More than 3.2 million pets were welcomed into UK households since the start of the pandemic to ease lockdown loneliness, according to new data.
Pet Food Manufacturers' Association reveals there are now 34 million pets in the UK with dogs and cats the most popular choices. While 74% of owners surveyed said pets helped their mental health, there are concerns about animal welfare once workers return to the office.
New industries will set to emerge from this increase from not only pet food sales, but to dog walkers, toys, healthcare, and even pet spas. People tend to treat their pets like children and therefore no expense is spared to make them feel special. This means there are plenty of opportunities to increase NPD for this category for their basic needs i.e. food.
Like humans, pet food is fast becoming all about health and natural foods rather than fast processed ones. The demand is greater when factoring in European pet owners. An estimated 38% of European Union households own at least one pet, according to FEDIAF. Across all of Europe, 25% of the population owns at least one cat and 24% of the population owns at least one dog.
The total number of cats estimated to live in Europe is 106.4 million, while the dog population is estimated at 77.4 million.
Russia was home to the largest dog population in 2019 at 16.8 million, followed by Germany at 10.1 million dogs and the United Kingdom with 9 million dogs. For cats, Russia wins again with 22.8 million cat-owning households, followed by Germany with 14.7 million and France with 14.2 million.
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