Europe Pet Food Market – Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 – 2026)

 The European pet food market is projected to witness a CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period (2021-2026). The pet food industries in the region are critical services as the world responds to these circumstances and plans for the future amidst the prevailing covid-19 pandemic across the globe.

 Early in 2020, most of the countries were caught off-guard and ill-prepared for the pandemic. Employee absenteeism and the mitigation of essential worker safety impacted supplier mobility and led to an overall slowing of regional trade traffic between and within most countries. 

However, Bigger companies that have larger supply chains and more distributors, and more options to source from having a bit easier time adjusting than, a very small company that relies on a single manufacturer or single distributor. Pet humanization involves owners trying to incorporate pets into more and more aspects of their human lives, like holidays, nutrition, health care, and more, which is acting as a significant driver behind the growth of this market.
Key Market Trends

Increasing Trend of Nuclear Family

The population of elderly people living alone, having reduced interaction with family, along with financial stability, are factors that are responsible for increasing pet adoption and the growing interest in proper pet nutrition among the elderly population. The twin factors of increased pet ownership among young millennials and those from the baby boomer generation are contributing to the growth of pet ownership across the region, especially for cats and dogs. 

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The rapid pace of economic and societal changes can be linked to the trends in pet ownership. The market for pet food closely shadows the market for pets. As the new generation of professionals become more isolated, the social comfort, company, security, and aesthetic sense offered by pets are the main reasons cited for owning a pet. The primary factor impacting pet foods is urbanization.
 Increasing urbanization leads to the breaking up of large households and separation from nature. These are often linked to the desire for pets. This trend is only expected to grow as younger generations become pet owners and claim their power of setting influential market trends. There’s a clear pattern in that younger generations are much more aligned and have bought into this pet humanization trend more than any other generation which is further anticipated to bolster the market growth during the forecast period.

Cats Dominates the Market

According to FEDIAF, cats continue to dominate the European market as highly owned pets compared to other pet animals. The popularity of cats has continued to increase during the last century in the region according to various studies. The number of cat owners has increased more than that of dog owners, which reflects the fact that shows the relative ease of having a cat as a pet in the current modern lifestyle. Cats are currently the most popular pets as a whole in Europe. The pet cat population in Europe is on the rise, which is attributed to two factors, namely, growing pensioners and a steady decline in birth rates in the nation. With the increased ownership of cats in the region, cat food continues to be the most popular pet food, while dog, bird, and fish food have recently shown a slight decline according to studies.

Competitive Landscape

The market studied consists of prominent players, like Mars Inc., Hills Pet Nutrition, and Nestle Purina Petcare, accounting for more than half of the market share. Consisting heavily of large multinational players, the market studied also houses a significant number of private label players. Apart from the presence of a loyal customer base, the major players of the market studied benefit from extensive marketing and innovation capacities. Almost all of the players have multiple stores, warehouses, and distribution outlets are distributed all across Europe.

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