15th May 2023 – There are nearly 65 million pets in Italian households, including nearly 9 million dogs and 10 million cats. Food products for these species represent the main segment of the domestic pet food and pet care market.

In 2022, sales of dog and cat food products totalled € 2,759 million in the Italian market. Compared to the previous year, sales by value were up 11.4%, influenced by the strong inflationary dynamics in all producto categories. In terms of volume, more than 673 thousand tons were sold, an increase of 0.8% over 2021.

Cat food accounted for 53.8% of total value, with sales of just over € 1,484 million. Dog food, on the other hand, accounts for 46.2% of the total market, € 1,275 million. An extensive overview of the market is being presented today at Zoomark International 2023, with the publication of the 16th edition of the Assalco-Zoomark Report. This publication, produced annually by Assalco, documents the evolution of the pet food and pet care market and the importance of pets in the family and society.

"Today more than 40% of Italian households have at least one pet. The importance of our relationship with our pets is undeniable: they keep us active, help alleviate stress and are a valuable antidote to loneliness," commented Giorgio Massoni, president of Assalco."Pets are bona fide members of the family, and we are now devoting more time to them, and paying more attention to their diet and well-being. This increased attention is reflected in a market that, even in a difficult year like 2022, continued to perform well".

This year's Assalco-Zoomark Report takes an in-depth look at the main trends driving pet food purchases. An analysis of product labels shows the factors that influence purchases of human food also apply to pet foods: the main trends are indeed 'rich in', 'free from' and Italian-made products.

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REDUCING THE RATE OF VAT ON DOG AND CAT FOOD: A SIGN OF PROGRESS

For pet-owning households, pet food and veterinary care represent essential goods and services. At Zoomark International, Assalco therefore reiterates its support for the appeal made by consumer associations, veterinarians, animal rights associations and the industry to reduce the rate of VAT on pet food and veterinary care from 22% to 10%.

"It doesn't seem right that the 22% rate should be applied to pet food, as if it was a luxury good. In Germany, in view of the fact that these products are used every day, and considering the role of pets in society, the VAT rate on food for dogs and cats is in fact set at 7%", explained President Massoni.

FOODS FOR OTHER TYPES OF PETS ALSO SAW GROWTH

According to estimates formulated by Euromonitor, in Italy there are almost 30 million fish, 13 million birds and nearly 3.2 million small mammals and reptiles in Italy. In 2022, the market for food for these pets grew in volumen by 2.3% and in value by 5.6%, with a turnover of nearly € 13.2 million in the world of large-scale retail.

The main segment is bird food, which accounts for 43.7% of value and 47.6 % of volume, with sales up 6.3% in value and volumes remaining stable. This is followed by rodent foods, which also saw growth: up 7.7% in value and 2.4% in volume compared to last year.

HYGIENE PRODUCTS LEAD THE PET CARE SECTOR

In 2022, growth was also seen in the market for hygiene products, toys and accessories - namely leashes, kennels, bowls, cages, aviaries, aquariums, turtle tanks and various utensils. In the large-scale retail channel, sales rose by 3.2% to € 80 million, equating to a 1% increase in units sold.

The hygiene segment is leading the way (from pee pads to wipes, shampoo, brushes, deodorants, care and beauty products): +11.7% in value and +6.9% in volume. Cat litter products, which are considered separately, represent the most important non-food category in the largescale retail channel. In 2022 this market was worth more than € 87 million, with a positive trend in both value, up +9.7%, and volume, +1.9%.

THE GROCERY CHANNEL WAS HIT HARDER BY INFLATION

In 2022 all the main distribution channels showed more growth in value than in volume. The biggest divide was in the Grocery channel, which accounts for 59% of total pet food sales (€ 1,628 million) and where inflation hit hardest. In this channel, sales by value rose by 14%, while volume only increased by 0.4%.

The remaining sales were divided between Traditional Petshops – 5,000 stores in Italy which account for 24.4% of the market (€ 673.8 million in sales in 2022), Petshop Chains, which are worth about 14% of the total value (€385.1 million), and Supermarket Petshops, the newest distribution format, which saw sales of € 72.7 million and captured 2.6% of the total sales of dog and cat food.

by ASSALCO 

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