A new breed of pet owner

If there’s a silver lining to the lingering Covid-19 cloud, it’s that pets are being treated better than ever.

Over the past 12 months, there has been a significant rise in pet ownership with around 4% of Australian households getting a new pet in 2020.

While a pet is for life, not just for lockdown, many people found the shift in work-life balance bought about by the pandemic to be the opportune time to welcome a furry friend. Charity website PetRescue helped to rehome nearly 72,000 pets in the last financial year and some parts of the country even ran out of rescue dogs to rehome.

The increase in the number of “pet parents” in Australia certainly contributed towards the 3.7 per cent growth of the pet care category in grocery bricks and mortar stores, says Mars Petcare Australia General Manager Craig Sargeant.

“With people at home more than ever before, it’s been a good year for our cats and dogs,” he says.

More time at home also led to a closer bond with our pets.

“While they are curled up under our desks during a Zoom call, we formed new habits, increasing the number of Schmackos treats we’re sneaking to those cute furry faces,” Mr Sargeant says.

The care and treats subcategory continues to generate great growth, with repeat purchasing on the rise. The cat care and treats subcategory is a continually growing force in the pet aisle with 44.2 per cent growth the past twelve months.

“Unsurprisingly, the number of Australians who consider pets to be part of the family are on the rise,” Mr Sargeant says.

“As this love grows deeper, so too does the scrutiny we apply to the pet food we feed. Brands that understand the health and wellbeing needs of our animals are embracing quality meats and natural credentials to sell foods that helps pets thrive.”

Find out more about pet needs in the August issue of Retail World.

Sources available upon request.

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