German garden centre chain Dehner offers a wide range of exclusive private labels in the pet segment. 
German garden centre chain Dehner offers a wide range of exclusive private labels in the pet segment. 
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Exclusive brands

Exclusive brands still on trend in retail

At a time of inflation and consumer reticence, exclusive brands gain a higher status, even in pet product retailing. 
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How to save money on pet food? It is a question that has preoccupied many pet owners worldwide in recent months. Price has been a key factor and many discounters have succeeded in capturing price-sensitive customers with their own low-cost food and accessory brands. In countries with lower purchasing power in particular, Aldi, Lidl and similar chains have prevailed against the competition. Under these conditions, pet stores have had anything but an easy ride in the last year.

Many pet store chains began to expand their assortment of exclusive brands years ago. The model for this is Europe’s leading pet store chain Fressnapf, which was achieving around half of its sales with its own brands such as Multifit, Premiere and Anione long before the Covid pandemic. After manufacturers’ branded products came to feature more prominently again on the shelves of Fressnapf and Maxi Zoo in the interim, the Fressnapf Group switched back again following the pandemic, prompted by industry price rises and higher inflation, and strengthened their own portfolio of exclusive brands. Other retail groups are going down a similar route, such as Arcaplanet in Italy, Zoo-city in Croatia and Tom & Co. in Belgium. Online retailers such as Zooplus and Zoo Royal are also permanently increasing the proportion of exclusive brands in their assortment.

USA experiences a boom in private labels

Even in the USA, where private labels of the major retail groups always faced a harder challenge in the past than in Europe, many consumers have done an about-turn and are opting increasingly for retailers’ exclusive brands at the POS or online. The American trade magazine Petfood Industry points to market data from the first quarter of 2023, which showed that 16.6 per cent of pet care product units sold were private label products, up by 0.77 per cent. Private label cat food and treats accounted for a 7.1 per cent dollar share of all cat foods and treats sold in all US retail channels for the quarter, representing a 19 per cent increase, while private label dog food and treats had a 15.1 per cent dollar share, up 6 per cent.

Although the inflation rate fell again in large parts of Europe and America in autumn 2023, many consumers are struggling with high prices. There is thus little hope that the current buying behaviour of pet owners is going to change any time soon. 

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