Asian Pet Food Industry Dominates the Market

01 December 2020 Peak Recruitment

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​As the number of pet owners across the globe continues to grow the demand for pet food and care products is soaring. Although the United States still holds the top spot in terms of sales, the Asia-Pacific region is now ahead in sales growth momentum for cat and dog food. The trend for pet ownership, healthcare and spending shows no signs of abating. Clearly reflected in statistics for the Asia-Pacific pet industry, which has grown by a staggering 14.3% each year since 2016. So, does this mean that Asia is set to become the world’s hub for pet foods, products and services?

The global growth of pet ownership

People have been keeping pets for millennia; from the ancient Egyptians who were buried with theirs, through to the Romans who enjoyed keeping small toy dogs. Today, pet owners are in the majority and although dogs are still officially the world’s best friend, a quarter of households across the globe own a cat.

Pet ownership has significantly increased over recent decades: in the United States, for example, pet ownership has increased from 56% to 68% over past thirty years. In addition, the Coronavirus pandemic has seen a sharp spike in the demand for pets as people work from home and have more time to care for a cat or dog.

With an increase in pet ownership comes a huge increase in the products and services aimed at affluent pet owners, alongside a growing elderly population in developed countries where pets are considered good companions for older people. As a result, the global demand for pet daycare and holiday lodging has increased, together with increased spending on grooming, accessories and pet care products.

China’s pet food market leads potential growth in the Asia-Pacific region

China is the stand-out leader amongst countries in the Asia-Pacific region for potential pet food market growth. Chinese pet owners spend US2.217 billion on pet food, with this figure to reach US$6.125 billion in 2022. Thanks to such significant growth, the Chinese and US pet food markets have effectively swapped places: although the US pet food market is huge in comparison to the rest of the world, there is little room for potential growth in such a mature and established market. Despite the fact that the Chinese pet food market remains much smaller than its equivalent in the US, it has grown significantly and looks set to continue to do so.

A growing population of dogs and cats in China is partly responsible for the country’s rising importance in pet food. China, along with India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia, rank amongst the top seven for compound annual growth rates (CAGR) of cat and dog population. Further more, as pet populations across the world continue to grow, the Asia-Pacific region, alongside Latin America, look likely to lead the world’s sales growth for all pet food.

The Asia-Pacific wet pet food market

Wet pet foods simply contain 70-85% water and are intended to be mixed with dry ingredients. Such products are becoming increasingly popular because they are a better source of meat protein in comparison to dry foods, whilst the addition of water offers an additional source of natural hydration. Furthermore, because wet food is pasteurised and sold in cans or pouches, it does not contain any preservatives. The popularity of wet pet foods is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.8% during a forecast period which started in 2019 and ends in 2027.

However, although the Asia-Pacific wet pet food market is continuing to grow alongside the region’s food and beverages industry, there is a danger of a slow-down resulting from a shortage of skilled professionals.

Where are the market opportunities?

As global pet ownership increases so does the number of market opportunities: the annual growth rate for Asia’s pet care industry is predicted to be 8% which makes this particular market one of the few mass market industries currently enjoying rapid growth. These growth factors include:

  • Service sector growth: the days of pets living in the basement or in a kennel outside are long gone! Today’s pets are far more likely to sleep alongside their owners or have a luxury bed of their own. Pet care products including grooming, fashion and toys, along with products designed to cater for the health and well-being of pets continue to emerge. India’s pet care market is a good example; seeing growth from USD61.2 million in 2011 up to USD133 million in 2015.

  • Natural pet care: over the past few years pet owners have become increasingly conscious of ensuring the best possible quality of life for their pets. This has led to a burgeoning natural pet care market, with significant increases in sales of natural pet food products.

  • E-commerce: pet food retail has moved online and is enjoying success thanks to the closure of shops during the pandemic and the increase of shopping transactions carried out using smartphones.

Are you searching for employment in the Asia-Pacific pet food industry?

As the global demand for pet food and pet care products begins to rise, the gap between the US and Asia-Pacific markets slowly begins to narrow. As a result, there is likely to be an increase in the need for skilled professionals. Here at Peak Recruitment we are are one of the leading recruitment agencies in the Asia-Pacific region – as human resources specialists, we take great pride in delivering outstanding executive recruitment services. We specialise in all areas of the Asia-Pacific food industry, including pet foods, so if you are looking for advice and guidance on finding the perfect vacancy, we’d be delighted to help.