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Dog Food in the United Kingdom

United Kingdom dog food market led by Mars UK Ltd

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2014-03-21 14:14:02 - Dog Food in the United Kingdom - a new market research report on

In 2011, the leader in dog food remained Mars UK Ltd with a 29% share of category value with sales reaching £427 million, a 9% growth on 2010, mainly thanks to its Pedigree and Cesar brands. Although cans did less well in 2011 in favour of pouches, Pedigree canned food sales remain strong thanks to brand loyalty, good advertising and improved formula. In the wet food category, Pedigree and Cesar are the top-to brands and account for more than 35% of the total wet food category, while Pedigree also leads treats by far with, again, a 35% share. Cesar is the leading non-therapeutic premium brand of wet dog food, holding a very high 35% share.

Nestlé Purina Ltd kept it second



place in 2011 with a 16% share and £234 million in sales. Bakers is by far its bestselling brand, generating 62% of the company?s sales and leader of the dry dog food category, with sales totalling £117 million, i.e. a 21% share. Bonio and Bakers accounted for a combined 18% share of dog treats, thanks to increased advertising and good shelf presence.

Two key developments are now changing the face of dog food resulting in lower volumes being sold, by more than 7,000 tonnes. On one hand, owners are feeding their dogs with less food as some of the most successful products are more nutritious than ever; on the other hand, the decline in big dog ownership and the rise in small dogs balancing it out means smaller mouths to feed.

Manufacturers have been focusing on better-for-you messages and fortified/functional food. Key brands now all offer cleaner products with better ingredients, as well as added supplements, specifically targeting health issue, both as prevention and, so it is claimed, as treatment. Examples include Pedigree Complete and Butcher?s Superior. Most products are also now gluten-free, as most dogs find it difficult to digest gluten. Typical supplements are glucosamine for the joints, taurine for the heart, bone marrow for bones and calcium for teeth.

What will affect the market the most in 2012 and up to 2017 is the shift in dog ownership. On one hand, not all dog owners are rushing in any way to get a new dog when theirs pass away. This is not only because of financial issues but also because of the humanisation effect and the attachment owners have towards their dogs. On the other hand, dog types and sizes will matter more to owners. We will be observing a sharp decline in big dogs, a small decline in medium dogs and some growth in small dogs. As a result, manufacturers will have to produce more food designed for small dogs and less for big dogs. Volume sales are likely to decline as small dogs need to eat less.

Owners will be increasingly concerned about their dog?s health and will be buying more nutritious food with added functional elements to it, to help their dog having a happier smoother life and, in return, creating less stress for themselves as well as potentially reducing vet bills.

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Mike King
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