Ralf Majer-Abele
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Growth stimuli guard against economic crises, and this is no different in the pet supplies sector from any other branch of the economy. In this issue of PET worldwide we take a closer look at three of the key growth stimuli in this sector and their development and future potential. These are pet food ingredients, sustainability and small dog breeds.
Ingredients in pet food matter (reports on page X onwards) - more than ever before. Not only food scientists but even a growing number of pet owners now want to know exactly what goes into the food consumed by their (mostly four-legged) pets. In consequence, some pet food manufacturers have changed their packaging so that the chief constituents of their products are visible at a glance at the POS. The variety of ingredients is also increasing constantly, with many also used in human food. Exotic additions such as chia seeds and a wide range of vegetables ensure a tasty meal in the pet food bowl. With regard to dog food, many consumers seek a high meat content above all. However, vegetarian dog food and food containing insect protein are also gaining acceptance with pet owners. Since many trends from the human sphere will automatically be transferred to pets in the future, the variety to be found in pet food is likely to increase.
Another megatrend presently encompassing the world is sustainability. How companies handle natural resources, whether they are doing anything to benefit the environment and whether their products are manufactured in the most eco-friendly manner are all questions that are increasingly important for consumers. You can read about the ideas that are being realised by a few selected companies in this issue from page 42 onwards.
Another trend that is still emerging as a strong growth driver is that of small dog breeds (page 36 ff). Whether the Chihuahua, Maltese, Yorkshire Terrier or Miniature Poodle, small breeds top the popularity charts in many countries. As individually tailored pet food acquires ever greater importance, it is clear that small breeds are being fed primarily on products that cater for the needs of these small dogs. Since the small breed population is only just beginning to rise in several countries, this trend is likely to stay strong in the next few years.
Ralf Majer-Abele
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