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Pet Food - UK - September 2019

Covered in this report

The market size in this report comprises UK 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.

Excluded are healthcare and accessories such as items for home grooming, collars, leashes, toys, chews, bedding, feeding equipment and litter, and over-the-counter flea/tick treatments and prescription medicines. Pets themselves as well as services for pets, such as boarding, grooming, training and veterinary services, and pet insurance are also excluded from the market size and from this report.


“The high level of innovation centring on high-quality, health-boosting and all-natural ingredients is making it difficult for products to stand out in the increasingly crowded premium pet food space. Greater transparency, for example through spotlighting ingredient provenance, will help build trust and create compelling points of difference.

Greener packaging, meal kits for making pet food at home, all-British ingredients and recipes featuring ‘good bacteria’ are all areas that offer ripe opportunities for pet food manufacturers.”
– Max Grünefeld, Research Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Opportunity for meal kits for making pet food at home
  • The pet food market can do more to tap into the buzz around digestive health
  • Environmentally friendly packaging warrants further attention

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • More strong growth in value, modest volume growth continues
              • Figure 1: Total UK retail value sales of cat and dog food, 2014-24
            • Further lacklustre growth ahead for volume sales
              • Snacks and treats lead growth in dog food in 2018
                • Figure 2: UK retail value sales of dog food, by type, 2017-19
              • Wet food maintains majority share of cat food sales
                • Figure 3: UK retail value sales of cat food, by type, 2017-19
              • Pet ownership remains stable
                • Impact of Brexit remains largely unknown
                  • Industry reacts to the spotlight on plastic packaging
                    • Companies and brands
                      • Sales continue to fall for top three dog food brands
                        • Figure 4: Leading brands’ sales in the UK retail wet and dry dog food market, by value, 2017/18 and 2018/19
                      • Felix returns to growth, Whiskas remains in decline
                        • Figure 5: Leading brands’ sales in the UK retail wet and dry cat food market, by value, 2017/18 and 2018/19
                      • Ethical positioning gains ground in launches
                        • 37% of launches call out textures
                          • ‘Plus’ claims grow in treats launches, functional claims remain rarer
                            • Advertising sees three years of decline
                              • The consumer
                                • Dry food remains favourite for feeding dogs, gap closes for cats
                                  • Figure 6: Types of pet food bought, by type of pet, May 2019
                                • Most see digestive health as essential to overall health
                                  • Figure 7: Attitudes towards pet food, May 2019
                                • All-natural ingredients are cat/dog food buyers’ top consideration
                                  • Figure 8: Choice factors when purchasing pet food, May 2019
                                • Transparency fuels trust
                                  • Figure 9: Behaviours related to pet food, May 2019
                                • What we think
                                • Issues and Insights

                                  • Opportunity for meal kits for making pet food at home
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                        • The pet food market can do more to tap into the buzz around digestive health
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                              • Environmentally friendly packaging warrants further attention
                                                • The facts
                                                  • The implications
                                                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                    • More strong growth in value, modest volume growth continues
                                                      • Further lacklustre growth ahead for volume sales
                                                        • Snacks and treats lead growth in dog food in 2018
                                                          • Wet food maintains majority share of cat food sales
                                                            • Pet ownership remains stable
                                                              • Impact of Brexit remains largely unknown
                                                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                • More strong growth in value sales; modest volume performance continues
                                                                  • Figure 10: UK retail value and volume sales of cat and dog food, 2014-24
                                                                • Further lacklustre growth ahead for volume sales
                                                                  • Figure 11: Total UK retail volume sales of cat and dog food, 2014-24
                                                                • Strong value sales forecast on the back of rising prices
                                                                  • Figure 12: Total UK retail value sales of cat and dog food, 2014-24
                                                                • Forecast methodology
                                                                • Market Segmentation

                                                                  • Snacks and treats continue to lead growth in dog food in 2018
                                                                    • Figure 13: UK retail value and volume sales of dog food, by type, 2017-19
                                                                  • Wet food maintains majority share of cat food sales
                                                                    • Figure 14: UK retail value and volume sales of cat food, by type, 2017-19
                                                                • Market Drivers

                                                                  • Pet ownership remains stable
                                                                    • Figure 15: Pet ownership, by type of pet, April 2015-May 2019
                                                                  • An ageing population continues to threaten pet ownership
                                                                    • Figure 16: Cat and dog ownership, by age, April 2019
                                                                  • Marked slowing in growth of child population will dampen pet ownership
                                                                    • Figure 17: Cat and dog ownership, by presence of children in the household, April 2019
                                                                  • Impact of Brexit on pet food remains largely unknown
                                                                    • Industry reacts to the spotlight on plastic packaging
                                                                      • Figure 18: Share of new products in the UK pet food market carrying an environmentally friendly package claim, 2015-19
                                                                    • Raw pet food is further linked to risk to owners
                                                                    • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                      • Sales continue to fall for top three dog food brands
                                                                        • Felix returns to growth, Whiskas remains in decline
                                                                          • Ethical positioning gains ground in launches
                                                                            • 37% of launches call out textures
                                                                              • ‘Plus’ claims grow in treats launches, functional claims remain rarer
                                                                                • Advertising sees three years of decline
                                                                                • Market Share

                                                                                  • Sales keep falling for majority of leading dog food brands
                                                                                    • Figure 19: Leading brands’ sales in the UK retail wet and dry dog food market, by value and volume, 2017/18 and 2018/19
                                                                                  • Good Boy and Pedigree continue to lead dog snacks & treats
                                                                                    • Figure 20: Leading brands’ sales in the UK retail dog snacks and treats market, by value and volume, 2017/18 and 2018/19
                                                                                  • Felix returns to growth while Whiskas remains in decline
                                                                                    • Figure 21: Leading brands’ sales in the UK retail wet and dry cat food market, by value and volume, 2017/18 and 2018/19
                                                                                  • Dreamies returns to growth; Webbox closing in on Felix
                                                                                    • Figure 22: Leading brands’ sales in the UK retail cat snacks and treats market, by value and volume, 2017/18 and 2018/19
                                                                                • Start-ups and Disruptors Case Study – Yora

                                                                                  • Company Overview
                                                                                    • What is it?
                                                                                      • Figure 23: Sample of Yora product, 2019
                                                                                    • Founded
                                                                                      • Founder’s story
                                                                                        • Financial metrics:
                                                                                          • Sources of funding and support
                                                                                            • Mintel Analyst Verdict
                                                                                              • Mintel Trends
                                                                                                • Why it could succeed
                                                                                                  • Why it could fail
                                                                                                    • The verdict
                                                                                                      • Product details
                                                                                                        • Figure 24: Yora product range, 2019
                                                                                                      • Stockists
                                                                                                      • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                        • Own-label grows share of launches while leading brands’ activity slows
                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Share of new product launches in the UK pet food market, by company, 2015-19
                                                                                                        • Ethical positioning gains ground
                                                                                                          • Yora launches ‘the world’s most sustainable pet food’
                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Yora pet food, 2019
                                                                                                          • Beco Pets launches MSC-certified dog food
                                                                                                            • Whiskas undertakes brand overhaul with a spotlight on natural and sustainable credentials
                                                                                                              • Figure 27: Whiskas 11+ range highlighting naturalness and sustainability, March 2019
                                                                                                              • Figure 28: Beco MSC-certified cod & haddock natural dog food, Jan 2019
                                                                                                            • Environmentally friendly package claims are in the minority
                                                                                                              • Figure 29: Share of new product launches in the UK pet food market, by environmentally friendly packaging and recycling claims, 2015-19
                                                                                                            • Some brands explore less common approaches from materials to tie-ups
                                                                                                              • Figure 30: Environmentally friendly packaging examples, 2018-19
                                                                                                            • Mars ups the game on naturalness with ‘clean’ and ‘ancestral’ diets
                                                                                                              • Mars launches ‘ancestral’ dog food brand Crave…
                                                                                                                • Figure 31: Mars Petcare UK’s new Crave brand, February 2019
                                                                                                              • …and brings clean eating trend to pet food with ‘Nutro’
                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Nutro Wild Frontier, Germany, 2018
                                                                                                              • Textures take centre stage in selected launches
                                                                                                                • Sheba launches ‘Craft’ collection, focusing on textures
                                                                                                                  • Felix soup targets any time occasions
                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Sheba Craft Collection, Yakers Crunchy Bites and Felix Soups, 2018-19
                                                                                                                  • New entrants put superfoods and functional benefits at the heart of treats
                                                                                                                    • Denzel’s launches dog chew range, Miss Purfect puts functionality front and centre in cat treats
                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Denzel’s dog chews and Miss Purfect cat treats, January 2019 and December 2018
                                                                                                                    • Selected launches find associations to emotional wellbeing
                                                                                                                      • Wagg overhauls brand identity, highlighting wagging tails
                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Wagg overhauls brand identity, 2017-19
                                                                                                                      • Naturediet launches ‘Feel Good’ variant to cover all bases
                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Naturediet’s Feel Good range, January 2019
                                                                                                                      • Felix Play Tubes aim to combine play and snacking
                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Felix Play Tubes, March 2019
                                                                                                                      • Baking kits appear in dog snacks and treats
                                                                                                                        • Smoofl launches DIY treats for dogs
                                                                                                                          • PawBakes releases Bakies Doggy Baking Gift Kit
                                                                                                                            • Webbox launches ‘Decorate Your Own’ festive Gingerbread Bones
                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Examples of pet baking and meal kits, 2018-19
                                                                                                                            • Mackle Petfoods adds Chef’s Selection range to Naturo brand
                                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Naturo’s chef’s selection range, February 2019
                                                                                                                            • Paul O’Grady and Burgess Pet Care launch dog food range
                                                                                                                              • Pooch & Mutt launches sister brand Purr & Miaow
                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: Purr & Miaow wet cat food, April 2019
                                                                                                                            • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                              • Advertising sees three years of decline
                                                                                                                                • Figure 41: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on pet food, 2015-19
                                                                                                                              • The adspend gap between cat and dog food narrows
                                                                                                                                • Figure 42: Total and share of above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on pet food, by type, 2015-19
                                                                                                                              • Whiskas continues to be the most heavily advertised brand
                                                                                                                                • Figure 43: Total and share of above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on pet food, by top 10 brands, 2015-19
                                                                                                                              • Tails.com highlights its personalised service in TV ad
                                                                                                                                • Harringtons pushes natural positioning
                                                                                                                                  • Dreamies shows its power over cats in playful ad
                                                                                                                                    • Butcher’s campaign aims to improve affordability of natural food
                                                                                                                                      • Sheba continues with ‘Resistance is Futile’ expressions
                                                                                                                                        • Webbox highlights uniqueness of pet ownership
                                                                                                                                          • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                            • Dry food remains favourite for feeding dogs, gap closes for cats
                                                                                                                                              • Most see digestive health as essential to overall health
                                                                                                                                                • All-natural ingredients are cat/dog food buyers’ top consideration
                                                                                                                                                  • Transparency fuels trust
                                                                                                                                                  • Pet Food Feeding Behaviours

                                                                                                                                                    • Homemade pet food gathers momentum
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 44: Feeding cats and dogs shop-bought and homemade food, May 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • Dry food maintains its lead for dogs
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Types of pet food bought, by type of pet, May 2019
                                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes towards Pet Food

                                                                                                                                                    • Digestive health warrants focus given consumer interest
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Attitudes towards pet food, May 2019
                                                                                                                                                    • Three in 10 pet food launches reference digestive health…
                                                                                                                                                      • …with a focus on calling out key ingredients
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Cat and dog foods calling out digestive functionality, 2018-19
                                                                                                                                                      • Need to move the conversation beyond naming ingredients
                                                                                                                                                        • More room to call out good bacteria
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 48: Cat and dog treats and food calling out digestive functionality, 2018-19
                                                                                                                                                        • Opportunity to further connect diet to emotional wellbeing
                                                                                                                                                          • Plant-based offerings warrant more attention in dog food
                                                                                                                                                          • Choice Factors in Pet Food Purchasing

                                                                                                                                                            • All-natural ingredients are cat/dog food buyers’ top consideration
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Choice factors when purchasing pet food, May 2019
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Pet food products showing images of ingredients on-pack, 2019
                                                                                                                                                            • Functional benefits chime with one in three
                                                                                                                                                            • Behaviours Related to Pet Food

                                                                                                                                                              • Transparency fuels trust
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Behaviours related to pet food, May 2019
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Nineteen 87 dog food highlights ingredient origin and production processes on-pack, 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • British ingredients garner a positive response
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Brands featuring references to British provenance on-pack, 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Interest in calming pet food highest among puppy and kitten owners
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Cat and dog treats which claim calming benefits, 2018-19
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

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

                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 55: Best- and worst-case forecasts for retail sales of cat and dog food, by value, 2019-24
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 56: Best- and worst-case forecasts for retail sales of cat and dog food, by volume, 2019-24
                                                                                                                                                                    • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Market Share

                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 57: Leading manufacturers’ sales in the UK retail wet and dry dog food market, by value and volume, 2017/18 and 2018/19
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 58: Leading manufacturers’ sales in the UK retail wet and dry cat food market, by value and volume, 2017/18 and 2018/19
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 59: Leading manufacturers’ sales in the UK retail dog snacks & treats market, by value and volume, 2017/18 and 2018/19
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 60: Leading manufacturers’ sales in the UK retail cat snacks & treats market, by value and volume, 2017/18 and 2018/19
                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Market Drivers

                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2014-19 and 2019-24

                                                                                                                                                                    Pet Food - UK - September 2019

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