News Uk Pet Food Market Hits New High

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UK pet food market hits new high
4th April 2018

By Sandra Pearce
Growth in the dog treats category has helped drive up the value of the total UK pet food market last year to reach a new high of £2.65bn (excluding wild bird).  
 
Dog treats continued a 10-year trend to grow both in value and volume by 4%, reaching £449m and a new high of 112,000 tonnes. For the first time in 10 years, there was no change in the value of cat treats, which stayed at £126m. Volume figures were not available. 
 
Michael Bellingham, chief executive of the PFMA (whose 81 members account for more than 90% of the UK market), said:“Our latest data has shown that the pet food market continues at an all-time high to £2.6 billion. The most dynamic areas of growth in both the cat and dog food markets have been in specialist, niche products, including those with health benefits.”
 
IMPACT OF RAW?
 
In the dog food category, dry dog food is valued at £584m (up 2%), wet dog at £314m (down 1%) and mixer down 1% to £24m. 
 
Yet volumes of dog wet and mixer have hit 10-year lows, dropping by 4% and 2% respectively (wet: down 10,000 tonnes to 263,000 tonnes; mixer: down 1,000 to 36,000 tonnes,) with dry dog food growing ever so slightly by 1,000 tonnes to 419,000 tonnes. 
 
According to the PFMA’s Pet Data Report, the dog population has grown by 400,000 pets to hit a new record of 9m dogs. 
 
Current PFMA market data does not include raw food figures. However, Natures Menu told pbwnews that the raw market is worth an estimated £91m (up 31%) with volume around 600 tonnes a week, so by extrapolation, this could represent a figure in the region of approximately 31,000 tonnes a year. 
 
CAT PLAYS CATCH UP
 
As a whole, the cat sector continues to play catch-up with dog on the value front. Total cat is now worth £1.14bn against dog’s £1.37bn, representing the continued move by pet owners to premium ranges. 
 
Wet single-serve continues its rise in value to hit an all-time high of £658m (up 5%), while dry cat food has registered an increase of 4% to £268m. The wet multi-format continues to fall out of favour and marks a 10-year declining trend with a new low of £90m, down 7%.
 
Volume figures in cat food repeat the picture from the dog category – wet single is down 2,000 tonnes to 225,000 (-1%); wet multi has plunged nearly a fifth by 17,000 tonnes to 67,000, while dry reversed last year’s growth and dropped by 1,000 tonnes to 95,000 tonnes.
 
WILD BIRD BUCKS TREND
 
Figures for small animals, fish and caged birds generally dipped against last year, with only wild bird food showing clear signs of growth.
 
Michael said: “The rabbit food segment is the largest of the three small mammal markets and in terms of feeding the birds, overall the market has shown growth.”
 
Rabbit food dropped to a 10-year low in value and volume to £45m (-6%) with 46,000 tonnes (-5%), while guinea pig dipped 1% in volume to 12,900 tonnes, valued at £12m (-2%), and rodent maintained its 7,000 tonnes at £8.3m. 
 
Indoor fish also maintained its volume of 1,000 tonnes, but dipped in value to £52m. Outdoor fish saw a volume of 2,000 tonnes valued at £15m. Caged birds registered a volume of 12,000 tonnes and a drop in value to £11m, down 7%. Pigeon food remained the same at £6m, with 5,000 tonnes being produced.
 
Wild bird food however has grown to £210m (up from last year’s £200m), with an output of 148,000 tonnes against the previous year’s figure of 140,000. 
 
According to the PFMA, of the 93% of households which have some form of outdoor space, 43% feed wild birds. Just over half say they feed wild birds over winter, and rural dwellers are more likely to feed birds than those living in urban areas.