How Humanization Is Affecting The Pet Industry
Humanization of our pets is one of the most important global trends that is driving the pet industry. Many types of pets have long been considered part of the family, but in recent years that has started to translate to actually treating pets more like people – a trend called “humanization.” Pet owners are seeking out higher quality foods, more high-end accessories, and more expensive medical treatments. Humanization of pets can create new opportunities and support further growth of pet Industry. Let’s take a look at the ways humanization is affecting the pet industry
The pet market has already begun to tap into human health trends with foods to support weight loss and exercise aids for pets that leverage trends in human health and fitness. Pet versions of popular human fitness equipment have also now joined the market, such as specialized treadmills, like GoPet Treadmills and Tread wheels for both dogs and cats. With increasing interest in monitoring human health to support the safe implementation of health regimes, such as controlled feeding and weight reduction, smart, wearable health and fitness monitoring devices are growing in popularity, as more people proactively integrate preventative healthcare into their daily lives.
With medical decisions, practices, interventions and/or products tailored to the individual patient based on their predicted response or risk of disease, Personalised medicine is becoming a rapidly emerging approach to human medicine that separates patients into different groups. With huge advances in this field of human medicine, interest is growing in applying this more widely in the veterinary sector. In addition, on-going research into genetics in pet species continues to shed light on certain breed related health conditions and could lead to possible solutions, some of which could be commercial opportunities.
In the pet food sector, pet owners’ expectations all over the world are increasingly shifting from a demand for ‘high quality (for pets)’ to ‘humanized’. This means that they want pet food options that address the same health concerns that currently influence human food production. Consumer interest in healthier foods in the majority of countries in the world continues to strengthen. Consumers want to buy food products with ‘natural’ ingredients for themselves and their pets. In addition, many are looking for functional foods with demonstrable benefits that can reduce the risk of disease and promote good health. A very high proportion look for natural (‘clean label’) ingredients – fresh, natural and minimally processed foods made without genetically modified organisms (GMOs), artificial colours, and flavours; and they prefer foods made from fruit and vegetables. Natural foods with beneficial ingredients appear to be most desirable. This has led to the more widespread use of ingredients, such as fruit in pet foods, as well as an increase in innovative and appropriate technologies in manufacturing. In many countries, increasing food and manufacturing regulations for production of pet foods, as well as human food, are altering the technological landscape of pet food manufacture.
Comfort & Safety
Another trend in the pet product market is the increase in number and sophistication of products designed to comfort animals. This also reflects the growth in enhanced comfort to luxury levels in human products, such as pet clothing made from technologically advanced fabrics, heated beds and snuggle blankets. Mirroring the pet food sector, increasing safety regulations apply to pet products, as well as human food in many countries. And similarly, this influences pet product manufacture.