Interzoo 2022 – Key takeaways from the pet industry show

AAt this year’s Interzoo, the world’s largest trade fair for the pet industry, held in Nuremberg in May, there were, as always, many new and innovative products and ideas for the pet market. pets. Although there is an abundance of trends, there is one key word that connects or explains, directly or indirectly, the majority of these trends: humanization. It’s not just about giving a pet food or clothes that look like human options, but transferring the owner’s values ​​and needs to those of their pet.

In an attempt to anticipate future trends in the pet industry, it is necessary to identify which trends pet owners are following and which values ​​are gaining strength. The industry’s starting point for the next few years is positive, as in most countries the number of pets has increased during the pandemic. However, pet food and accessory manufacturers need to pay attention to changes in consumer behavior, which may change the direction of pet humanization in the years to come.

From Human Food to Pet Food: Meat Alternatives, Mood Management and Sustainable Sourcing

Major market trends are driven by pet owners. It’s clear that pet food ingredients are following the same trends evident in the human food industry. Many manufacturers are trying to launch products with less or no meat, in line with the strong sustainability trend. For example, there is vegetarian food for dogs, often decried by veterinarians, and which is almost non-existent for cats. Other examples include the use of insects as a source of protein, which could play a pioneering role as the first contact with the subject, before pet owners venture into animal-based foods. insects for their own consumption.

Additionally, many young start-ups have attempted to find distributors to sell their hemp- or CBD-enriched products to pet owners aware of these trending ingredients in packaged foods. These are often accompanied by claims that they are effective in relieving pain or can reduce perceived stress, which owners are increasingly aware of as they are becoming common problems for humans as well. They are thus more empathetic towards their pets. This is strongly influenced by the discussion on the legalization of cannabis in several western countries like Germany. Due to its relevance in media and society lately, hemp (and CBD oil) is seen as something of a superfood. However, the hype surrounding this ingredient can quickly fade as soon as social interest in cannabis wanes.

The search for these new ingredients often follows major trends, in particular that of a more sustainable diet for pet owners. Many transfer their own values ​​to their pets, especially dogs and cats, and also pay greater attention to the sustainable and organic production of pet food. Although this will not make a significant difference to animal welfare, it is to be expected that new ingredients in animal feed will continue to be based on the issue of more conscious feeding in animals. years to come.

From human products to pet products: pet fashion, dog drinks and gift packaging

From toothbrushes resembling human options to personalized pet clothing or beer for dogs, there seems to be room for almost any new idea in an industry that, as the data shows, is rather at sheltered from the financial crisis when consumers have less purchasing power; they always prefer to give up products or experiences for themselves rather than for their animal companions.

Real GDP Growth vs Total Pet Care Industry % 2008-2021 (WE)

Pet care providers are not only aware of owners’ food needs. There is a trend that revolves around the design of packaging, bringing it closer than ever to any product for human consumption. This is especially noticeable for new brands that need to grab consumers’ attention as they browse the shelves of retailers as they attempt to break into the market. It is also an effective strategy to attract a younger audience, more open to a trendy and fresh design that expresses the personality of a brand and facilitates connection. Indeed, offering gift boxes is also gaining relevance in the way brands market certain products. This “gift opportunity” adds value and can take the form of a different packaging design that makes it less ordinary or adds functionality for a certain feature (like a handle on a box) or bundles of items which correspond to a set. This can be a solution for products that otherwise struggle to find a place in consumers’ regular baskets or for more premium brands that are deemed too expensive but can still be perceived as a suitable gift.

In conclusion, the pet care industry is currently going through a period of major development, driven primarily by the changing relationship between pets and their human owners. As this connection focuses more on the needs of the pet, the owner’s values ​​are likely to be transferred, drawing the aforementioned parallel between the human and animal industries. Meat substitutes, alternative protein sources and a general increase in conscious and sustainable consumption will be key to both industries going forward, bringing new products and trends to the table that have yet to emerge.

For more information, read our report, Global Pet Care Market.

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