(Food-Beverage-News.Com, August 04, 2022 ) According to a new market research report titled “Direct to Consumer Pet Food Market by Type (Meal [Standard, Customized], Treats, Supplements), Pet Type (Dogs, Cats), Health Condition (Nutrition), Distribution Channel (Online, Offline), and Geography — Global Forecasts to 2028”, published by Meticulous Research®, the DTC pet food market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 25.2% from 2021–2028 to reach $8.16 billion by 2028.
The direct-to-consumer pet food market has been growing rapidly due to the growing adoption of digital channels. The increase in smartphone usage and the huge diffusion of the internet further stimulate the growth of this market.
In addition, people's hectic lifestyles, user-friendly websites/apps, and accessibility of products drive the online sales of pet food. The rising pet population coupled with increasing pet food expenditure, growing incidences of zoonotic diseases in pets, the rising number of pet D2C brands and start-ups, the humanization of pets, and growing consumer preference for online shopping are some of the major factors attributed to the growth of this market.
Furthermore, the rise in e-commerce, demand for nutritious pet food, millennial pet owners, and the willingness of consumers to pay a premium for pet products support the growth of the direct-to-consumer pet food market.
However, the quality issues in pet food products and product recalls are expected to hinder the growth of this market to a notable extent.
Impact of COVID-19 on the Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Pet Food Market
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic created a severe public health emergency globally due to its rapid spread across several countries. In order to combat and control the spread of this disease, numerous countries worldwide declared emergencies and announced complete nationwide, statewide, and citywide lockdowns, halting all travel, transport, manufacturing, educational institutions, and non-essential trade. These restrictions significantly reduced manufacturing and distribution, impacting numerous industries globally.
The prolonged lockdowns and social distancing restrictions presented significant opportunities for brands to develop an individual relationship with their existing consumers and attract an entirely new customer base via a more cost-effective and innovative, direct-to-consumer business model.
E-commerce of pet products witnessed a significant rise due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fear of infection and social distancing norms drove pet owners toward online pet retail. For instance, according to a study by American Pet Products Association in 2021, pet owners shopping online increased to 86% from 72% in the prior year. Before the pandemic, 60% of pet owners purchased pet products in person at stores. During the pandemic, offline shopping dropped to 41%, aligning more closely with the 46% of pet owners who prefer to purchase online with purchases shipped to their homes.
The U.S. government implemented social distancing norms and curfews, which shifted pet owners’ preference to online shopping. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), the COVID-19 pandemic influenced 47% of new dog acquisitions in the U.S. Also, pet food spending by consumers in the U.S. increased by more than 31% year-over-year (YOY) by mid-2020 (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
The growing pet population and purchases made through e-commerce channels resulted in increased pet spending due to the humanization of pets and pet owners paying more attention to elevating the food for their pets. The surging demand for e-commerce in pet food and subscription-based purchases also boosted the demand for D2C pet foods, further driving the growth of the D2C pet food market.
Hence, the growing preference of pet owners for online pet food retailers amid the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to accelerate the growth of this market in the coming years.
Key Findings in the Direct-to-Consumer Pet Food Market Study
The direct-to-consumer pet food market is segmented based on type (meal [standard and customized], treats, and supplements), pet type (dogs, cats, and other pets), health condition (nutrition, digestive health, heart health, allergies, dental health, skin problems, stress, joint health, and other health conditions), distribution channel (online and offline), and geography. The study also evaluates industry competitors and analyzes the market at the regional and country levels.
Based on type, the direct-to-consumer pet food market is segmented into meal, treats, and supplements. In 2021, the meal segment accounted for the largest share of the overall D2C pet food market. The meal segment is divided into standardized meal and customized meal. In 2021, the standardized meal segment accounted for the larger share of the direct-to-consumer pet food market. The large share of this segment is attributed to the increasing demand for high-quality ingredients products, the humanization of pets, and longer shelf life.
The meal segment is further sub-segmented into dry and wet meals. The dry meal segment is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period of 2021–2028. The high growth rate of this segment is attributed to its increased shelf life, low cost, ease of handling, and reduced risks of plaque & tartar buildup.
Based on pet type, the D2C pet food market is segmented into dogs, cats, and other pets. In 2021, the dogs segment accounted for the largest share of the D2C pet food market. The large market share of this segment is mainly attributed to the rising number of dog adoptions, the humanization of dogs, and the growing demand for high-quality dog food products.
Based on health condition, the DTC pet food market is segmented into nutrition, digestive health, heart health, allergies, dental health, skin problems, stress, joint health, and other health conditions. In 2021, the nutrition segment accounted for the largest share of the direct-to-consumer pet food market. The large market share of this segment is attributed to the increasing expansion of premium pet food brands and the growing awareness of pet owners towards pet preferences and health conditions. However, the digestive health segment is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period of 2021–2028. The high growth rate of this segment is attributed to the increasing usage of customized nutritional formulations to prevent digestive problems and the introduction of prebiotics and probiotics in pet food diets.
Based on distribution channel, the DTC pet food market is segmented into online and offline. The online segment accounted for the larger share of the D2C pet food market in 2021. The large market share of this segment is attributed to the growing preference for personalization, consumer convenience, availability of greater discounts compared to offline stores, and greater product selection experience.
Based on geography, North America accounted for the largest share of the D2C pet food market in 2021. The large market share of this region is attributed to the rising number of millennials as pet owners, the availability of a wide range of customized pet food, the growing focus on the health & diets of pets, and the presence of major D2C players in this region. Additionally, North America is also expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period of 2021–2028.
The report includes an extensive assessment of the key strategic developments by leading market participants in the industry over the past four years. In recent years, the direct-to-consumer pet food market has witnessed several product launches, partnerships, expansions, and acquisitions.
The key players operating in the global DTC pet food market are Nestlé S.A. (Switzerland), General Mills, Inc. (U.S.), Mars, Incorporated (U.S.), Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. (Part of Colgate-Palmolive Company) (U.S.), The J.M. Smucker Company (U.S.), Diamond Pet Foods, Inc. (Part of Schell & Kampeter, Inc.) (U.S.), Heristo Aktiengesellschaft (Germany), Simmon Pet Food, Inc. (U.S.), WellPet, LLC (U.S.), The Farmers Dog, Inc. (U.S.), Jinx, Inc. (U.S.), JustFoodForDogs, LLC (U.S.), Ollie Pets Inc. (U.S.), Farmina Pet Foods Holding B.V. (Netherlands), and NomNomNow, Inc. (Philippines) among others.
D2C Pet Food Market, by Type Meal Meal Market by Category Standard Meal (Dry and Wet Meals) Customized Meal (Dry and Wet Meals) Meal Market by Form Dry Meals Wet Meals Treats Standard Treats Dental Chews Standard Chews Supplements
D2C Pet Food Market, by Pet Type Dogs Cats Other Pets
D2C Pet Food Market, by Health Condition Nutrition Digestive Health Heart Health Allergies Dental Health Skin Problems Stress Joint Health Other Health Conditions
D2C Pet Food Market, by Distribution Channel Online Offline
D2C Pet Food Market, by Geography North America U.S. Canada Europe U.K. Germany France Russia Italy Spain Rest of Europe Asia-Pacific Japan Australia China India Rest of Asia-Pacific Latin America Brazil Argentina Rest of Latin America Middle East & Africa