Special Feature

Pet Care

The pet food market in the UK is worth £3.2bn… and it’s growing. As a convenience retailer, it’s important you give it visibility in your store!

17 million (59% of) households in the UK have pets. Unsurprisingly, the most common pets are dogs and cats, appearing in 33% and 27% of households respectively, with a combined population of around 25m. An estimated 3.2m homes have acquired new pets during the pandemic, and 38% of these new owners said the experience was just like having a new baby.1

The pet food market is huge and growing, worth £3.2 billion every year, including £1.5bn dog food and £1.2bn cat food.1 64% of cat food shoppers and 53% of dog food owners buy both wet and dry food.7

Pet Owners are Highly Engaged in the Category

73% do research before buying products2

47% plan to buy a particular brand or product2

20% will go to another store if they cannot find what they want

2022 Top Ten Pets

Note: All figures are rounded to their nearest 100,000
  • Dog Owners have an average of 1.43 dogs per household
  • Cat owners have an average of 1.64 cats per household
  • 11% of UK pet owners have both a cat and a dog7
  • 50% of children head straight for their pets when they come home3
  • 75% of dog owners prefer the company of their dog to humans3
  • 72% of cat and dog owners refer to themselves as mummy and daddy3
  • 36% of dog owners say their dog can read their mood3

Merchandising Tips

Shoppers use dog treats across three different format-led need states:

• Bite-sized treats for rewards and training often used multiple times a day

• Sticks and chews for bigger, less frequent rewards

• Large chews as a big reward and for peace and quiet, once or twice a week6

Dog food is segmented by:

• Wet food – cans (multi-serve) and pouches (single-serve)

• Advanced dry food – nutrition and naturals

• Standard dry food – economy and normal nutrition

• Biscuits, treats and chews

Cat food is segmented by:

• Cans

• Standard, premium and luxury pouches

• Advanced nutrition and naturals

• Standard, advanced and natural dry food

• Treats

Make it easy for pet parents to follow a mixed feeding regime by stocking a variety of wet food, dry food and treats.

Provide options that allow pet parents to treat their pet as they would a member of the family.



2: Mars Petcare ownership study, 2017, UK market

3: Omnichannel P2P insight (Nielsen)

4: Nielsen Homescan – Total GB – value sales – L52we 27.03.21

5: Proprietary brand manufacturer research (Mars Petcare)

6: Proprietary brand manufacturer research (Barking Heads)

7: Kantar 2020 (via Nestle Purina)

8: Proprietary brand manufacturer research (Nestle Purina)

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