2021 Updated Research: The increase in pet ownership during the pandemic resulted in consumer behavior changes toward purchasing pet food – PetfoodIndustry.com

Brought to you by Mondi North America
 

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there has been an uptick in pet ownership during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, they report number of new pets being seen by veterinary practices increased significantly from late March to early July 2020 with the mean number of new pets per practice rising from 25 per week in late March to 39 in early July—an increase of more than 50%.

Given this significant increase, Mondi partnered with Dow in 2021 to measure changes in perceptions and behaviors in the premium pet food industry since 2019. (Download our 2019 white paper here.)

The survey of over 750 pet owners, made up of premium pet food buyers who have had their pet(s) less than a year and those who have had their pet(s) more than a year, examines and compares trends pre-pandemic from 2019 and data obtained during and after the height of the pandemic in 2020.

Among the many topics surveyed, participants were asked what brand drivers are important when deciding which premium pet food to purchase, and surprisingly, there were nine factors more important than price, and three of those showed significant changes since 2019.

In addition, other subjects include: important packaging features, deal breakers in premium pet food packaging, importance of packaging features and sustainability, how likely consumers are to switch to a brand offering sustainable packaging, and demographics of the new segment of pet owners since the pandemic.

The resulting research is now available in a downloadable slide deck by visiting Mondi North America.

Top Five Key Takeaways:

The research available through this free download will allow pet food manufacturing decision makers to learn:

  • Which packaging features are most important to consumers.
  • Which packaging aesthetics, labeling and readability are critical to purchasers.
  • How consumers view sustainability in premium pet food packaging.
  • Realize new pet owners desire different features from pet food packaging.
  • Changes in behavior since 2019, during and after the COVID pandemic.

Research Methodology and Participant Data

To participant in the survey, individuals underwent a screening process before taking the survey. To qualify, participants must currently own a dog or cat, have purchased premium dry pet food within the past month, describe their purchase channel and live in the United States.

Those who made it through the qualifying round took a 13-minute online quantitative survey, asking questions about their premium pet food buying habits. Whenever possible, 2019 research was compared to show trends and changes.

In total, 751 qualified premium pet food purchasers were surveyed. As for where the participants shop for premium pet food, 121 shop online, 204 in specialty pet stores and 414 in grocery stores/mass merchandisers/shopping clubs.

The research and results focus on understanding consumer interest trends in the premium pet food category since 2019.

Download the research slide deck courtesy of Mondi Group by visiting the 2021 Slide Deck.