The relationship between consumers and their pets has significantly evolved, with pets increasingly regarded as integral family members.

With pet adoption rates soaring across Asia in the last decade [1], the increasing personification of pets, where their nutritional and emotional needs are treated equal with their owners, is driving a holistic approach to wellness and pet food premiumisation.

Modern pet parents are investing more in their pets, seeking high-quality foods, treats and supplements that meet their pets’ unique needs without compromising on nutrition or palatability.

According to a report by Euromonitor International, pet food sales in the Asia-Pacific region have expanded by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9 per cent over the past five years to reach USD $19 billion by the end of 2024[2]. This creates several key opportunities that manufacturers should consider to succeed in this fast-growing industry.

  • Customised Nutrition

As with human nutrition, a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to pet nutrition does not account for the diversity in pet breeds and ages. From functional ingredients to general wellness, today’s pet parents are in search of more specialised nutrition solutions tailored to their pets’ unique health needs. According to consumer research, 53 per cent of dog owners and 50 per cent of cat owners globally prioritise nutritional value, with an additional 20 per cent of dog owners and 18 per cent of cat owners [3] prioritising active health claims.

  • Premiumisation

Human trends are also influencing what pet parents seek in the sensory experience of pet nutrition products. Fun and playful foods in eye-catching colours; exciting flavours and interesting shapes, such as dog-friendly ice cream and squeezable and lickable cat treats, are on-trend amongst pet parents.

Driven by rising disposable incomes and the growing middle-class population in the region, branded health ingredients are also highly sought after as pet parents pay increased attention to their pets’ wellbeing. In Asia-Pacific, 64 per cent of cat owners and 66 per cent of dog owners said that branded health ingredients are important for pets[4].

  • Better for pets and the planet

Modern pet parents are shopping for high-quality, sustainable foods for the whole family – pets included – as consumers extend their beliefs and values for their own food to their pet food purchasing decisions. Globally, 72 per cent of pet parents said that they would pick one product over another if they deemed it to be more environmentally friendly [5]. A scientific study on pet owner attitudes [6] also found that 42 per cent of Australians have either reduced or eliminated meat from their diets.

ADM addresses this demand head-on by working to mitigate the environmental impact of every stage of our operations. Our portfolio of alternative proteins has been recognised as highly sustainable and traceable, with growers across the globe implementing regenerative agriculture practices in their operations. 

Consumers and their pets can benefit from our integrated global network of veterinarians, scientists and engineers to create tailored solutions and offer guidance on recommended ingredients and nutrition requirements. For example, given that over 60 per cent of pet owners in Asia [7], namely in India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, use wet food as a rewarding food to create bonding moments with their pets while still providing health benefits, ADM developed two product lines for dogs and cats: Hawaiian Poké Bowl and Chicken Salad, which include complete and balanced formulas with real meat and premium ingredients. 

To help pet food manufacturers respond to these evolving needs, ADM offers a 360° approach with its broad ingredient portfolio, deep formulation expertise, and global network of cutting-edge R&D centres and manufacturing facilities to accelerate concepts from insights to commercialisation.

[1] Pet ownership in Asia

[2]  Euromonitor International, 2024

[3] FMCG Gurus, Pet Care Health in 2022

[4] FMCG Gurus, Pet Care Health Report, 2022

[5] FMCG Gurus, Pet Care Health in 2022

[6] Dodd SAS, Cave NJ, Adolphe JL, Shoveller AK, Verbrugghe A (2019) Plant-based (vegan) diets for pets: A survey of pet owner attitudes and feeding practices. PLoS ONE 14(1): e0210806.

[7] FMCG Gurus, Pet Care Health in 2022

This article was contributed by Clare Torralba, Director of Pet Nutrition, APeC, ADM.

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