The Canadian pet foods market is a major one; with the cat and dog food sales alone at $1.85 billion and volumes sale of 480,000 tons (2014). The industry was valued at $1,434.1 million in 2014 and is expected to reach $1,781.7 million by 2020 growing at a CAGR of 3.7%. A large fraction the industry is located around Ontario and has an employee base of over 2000 people.
The recent rise of pet humanization wherein pets are treated with increased care and hygiene is proving to be a major driver for the market and is leading to major changes in product packing and resourcing of ethically viable products. The development of private labels stores focusing on unique and locally sourced products to increase their overall appeal, and the increasing density of nuclear families are the other major drivers of the market. The increase in penetration of e-commerce sector is proving to be a major opportunity for the low cost marketing for the innovative and novel product line developed by these emerging companies.
The industry is segmented into dry food, wet food, snacks, veterinary food, liquid food, and organic food. Dry food is the largest segment accounting for a large share of the total market share, followed by snacks and wet foods. The market is further segmented based on animal type wherein dog and cat foods occupy the largest market due to their increased domestication and appeal. There is a large interest in pet ownership across Canada, with an ownership of over 13.7 million pets. On the basis of product type, the free-from products such as grain free, soy free, and low grain products are gaining a major foothold in regard to the increasing health consciousness among consumers. Pricing and sales mechanism wherein the internet sales are gaining a strong hold, are the other major segments. About 70% of the pet food is sold through pet shops, superstore, and grocery stores.
Some of the major players in the Canadian pet food market are Nestle, Proctor & Gamble Co., Mars Inc, HILL’s Pet Nutrition and Loblaws Cos Ltd. The industry is characterized by a high level of consolidation and competition, thus posing a restraint of difficult entry for new players. Emerging manufacturers are countering this by development of high end natural/organic products, targeting a specific market. The other constrains include the increased allergic reactions to pets, fierce competition from online vendors, governmental regulation and a challenging economy.
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