Pets are undeniably close to our hearts and as two thirds of UK consumers own a pet, 42% of US consumers own a dog and 31% own a cat, they form a big part of many consumers lives. With nearly two thirds of US pet owners thinking of their pet as a member of the family and over one in five UK cat or dog owners saying they would cut back on spending on their own food before cutting back on spending on food for their pet, it is no wonder pet products are advancing beyond the norm.

We take a look at five ways brands are innovating to create interesting treats and products for our furry friends around the world…

Fragrance:

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Pets are not renowned for smelling like roses, however there are products on hand to help ward away unpleasant odours pets may bring into the home.

Launched in Argentina in December 2014, Osspret Maximo Locion Desodorante con Perfume (scented deodorant) is said to contain a truly delicate perfume, leaving your pet smelling sweet. The product retails for ARD 65.00 or $7.92 USD.

If deodorant is not enough to keep your pets fresh then Ibasa Deocolônia Ange (Cologne for Pets) is available. Launched in Brazil in July 2014, the cologne is described as a fruity oriental feminine fragrance for sophisticated dogs and cats. The product claims to provide a pleasing and lasting scent and is ideal after giving your pets a bath. The cologne retails for BRL 23.90 or $9.69 USD.

 

Frozen:

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In the past three years, there has been a small increase in the number of chilled and frozen pet foods coming into the market. Although this is a niche segment globally, it is one showing the potential to appeal to pet owners perceiving freshness as quality.

Billy + Margot’s strawberry and apple nutritious iced treat for dogs was launched in the UK in December 2013. This complementary food for all dogs is free from dairy, grains, gluten, colourants, taste enhancers and artificial sweeteners. Fruit flavoured snacks offer pet owners the chance to give their dogs a more varied diet, with a wider range of flavours than usually seen in the category. The product retails for £2.99 or $4.60 USD.

 

Hygiene:

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For those whose puppies are truly their babies, these diapers for female puppies, launched in Brazil, January 2014 completes the illusion.

Lacher Fraldas Descartáveis para Fêmeas (Diaper for female puppies) with ultra-dry Celu-Gel provides your pup with daily hygiene and protection. If you’re worrying about how a nappy will fit, look no further than a little hole specially for the tail and the adjustable tape. It is said to be ideal for incontinence and post-operations, or even just for walks and travelling. The nappy claims to provide up to six hours of absorption and is suitable for small breed puppies between 4 and 12 kilos. The product retails for BRL 24.00 or $9.52 USD.

 

Flavouring:

Cheese flavours are a favourite of humans and pet owners can now let their four-legged friends partake in similar snacking tastes to their own. Moving away from the meaty flavours traditionally eaten by pets, we have seen an increase in the number of cheese-flavoured pet foods coming into the market.

Unicharm No Spoon Happy Crunch! cat treats have bought the trend for cheese in snacks to cats. Launched in Japan in October 2013  the treats come in different shaped chicken and cheese flavour pieces. The product retails at JPY 98.00 or $0.98 USD.

For the fancier feline, there is GimPet Mousse Délice Käse & Sahne (Paté with Cheese & Cream), said to be a real treat and culinary indulgence for cats. Launched in Germany, March 2014, this paste is recommended to be fed to your pampered pet straight from the hand and is made without added sugar. The product retails for €3.49 or $4.68 USD.

Grilled cheese is no longer limited to human diets. Launched in the US in November 2013, Barkery Snackwiches grilled cheese and bacon flavour treats offer dogs the chance to indulge in the favourite cheesy treat. The product contains no corn, animal by-products or soy and provides omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. This low-fat snack for dogs retails at $2.99 USD.

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Home Cooking:

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In times of economic difficulties, cooking from scratch and batch cooking are seen as alternatives to more costly pre-prepared meals and to going out for meals in restaurants. Home cooking can now also be extended to pets. We have seen products come into the market which are suitable for scratch cooking and are made and processed especially for dogs. Such products allow pet owners to be confident they are using pet-specific ingredients, but can still cook nutritious and delicious homemade recipes.

Launched in Italy, January 2013, Gheda Ciuffi Pasta Precotta con Ortaggi (Precooked Pasta with Vegetable) is said to be easy and quick to use, easily digestible and rich in vegetable fibres, which promote the well-being of the gastrointestinal tract. You only need to add warm water to this easy and quick to use pasta. The product retails for €2.65 or $3.29 USD.

Carla is based in London as Trends & Innovation Consultant, and has nearly 15 years’ experience in marketing and advertising. She worked as an advertising copywriter in Lisbon, Portugal; relocating to London in 2000. Carla has been with Mintel since April 2004, delivering tailored research and analysis in the fields of product development, market appraisal and competitor evaluation, to a broad range of packaged goods manufacturers and suppliers in Europe.

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