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Belgian pet food

Growing steadily

The Belgian pet food and care market is growing steadily this year, thanks to the continuing stable demand for pet food and improving economic situation in the region.
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In general, the number of pets in the region has been growing since 2017-2018, while the pandemic and related lockdowns also caused a sharp increase in the pet population. According to an earlier study conducted by the Belgian trade federation Comeos, 53 per cent of Belgians own a pet and this figure is growing. That contributes to the growth of the pet food market and related markets (accessories, toys, care, nutritional supplements and medicines), which are currently estimated at around 3.5 bn euros. The annual growth rates of the market vary in the range of 9-12 per cent.  

For most pet owners in Benelux, the pet is considered a full member of the family. Owners spend on high-quality food, products and services. Not only do they buy healthy and tasty food, but also invest in comfort for their animals with products ranging from cat litter to luxury animal shelters and animal toothpaste. During the pandemic, when the active population was forced to sit at home and was socially isolated to a greater or lesser extent, the number of dogs in particular increased in both Belgium and the Netherlands.  

In Belgium, there are around 1.6 mio dogs, distributed among approx. 1.3 mio dog owners. The turnover in dog food in Belgium is 731 mio euros, with every dog owner spending an average of 549 euros per year. In general, smaller dog breeds are on the rise (Chihuahua, Maltese, Shih Tzu), but the Border Collie is also very popular. The most popular dog breed in 2022 was the Chihuahua.

Around 45 per cent of Belgian pet owners buy food and related categories online. This proportion is significantly higher than the pre-Covid figure of 2019, which was 28 per cent. The ever-growing demand for fresh food is currently one of the major trends in the Belgian market, with more than 40 per cent of customers regularly buying fresh food for their pets. Services for pets such as pet sitting, pet walking, grooming, boarding and even pet training are also exhibiting a huge upward trend and represent a major opportunity for the industry. The number of customers availing themselves of these services has increased significantly in recent months.  


Eugene Gerden   

Is an international freelance writer from Russia who specialises in covering different industries.

The Belgian pet care market has traditionally been a focus of interest for major players, who have regarded the local market as a priority for their growth. One such company is Nestlé Purina Petcare, which has significantly…

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