Supreme Petfoods is celebrating its success both at home and internationally, as it doubles in size over the last five years.
The company’s expansion is fuelled by the growing popularity of rabbits and guinea pigs as pets, and the changing attitudes of pet owners towards these small animals.
During the pandemic, there was a surge in demand for four-legged companions, and while the dog and cat populations have since seen a decrease, the small pet population is continuing its upward trajectory. The new small pet owner is also a completely different breed compared to even five years ago.
Claire Hamblion, Supreme’s marketing director, said: “Rabbits and guinea pigs are no longer seen as starter pets, or suitable for children. In fact, 83% of rabbit and 75% of guinea pig owners consider them to be adult or family pets. They are often Generation Z or millennials who have acquired a lot of specialist knowledge to allow them to better care for their pets.
“Their needs are taken seriously, and pet ownership is viewed as a commitment. Not only are these owners seeking out high quality nutrition for their pet, but they also view their pet as a much-loved family member.”
This ‘humanisation’ trend is having a big effect on the small pet market, with a growing demand for natural, healthy foods.
Ms Hamblion continued: “Pet parents are increasingly aware of the benefits of meeting the unique dietary needs of small pets and are willing to invest in high quality nutrition, understanding that it plays a crucial role in their pets’ overall health and wellbeing.
“They are seeking out no added sugar, high fibre recipes, made with tasty natural ingredients.”
Despite the rise of e-commerce, Ms Hamblion said 91% of owners still shop in specialist pet stores, with only 10% shopping exclusively online.