Ravi Shankar Bhakat
The transition in demographics and popularity of branded pet food products provide a great scope to leverage upon. These trends can be significant for pet food firms, future entrants and researchers. The presence of pet food product viz. cat food, dog food etc. can be easily seen in both ‘click companies’ and ‘brick and mortar outlets’. Despite relatively small size, pet food market is growing steadily. Lately, the dominance by established firms selling premium products is becoming more conspicuous. India is witnessing a surge in the population of pet owners and associated product’s sales especially the popularity of multifarious packaged pet foods. Two main classifications of pet foods are currently more common: dry food and wet food. Traditionally, the first is more suitable for dogs, whereas the later is liked by cats. Pet food market analysis and reports show that, biscuit or kibble pet food is selling most, while considering the types of pet food purchased. Customers and wannabe pet owners usually feed generic and branded biscuits to their pet and stray animals respectively. Although, traditional food remains favorite, the major deciding factor in consumer decision making in the context of pet food category largely indicate towards price sensitivity of Indian consumers. In the past five years, there is a change in the demographics with higher disposable incomes consumers contributing to the premium luxury pet foods. For e.g. when higher earning individuals or high income families stay in apartments following a nuclear family pattern, it is more likely that they would involve in the purchase of branded pet foods. Moreover, the purchases are recently being made through modern supermarkets on a weekly basis. New brands and firms are focusing on the trends of market to capitalize on the demographic dividend aspect in India Market. Furthermore, pet food manufacturers and marketers are also taking special steps while matching consumers or pet owners demand and expectations. They are focusing upon designing kibbles, packaging, ensuring food quality, in order to enhance the acceptability of the new and existing products.
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