Navigating Trends In The Pet Food Market With FMCG Gurus

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Navigating Trends In The Pet Food Market With FMCG Gurus

The pet food industry has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, writes Kate Kehoe, marketing executive at FMCG Gurus.

Pet owners are increasingly seeking products that mirror their own health-conscious and environmentally-friendly lifestyle choices when it comes to feeding their pets. 

The rise in demand for natural, organic ingredients, sustainable practices, and personalised nutrition signifies a deep commitment from pet owners towards ensuring the long-term health and well-being of their pets.

Embracing Natural Ingredients in Pet Food

In response to the prevailing health and wellness trend in the post-pandemic era, a significant portion of pet owners are moving away from conventional pet food choices. Instead, they are paying closer attention to the ingredients present in these products, opting for those deemed natural and organic. 

Consumer insights from FMCG Gurus indicate that 45% of cat owners and 43% of dog owners consider natural ingredients a crucial factor when selecting health and wellness-focused products for their pets. This shift underscores the increasing desire among consumers to offer their pets the same level of quality and nutritional benefits they seek for themselves.


Furthermore, it is important for brands to incorporate various free-from claims in pet products. For example, FMCG Gurus' market research indicates that 60% of cat owners and 59% of dog owners prefer to see non-GMO formulation claims on pet products, along with absence of artificial flavours or colours. 

This underscores consumer preference for pet products devoid of artificial additives and preservatives, with a preference for simple ingredient lists that align with a natural, authentic, and minimalistic approach to nutrition.

Promoting Health-Conscious Approaches

Although the pandemic prompted many consumers to adopt proactive health measures, health consciousness remains a top priority even post-pandemic. Consumers now view health in a holistic manner, acknowledging the interconnectedness of various aspects of health and their collective impact on overall well-being.

Consequently, consumers are paying greater attention to the holistic health and well-being of their pets. FMCG Gurus' research reveals that 71% of cat owners and 69% of dog owners appreciate multifunctional claims on pet products. 


While multifunctional claims hold significance for a considerable segment of consumers, digestive health emerges as a primary concern, akin to the human health and wellness market. 

For example, FMCG Gurus' research shows that 56% of dog owners and 54% of cat owners value digestive health claims on products, recognising the connection between gut health and overall well-being.

Attitudes Toward Plant-Based Alternatives

Given the challenges in traditional food supply chains, the plant-based market is similarly gaining in prominence. 

FMCG Gurus' consumer insights reveal that 43% of global consumers are apprehensive about food shortages, signalling an opportunity for the plant-based market to offer alternative protein sources amidst these concerns. 


In the pet food sector, one in five owners express interest in products featuring plant-based or vegan claims. When questioned about their preferences, 71% of dog owners believe these products are healthier, while 60% of cat owners perceive them as more environmentally friendly. 

This presents an opening for pet food brands to incorporate alternative protein sources and plant-based ingredients in their products. To boost demand for plant-based pet products, brands must offer reassurances regarding taste and nutritional value.  

This article is based on FMCG Gurus: The Humanization of Pets – Global Report 2023. For more information, contact [email protected].

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