Survey Results: Pet Food Consumers Buying Into Green Trend

Consumers worldwide are feeling the effects of global warming. In fact, nearly 70% of middle class individuals are concerned about climate change and strive to have a positive impact on the environment through their everyday actions. Purchasing ‘green’ food that is organic, locally sourced, or sustainably produced is one way that concerned individuals can put their “money where their mouth is” when it comes to the environment.

Green Pet Care has Growth Potential

Indeed, the majority of middle class consumers buy ‘green’ fresh food for their family. But what about for their pets? Half of middle class residents have at least one dog, cat, or other pet in their home. Yet only 40% of these pet owners consider buying ‘green’ pet food, despite their eco-conscious attitudes.

The global pet food industry generates nearly $75 billion in retail revenue annually, with a projected 30% growth over the next five years worldwide. Savvy pet food manufacturers who market an affordable, healthy ‘green’ pet food alternative may be poised to capture a significant market share of the pet food industry. Marketing that reminds eco-conscious consumers of their environmental concerns in the pet food isle can also help some of these individuals make pet food purchases in line with their ‘green’ concerns.

Green Pet Food Chart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source:    Euromonitor International Consumer survey; Middle Class Home, 2012

Note:  Showing share of respondents who consider ‘green’ features to be very or most important when buying each type of food product. Pet food only displayed as option to those who reported owning pets.  Results shown give equal weight to each of the 16 markets surveyed.   

Green Food for Two- and Four-Legged Family Members    

Rather than seeing a pet as an animal or part of a work force, most pet owners consider their pet to be a beloved member of the family (68%). As such, many pet owners make food and health-related decisions for their pets just as they would for any other family member. For more information on these and other global pet care trends, see this videocast.

Buying ‘Green’ for Family

For instance, pet owners who perceive their pets to be part of the family are 60% more likely to buy ‘green’ pet food than those do not. Advertising that depicts pets as valued family members who deserve healthy ‘green’ food will be particularly effective at attracting these family-oriented pet owners.

One Stop ‘Green’ Shop

Pet owners are especially likely to buy ‘green’ pet food if they already buy ‘green’ food products for their family. The likelihood of buying ‘green’ pet food increases tenfold for those who buy ‘green’ fresh and packaged food for their household compared to those who do not.

As a result, ‘green’ pet food manufacturers should also consider targeting their sales in ‘green’ and organic grocery stores like Whole Foods. This will enable shoppers who are already buying ‘green’ food for their household to make similar purchases for their non-human family members.

Pet Owners’ ‘Green’ Buying Habits

Pet Owners Green Buying Habits Table

 

 

 

 

Source:    Euromonitor International Consumer survey; Middle Class Home, 2013                                           

Note:        Showing share of pet-owning respondents who do and do not consider ‘green’ features importantor most important when buying each type of food product. Results give equal weight to each of the 16 countries surveyed

A Green Future for Pet Food in the Emerging Markets

Not all pet owners are equally likely to go ‘green’ in the pet food aisle, however. Pet owners in emerging markets are twice as likely as their developed market counterparts to purchase organic or environmentally-friendly food for their pets.

Willingness to Buy ‘Green’ Human and Pet Food, by Region
Green Pet Food Chart 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source:    Euromonitor International Consumer survey; Middle Class Home, 2013

Note: Showing share of pet owning respondents in each region who do consider ‘green’ features important or most important when buying human and pet food. Results give equal weight to each of the 16 countries surveyed

This is particularly notable given that emerging markets are also responsible for much of the growth in the pet food market. ‘Green’ pet food manufacturers should consider targeting emerging markets like Brazil, Russia, Mexico, and India to capture some of the projected $25 billion growth in global retail value of pet food in the next 5 years.

Average Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) and Retail Value for Pet Food, by Country
CAGR Retail Value Pet Food

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source:    Euromonitor International Pet Care system.

Affordable ‘Green’ Options are the Most Important for Industry Growth

One barrier that may be preventing would-be ‘green’ consumers from buying organic or environmentally-friendly pet food is the cost of the product. Even among middle class households, consumers with higher-than average incomes are more likely to buy ‘green’ pet food than lower income households, despite equally eco-conscious attitudes. An affordable ’green‘ pet food option marketed towards middle class families would be a great way to make the pet food industry a little more ‘green’.

Urban Environments Breed ‘Green’ Attitudes

Male and female consumers of all ages are equally likely to buy green pet food for their household dog, cat, or other pet. However, those that live in more densely populated municipalities are more likely to go ‘green’ when it comes to their pet`s nutrition (even when income and country are taken into account). It is possible that the smog, traffic, and concrete associated with city life makes a pet owner’s eco-footprint more salient in urban than to rural environments. As a result, ‘green’ pet food will be best marketed in cities where both people and ‘green’ attitudes grow in
greater concentrations.

Pet Owners’ ‘Green’ Attitudes vs. ‘Green’ Pet Food Purchase Decisions, by City
Pet Owners Green Attitudes By City

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Euromonitor International Consumer survey; Middle Class Home, 2013

Note: Showing share of pet-owning respondents who consider ‘green’ features when buying pet food orwho agreed or strongly agreed with each of the statements listed. Results shown give equal weight to each of the 16 markets surveyed.

Green Makes Cents 

Despite the fact that that nearly three out of four pet owners intend to reduce their environmental footprint, less than half translate this desire into purchasing ‘green’ pet food. As a result, there is a large untapped market for organic and environmentally friendly pet nutrition. Marketing affordable ‘green’ pet food not just to consumers who already buy green products in their home, but also to urban and emerging market households is a great way to ensure profits are in the black while making the pet food industry a little more green.

Note About Survey Sources: Euromonitor International’s Middle Class Home Survey results are drawn from ~6,600 online consumers ranging in age from 15 to 65+ and living in 16 major markets in 2013: Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the US. For more information, please click here.