BENEO’s Consumer Research On Pet Care 2023 survey has found that despite inflationary pressure and the cost of pet food, pet parents across the US, UK, Brazil, Germany and China are committed to providing their pets with the best. In times of tighter budgets, maintaining consumer interest hinges on delivering added value, whether in the form of nutritional, health or sustainability benefits.
These 3 categories were suggested as key to retaining consumers.
Product value over price
As many as 9 out of 10 consumers felt the price hike in the last year, but only 1 in 6 switched to a cheaper pet food brand—most maintained brand loyalty by opting for promotional offers and purchasing bigger packs.
Over half of the respondents were willing to pay a premium for pet food with scientifically proven health-promoting ingredients. Generally, ingredient quality, nutritional value, taste and health claims took precedence over price.
Seeking digestive benefits
Most pet parents consider their pets’ health as important as their own. So it is no surprise that 3 in 4 dog and cat parents recognized the link between digestive health and other health benefits, such as overall physical well-being and immune system health.
It was found that packaging with claims such as “promotes digestive health naturally” and “easy-to-digest” influenced purchasing decisions. Other top digestive health claims included “digestive comfort and well-being” and “supports a healthy and balanced digestive system.”
There was also support for natural approaches to digestive health, with 1 in 3 claiming to feed their pets food that says they promote good digestive health on the pack. Prebiotics were largely (by almost half of respondents) linked to good gut health, prompting a market for this ingredient.
Sustainability links to protein choice
7 in 10 respondents also noted that protein quality and content in their pets’ food was important to them, while 4 in 5 leaned toward sustainability claims.
Over half of the respondents agreed that plant-based proteins were more sustainable, suggesting a market for manufacturers of natural, high-quality vegetal proteins.
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