Fewer and fewer people, more and more pets. Result: while some supermarket chains are starting to close, think of the closure of over one hundred Carrefours, the number of dog and cat food stores is increasing. Let’s start with the numbers: the resident population in Italy of less than 60 million inhabitants (59.3 million according to the latest Eurostat data), while between dogs, cats, fish, birds, other mammals and reptiles, animals there are over 62 million (Euromonitor International 2020 data recalculated). Then let’s take a practical example: in a central street in Milan, an organic food store belonging to the French chain Bio C ‘Bon which has closed in our country has been replaced by a Arcaplanet, a company producing food for animals that has become a case history and which today has 390 points of sale in Italy. Just to understand what we are talking about, the company founded in 1995 in Carasco (Genoa) by Michele Foppiani was acquired in part in 2016 by Permira private equity fund who just sold it to the Cinven fund.
Pet food, over 2.4 billion in turnover
And the so-called pet food market rises accordingly. In the year that ended in June 2021, the market for food products for dogs and cats in Italy reached a turnover of 2,431 million euros with an 8 percent increase in turnover. The data, processed by IRI Information Resources, are included in the 14th edition of the Assalco – Zoomark annual report and will be presented at the inaugural conference of Zoomark International, the international b2b exhibition of products and equipment for pets organized by BolognaFiere from 10 to 12 November 2021. In the year of the health emergency – commented Gianmarco Ferrari, president of the Assalco business association – the relationship with pets has acquired greater value. Pets give so much to their owners who, in turn, are particularly attentive to their nutrition and health. In times of pandemic we have also seen an increase in adoptions, linked to the desire to alleviate loneliness and promote the well-being of the most vulnerable people, such as children, adolescents and the elderly.
Dogs and cats eat 2.4 billion
Dogs and cats move a market worth 2,431 million euros a year to eat. The Grocery channel – reads the Assalco note – absorbs 56.5% of turnover and 75.9% of volumes. Traditional Petshops follow, which develop 14.2% of volumes, but generate 26.9% of value, and Petshop Chains, which represent 7% of volumes and 12.8% of value. Among the relatively new distribution channels, the Petshops large-scale distribution reached an impact on the total market of 1.8% (physical and online channels). Again according to the data released by Assalco products for cats represent 53.5% of the value created by the Grocery, Traditional Petshop and Petshop Chains channels, with a turnover of 1,251.5 million. The dog foods represent 46.5% of the total in value. or 1,087 million. The small pet food market recorded a turnover of just over 12 million.
Games and accessories
The increase in the animal population and the increased time spent together during the pandemic have supported the growth of products for hygiene, games and accessories. The turnover in this case of 75 million, again in the year ended June 2021, up by 4.1% compared to the previous period. In this category – explains Assalco – the most dynamic segments were hygiene products (absorbent hygienic mats, wipes, shampoos, brushes, deodorants), up by 7.1%, and games, with an increase in value of 14.6%. Cat litter, acquired separately, generated a turnover of over 78 million euros in the same channel, up by 4.6% in value.