2023 was an intense year for the pet industry, and GlobalPETS kept its finger on the pulse of each relevant global development. Refresh your memory with industry milestones as well as popular trend analysis pieces that caught our readers’ eyes.
The most-read news piece of 2023 was the clash between e-commerce player Zooplus and Royal Canin when the online retailer refused to comply with the price increase applied by the pet food manufacturer.
Zooplus decided not to pass on the burden to pet parents. They notified shoppers about the “excessive” price hike, potential rise in “out-of-stock” problems with the brand and “difficulty” in obtaining the brand’s full range of products.
Royal Canin said at the time that the rise in prices for its raw materials, as well as inflation in packaging, transportation and energy, was the reason behind their price increase.
The country report on the Philippines published in the February issue of PETS International was the second most-read article on GlobalPETS.
The local pet industry, estimated at around PHP 6 billion ($108M/€97.1M), saw a rise in the country’s pet population to more than 20 million dogs and 8 million cats.
According to Rakuten Insight, the Philippines has the highest number of dog owners in the Asian region (67%). In addition, more than 4 out of 10 pet parents have a cat, followed by birds (10%).
The sale of pet products through online channels has more than doubled over the past 4 years, and it is forecast to reach $16.3 million by 2026.
After being in the pipeline for a while, the American online pet retailer announced its international expansion to neighboring Canada in April 2023.
The first target was Toronto, the largest metropolitan area in Canada.
The company said at the time that the North American country offered them “an exciting opportunity” in the e-commerce space.
This round-up story, which put together the financial developments in the pet industry in 2022—including mergers and acquisitions, takeovers and investments—was a popular article among our readers.
JAB Holding Company invested $1.4 billion (€1.28B) into Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group and Pethealth, while Royal Canin acquired fresh pet food producer Nom Nom for $1 billion (€800M). Pet care brand Swedencare made three major acquisitions, splurging upwards of $500 million (€449.3M).
In Europe, Arcaplanet and Fressnapf’s Maxi Zoo merged in Italy. United Petfood also expanded its footprint through various acquisitions.
Financial risk platform Credit Risk Monitor deemed Petco as 1 of 11 companies at an elevated bankruptcy risk in 2023.
Following the news, the company’s long-term debt of $1.6 billion (€1.5B) and subsequent 20% dip in shares gained industry attention.
GlobalPETS found that the company was seemingly on target to match its goal to repay $100 million (€94.2M) this year. Experts also expected that following the retailer’s priority toward debt repayment, it wouldn’t likely face bankruptcy.
Technological advances have touched nearly every human industry. Now, the pet industry is beginning to benefit.
One of the most exciting frontiers in pet artificial intelligence (AI) was nose print recognition, which is being pioneered by two firms in South Korea, Petnow and iSciLab.
The technology’s non-invasive tracking is a much more efficient and inexpensive way to track pets than microchips.
In 2022, the European pet population grew 11% to 340 million, according to new data released in July by the European Pet Food Industry Federation (FEDIAF).
The data concluded that 46% of all European households (91 million) owned at least one pet in 2022.
The data revealed that Russia, Germany and France had the highest cat populations, while Russia, the UK and Germany had the most dogs.
New research from UK Pet Food concluded that despite a 9% rise in the country’s pet population, the number of British households that own animals fell.
Sources attributed the increase in relinquishment of pets to the rise in the cost of living, with millennials and Gen Z being the most impacted.
On the other hand, ownership of small animals rose by 50%, with rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters being the most popular pets.
A survey carried out by Yummypets for GlobalPETS concluded that pet parents are looking for pet food that benefits their pets’ immune systems, joints and bones, and heart and cardiovascular health.
Prebiotics were found to be the most popular ingredient, along with eggs, plant-based or vegan ingredients and collagen.
Upcycled ingredients were also becoming increasingly popular, especially in the UK and younger generations. Common superfoods like carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, spinach and blueberries remained popular over other exotic ingredients.
Pet supplements, fish oils and toppers were also the 3 top purchasing categories.
Last year’s forecast for 2023 indicated general market volatility, inflation, supply chain challenges, the reduced purchasing power of pet parents and challenges regarding customer retention.
Consulted experts agreed that the non-food pet category was expected to suffer the most from headwinds.
The Ukrainian war was also predicted to change the global raw material supply chain, and retail competition was expected to become fiercer and more aggressive.
The latest articles
More than 20% of Nestlé’s sales last year were pet products
The conglomerate’s pet category is the largest contributor to organic growth, while global sales decreased by 1.5%.
Better Choice to develop weight loss supplement for pets
The Florida-based pet health and wellness firm recently acquired all issued and outstanding shares in Canadian Aimia Pet Healthco for an undisclosed amount.
European pet food manufacturers establish new group
SANYpet, Natural Line and Codico have created a new production and distribution group to capture the international market.
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