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The European market is an important pet food market occupying a market share of about 32%, with major contribution coming from Western Europe. It ranks second in the pet food sales, after the United States, with around 780,000 direct and indirect jobs that are generated by pet ownership, such as veterinarians or breeders or connected supply industries, throughout Europe. In 2016, the market was valued at USD 23.74 billion. It is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.2%, maturing into a USD 2.17 billion market by 2022.
Pet Sales, by Country, in Europe (2016)
The rising trend of pet humanization, wherein, pets are treated with utmost 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 heavy competition from large corporations is forcing many new players to develop private label products, focusing on unique and locally sourced products, thereby, providing economically viable, appealing and alternative brands. The rise of e-commerce sector, giving customers more flexibility and ease in shopping, is helping both, small and large-scale, manufacturers to expand easily. The relatively stable and consolidated European market poses the threat of a high-entry barrier; many emerging players are using careful product leveraging and innovation to counter this constraint. Also, the growing incidence of pet obesity is leading most consumers to limit the calorie and food content, which is proving to be a dampener for the industry.
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 major part of the total market share, followed by snacks and wet foods. Dry pet foods are most preferred owing to their low-cost and greater convenience. The free-from products such as grain-free, soy-free, and low-grain are gaining a major foothold due to the increasing health consciousness among consumers. The market is further segmented, based on animal type, with cat food holding the largest share in 2016, as cats are more preferred over dogs since cats do not require constant care and attention. The market is propelled by the large interest in pet ownership, with an estimated 74 million households owing at least one pet. The market is also segmented based on the pricing mechanisms, sales mechanisms, and geography. The United Kingdom is the largest market, as nutrition-conscious consumers try to improve their diets, and simultaneously try to provide more and better nutrition for their pets, thus spiking the sales of vitamins and dietary supplements. Spain is forecasted for high growth in the market, during the forecast period.
Europe Pet Population Percentage 2016
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Major companies are focused on mergers and joint ventures to increase their respective market share in the industry. Major companies in the European pet food market are:
Huge investments are made in R&D, focusing on innovative products and pet-specific or breed-specific products. This provides a wide platform for the growth of new players and provides opportunities for development.