenure, 2004-14
                                                                                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                                                      • Cesar is the only top five dog food brand to post growth
                                                                                        • A stellar performance from Harringtons
                                                                                          • Good Boy leapfrogs Bakers to become the number two in dog treats
                                                                                            • Whiskas fails to claw back ground on new market leader Felix
                                                                                              • Gourmet and Sheba enjoy double-digit growth
                                                                                                • Dog snacks accounted for a third of pet food launches in 2015
                                                                                                  • Most 2015 launches were free from additives and preservatives
                                                                                                    • Lily’s Kitchen jumps up the rankings in NPD
                                                                                                      • A surge in seasonal pet food launches
                                                                                                        • Adspend on pet food up 12% year on year in 2015
                                                                                                        • Market Share

                                                                                                          • Cesar is the only top five dog food brand to post growth
                                                                                                            • A stellar performance from Harringtons
                                                                                                              • Iams dealt a blow by Asda delisting
                                                                                                                • Figure 17: Leading brands’ sales in the UK retail wet and dry dog food market, by value and volume, 2014/15 and 2015/16
                                                                                                                • Figure 18: Leading manufacturers’ sales in the UK retail wet and dry dog food market, by value and volume, 2014/15 and 2015/16
                                                                                                              • Good Boy leapfrogs Bakers to become the number two brand in dog treats
                                                                                                                • Figure 19: Leading brands’ sales in the UK retail dog snacks and treats market, by value and volume, 2014/15 and 2015/16
                                                                                                                • Figure 20: Leading manufacturers’ sales in the UK retail dog snacks and treats market, by value and volume, 2014/15 and 2015/16
                                                                                                              • Whiskas fails to claw back ground on new market leader Felix
                                                                                                                • Gourmet and Sheba enjoy double-digit growth
                                                                                                                  • Figure 21: Leading brands’ sales in the UK retail wet and dry cat food market, by value and volume, 2014/15* and 2015/16**
                                                                                                                  • Figure 22: Leading manufacturers’ sales in the UK retail wet and dry cat food market, by value and volume, 2014/15* and 2015/16**
                                                                                                                • Dreamies holds its ground in cat treats
                                                                                                                  • Figure 23: Leading brands’ sales in the UK retail cat snacks, treats and drinks market, by value and volume, 2014/15* and 2015/16**
                                                                                                                  • Figure 24: Leading manufacturers’ sales in the UK retail cat snacks, treats and drinks market, by value and volume, 2014/15* and 2015/16**
                                                                                                              • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                • Dog snacks accounted for a third of pet food launches in 2015
                                                                                                                  • Figure 25: New product launches in the UK pet food market, by segment, 2012-16
                                                                                                                • In a brand revamp, Mars puts the focus on lifestage for Whiskas
                                                                                                                  • A new look for Mars Dreamies cat treats too
                                                                                                                    • Figure 26: New product launches in the UK pet food market, by company, 2012-16
                                                                                                                  • Cat soup bursts onto the UK retail scene
                                                                                                                    • Soup is well suited to NPD for senior or poorly pets
                                                                                                                      • Meaty cakes also aim to bring textural newness
                                                                                                                        • A premiumisation drive from Nestlé in dry dog food
                                                                                                                          • Lily’s Kitchen jumps up the rankings in NPD
                                                                                                                            • The brand sets the bar with superfoods for pets
                                                                                                                              • Lily’s Kitchen taps into the “flexitarian” trend
                                                                                                                                • Most 2015 launches were free from additives and preservatives
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: New product launches in the UK pet food market featuring the no additives/preservatives, all-natural product and organic claims, 2012-16
                                                                                                                                • Harringtons looks to naturalness as it branches out into wet dog food
                                                                                                                                  • Gluten-free and L/N/R allergen products have become more prevalent
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 28: New product launches in the UK pet food market featuring the low/no/reduced allergen and gluten-free claims, 2012-16
                                                                                                                                  • A surge in seasonal pet food launches
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Share of new pet food launches carrying seasonal claims, UK, 2012-16
                                                                                                                                • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                                  • Adspend on pet food up 12% year on year in 2015
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on pet food, by type, 2012-16
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Share of recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on pet food, by type, 2012-16
                                                                                                                                  • The lion’s share of adspend belongs to Mars
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on pet food, by company, 2012-16
                                                                                                                                    • A big advertising push for Nestlé
                                                                                                                                      • Digital campaigns open up more scope for interaction
                                                                                                                                        • Debut TV advert for tails.com
                                                                                                                                          • Lily’s Kitchen’s charitable initiatives
                                                                                                                                            • Media Research coverage
                                                                                                                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                              • Pet owners tend to opt for a mix of foods
                                                                                                                                                • Complete foods hold most appeal, but provide limited standout
                                                                                                                                                  • Awareness that different pets have different needs
                                                                                                                                                    • ‘Try before you buy’ is an attractive proposition
                                                                                                                                                      • High-welfare pet food offers huge potential
                                                                                                                                                        • Superfoods can be super for pets too
                                                                                                                                                          • Raw pet food mimics an “in the wild” diet
                                                                                                                                                            • Demand for more transparency
                                                                                                                                                              • Enjoyment in buying novelty treats
                                                                                                                                                                • Widespread concerns over pet obesity
                                                                                                                                                                • Types of Pet Food Bought/Prepared

                                                                                                                                                                  • Pet owners tend to opt for a variety of foods
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Types of pet food bought and/or prepared, by type of pet bought for, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                  • Homemade food is a popular way of supplementing dogs’ diets
                                                                                                                                                                    • Creating a behavioural purpose could boost usage of cat treats
                                                                                                                                                                    • Factors Deemed Important when Buying Pet Food

                                                                                                                                                                      • Complete foods hold most appeal, but provide limited standout
                                                                                                                                                                        • Dental health benefits are important factor for dog owners
                                                                                                                                                                          • Awareness that different pets have different needs
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Factors deemed important when buying pet food, by type of pet bought for, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                          • No artificial ingredients most important for older consumers
                                                                                                                                                                            • Three in 10 want dog food to be high in protein
                                                                                                                                                                            • Interest in Innovation in Pet Food

                                                                                                                                                                              • ‘Try before you buy’ is an attractive proposition
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Interest in innovation in pet food, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                              • High-welfare pet food offers huge potential
                                                                                                                                                                                • British meat can help to build trust in products
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Scope to improve packaging
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Vegetable-based protein offers opportunities
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Attitudes towards Pet Food

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Superfoods can be super for pets too
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Attitudes towards pet food, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Raw pet food mimics an “in the wild” diet
                                                                                                                                                                                        • 23% think that a gluten-free diet is healthier
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Further Attitudes towards Pet Food

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Demand for more transparency
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Fewer ingredients and “clean labels” can build trust
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Further attitudes towards pet food, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Enjoyment in buying novelty treats
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Widespread concerns over pet obesity
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Potential for diet apps for pets
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Best- and worst-case forecasts for retail sales of cat and dog food, by value, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Best- and worst-case forecasts for retail sales of cat and dog food, by volume, 2016-21
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Forecast methodology

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                        To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pet Food - UK - August 2016

                                                                                                                                                                                                        £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)