The economic situation in Belgium, a country of 11 million people, is regarded as stable, with an economy growing at between 1 and 2 per cent in recent years. Robust household spending is expected to be one of the main drivers of expansion, benefiting the Belgian pet supplies trade among other sectors.
Cats are especially popular in this Benelux state. The feline population is estimated at over 2 mio, meaning that 29 per cent of all Belgians own at least one cat. Experts expect this figure to grow, and this explains also why the cat food market in Belgium is particularly large. According to the market research company Euromonitor International, the volume of sales increased last year to 345.1 mio euros from 332.1 mio euros in the year before. Moist cat food accounted for the greater share of sales in 2018, with revenue rising from 173.3 mio euros in 2017 to 178.3 mio euros. Sales of dry cat food are also strong compared with other European states, with a volume of sales amounting to 119.3 mio euros. Cat treat products realised 47.5 mio euros in sales in Belgium last year.
The number of dogs in Belgium was estimated at 1.3 mio in 2017. As in many other European countries, a trend is emerging towards medium-sized breeds. Data produced by sector experts indicates that over 22 per cent of all Belgian households have at least one dog. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that sales of dog food also rose last year. Dry food dominates this merchandise category, followed by treats and moist food. In 2018, sales of dry dog food increased to 99.6 mio euros from 97.6 mio euros in 2017. During the same period, treat sales grew from 68.3 mio euros to 72.3 mio euros. On the other hand, the moist food segment declined slightly in terms of sales from 56.3 mio euros in 2017 to 56 mio euros.
Euromonitor International expects sales of cat and dog food to increase in the next few years, with the highest increases coming for dog and cat treats and in the dry food segment for both dogs and cats. By 2020, Euromonitor International predicts a sales volume of 629 mio euros for dog and cat food.
Food for other pets such as small animals, cage birds and ornamental fish constitutes a comparatively small…