Handling The Pandemic With Grace - Local Animal Shelter Expands Its Pantry To Help Animal Owners As The Economic Slowdown Restrains Pet Food Market
Having gotten assistance from PetSmart Charities’ Emergency Relief Fund, the Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is passing on this support to pet owners in need during the COVID-19 crisis. They are using their ‘Kibble Connection Program’ to expand their pet food pantry to pet owners and have been helping them feed animals since March. In order to reduce the burden on shelters, animal control, and similar organizations, the objective of this activity is to ensure that the pets are able to stay with their families.
The global pet food market is expected to register a slow growth from $74.55 billion in 2019 to $75.49 billion in 2020 at a growth rate of 1.26%. The slow growth is mainly due to the lockdown and social distancing norms imposed by various countries, as well as economic slowdown across countries owing to the COVID-19 outbreak and the measures to contain it. The market is expected to recover and grow at a rate of 5.6% from 2021 ad reach $88.47 billion in 2023. According to the Global Market Model, North America is the largest region in the global pet food market, accounting for 38.5% of the total in 2019.
Pet foods are specialty foods prepared according to the nutritional requirements of domesticated animals and can be made from either plant or animal-based food materials. Pet owners, especially today, often view pets as family members and are willing to spend money on the best pet products and services available. Therefore, they are buying organic and premium products to feed their “fur babies” only the highest quality ingredients. Organic pet foods are free from artificial colors, flavors, antibiotics, synthetic hormones, toxic pesticides, and preservatives, whereas premium pet foods contain higher quality ingredients than economy or generic pet foods.
Beyond high quality diets, one of the latest trends in the pet food industry is the personalization of food. Manufacturers prepare customized food according to details provided by the customers, such as preferences of grain or grain free food for dogs, nutritional values to be added according to the animals’ activities, and other such details. Once the personalized blend is ready according to the customer’s demand, the pet food gets delivered right to their doorstep with feeding instructions and details of ingredients present in the food. The development of e-commerce is supporting the trend of personalization and customization of pet foods.
Thus, going forward, the increasing demand for premium and organic pet food, influence of digital media marketing and social media, rising demand due to increase in stockpiling of pet food, increasing feeding of stray animals and other abandoned pets, and increasing demand for pets will drive the growth of the market globally.
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(The model is based on the consumption of goods and services in monetary terms (nominal growth), and therefore differ from GDP forecasts published by many leading institutions such as the World Bank and IMF.)