UK cat and dog food market set to reach almost £3 billion

UK pet owners are forecast to spend an estimated £2.9 billion on cat and dog food this year, with the market value rising by 16% over the past five years – up from £2.5 billion in 2015.

Mintel said premiumisation and overall inflation have been the driving force behind value growth, with modest volume growth of about 3% over the same five-year period. Today, 60% of UK owners own some kind of pet. The broadly stable dog (35%) and cat (29%) ownership underpin the modest growth over the period.

While the vast majority of pet owners buy readymade pet food, making pet food from scratch/leftovers is very much on the menu.

Taking the lead, some 27% of dog owners cooked from scratch/served leftovers to their pets in 2019, up from 22% in 2018. Meanwhile, scratch cooking/serving leftovers among cat owners leapt from 13% in 2018 to 21% in 2019.

Almost half (46%) of cat/dog food buyers are interested in guidance for making pet food at home, while a third (32%) find meal kits for making pet food at home appealing.

Emma Clifford, associate director of food and drink at Mintel, said: “Making pet food from scratch or offering leftovers poses notable competition for the pet food market. For most, this is in addition to bought pet food, occasional leftovers traditionally playing a part. The interest in pet owners seeking guidance for making pet food at home and in meal kits points firmly to home-cooked pet food going beyond the sharing of table scraps with pets.

“While the larger appetites of many dogs may encourage making food at home to help economise, health considerations are likely to, in part, underpin the interest in making pet food from scratch. In fact, three-quarters of UK adults say that cooking human meals from scratch is important to eating healthily, a sentiment which is likely to extend to pet food.”

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