Pets Go Gluten-Free, Non-GMO Just Like Their Owners

Pets are eating more and more like their owners these days with gluten-free, non-GMO, grain-free and organic products on the rise.

February 21, 2018

You may have noticed that America seems to love more and more owning pets, and these days, owners care for their dogs and cats in ways with much more attention to detail and humanization. With dog parades across the country, cat cafes, animals frequently seen pushed in baby strollers, Halloween costumes increasing in sales, and an overall raise in awareness and interest in loving and caring for animals, it may not come as a surprise that dogs and cats are also on the same health and wellness trend their owners seem to be. 

According to American Pet Products Association, between 2015-2016, in the United States, 35% of households owned a cat, and 44% owned a dog. For 2017-2018, the same organization reports that a three percent increase in cat ownership and a four percent increase in dog ownership. In addition, 46% of pet-owning households have multiple types of pets.  

They also report that the generational makeup of owners is starting to shift. Whereas Baby Boomers were the largest segment of pet owners in 2014-2016, currently Generation Y has become the largest segment of pet owners. 

But what’s even more important for retailers to know is what owners are feeding their dogs these days, and clearly, we’ve come a long way from your standard Purina Dog Chow. In fact, animals seem to be eating much like humans that are looking to avoid certain ingredients. 

According to SPINSscan Natural, SPINSscan Specialty Gourmet (proprietary), MULO (powered by IRI) 52 weeks ending 2017-Dec-31, pet care and wellness, food, and treats that fall under the natural positioning attribute increased in sales by 20.2%. Frozen pet products saw the biggest increase browning by 13.3%. This indicates that owners are becoming more inclined to pay attention to labels and consider paying higher prices to make sure their animals are getting a healthier product. 

And when we dig a little deeper, here’s what other specific attributes shoppers are purchasing more  for their pets and mimic the health and wellness trends of humans:  

  • Gluten free pet care and wellness, food, and treats grew by 80%
  • Non-GMO pet care and wellness, food, and treats grew by 68%
  • Pre and Probiotics pet care and wellness, food, and treats grew by 28%
  • Grain free pet care and wellness, food, and treats grew by 11.6%
  • Organic pet care and wellness, food, and treats grew by 9%

The pet food and care market is rapidly changing just like all food shopper trends. And with companies like The Farmers Dog that offer make-your-own-dog-food kits or home delivery food based on your animal’s personal profile and nutritional needs, we plan on seeing more shoppers paying the extra price to feed and care for their animals. It might be time for your store’s grocerant to start including on the menu something for Fido. 

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