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Pet ownership and pet food trends

As pet ownership increases, there is greater demand for higher quality and more natural pet food and treats.

See event listings and more articles in this edition of Agri-News: August 21, 2023 issue

“Over the past few decades, the percentage of households that own a pet in Canada has grown and the numbers are increasing,” says Jeewani Fernando, provincial consumer market analyst with the Alberta government. “Not only has pet ownership increased, but more owners are also treating their pets like family members. In addition, there is greater demand for higher quality and more natural pet foods and treats. And as pets have become increasingly important members of the family, their owners are spending more on pet food.”

With rising pet ownership trends, Canadian pet food and treat producers have grown as an industry over the years. Retail pet food sales experienced positive growth recently despite the effects of COVID-19 on the Canadian economy. It is expected the pet ownership trend will continue. In 2023 alone, more than a million Canadians are expected to add a pet to their household. This suggests the pet population could continue to increase, and demand for pet food and other goods and services will continue to grow.

“Given the expected continued growth of pet populations, ownership and pet food retail sales, both domestically and internationally, Canadian pet food producers have an opportunity to maintain and increase their presence and distinct brand image within both domestic and global markets.”

Fernando says there are several trends in the Canadian pet food industry:

  • increasing demand for premium food products with the pet humanization trend
  • Canadian manufacturers focusing on premium food
  • premium foods featuring local ingredients
  • smaller local companies performing well
  • e-commerce sales increasing

“Catering to the pets-as-family trend will continue to be an important marketing strategy into the future,” says Fernando. “As owners seek to provide pets with a happy and healthy life filled with human-like products and experiences, the market will continue to grow. There is significant opportunity for companies to develop innovative, premium products with customized formulas and functional ingredients focused on health and wellness.”

For more information, see:

Consumer Corner


Connect with Jeewani Fernando for more information:

Phone: 780-415-9773
Email: [email protected]

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