Perfect Packaging for Pets
posted on 5th Oct 2018 by Marie McGrath
3 noteworthy trends in Pet Food that are influencing brands and the packaging they produce
We all love our pets and I will certainly admit to the ridiculous adoration I hold for my very happy albeit over-fed cat. And it seems I’m not the only one who holds man’s best friend and their feline counterparts in high esteem – Ireland appears to truly be a nation of pet lovers!
I recently came across a survey completed by Pet Sitters Ireland that concluded out of the 1500 cat and dog owners surveyed 25% had 4 pets or more and 23% of them celebrate their pets birthday with a party – who doesn’t love a party, as they say! An even a larger percentage (55%) of respondents spent between 1-20 euros at Christmas on their pets with 16% spending more than 30 euros.
But consumers are not just spending on those special occasions for their pets. They are also spending more than ever on quality pet food brands. The estimate forecasted value of the cat and dog food market in the Republic of Ireland for 2018 is approximately €237 million (Mintel Dec 2017).
Humanisation & Premiumisation
As we are now treating our four-legged friends more like family members, we see a growing range of premium and natural brands emerging on our shelves. Pet owners are trading up for better quality products with added nutrition and benefits. The choice of more upmarket, premier products for pets is not a new concept, however, shaping food into traditional human items or marketing pet food as products good enough to eat yourself is a new trend that seems to be growing.
Many pet food brands are launching gourmet ranges into the premium pet food category. A recent Irish Examiner article highlighted the launch of Purina’s Cat Soup ‘offering your cat an amazing cat experience.’ Cat soup is marketed as an opportunity where one can, ‘spoil your cat’s refined palate with a tantalising rich and meaty soup.’ Sounds irresistible even to me!
Just like our own food shelves, we are seeing an increasing number of pet foods that cater to ‘special’ dietary requirements. It seems grain-free, raw and even paleo dog foods are growing in popularity among Irish dog owners. Whilst lactose-free milk and gluten-free products are now much more of a norm.
Sustainability is the hot topic for all food brands and their packaging and still rings true in the pet food category. Packaging serves as an extension of the brand and choosing sustainable or eco-friendly packaging has become a key objective for many recent brand launches. Consumers appear to be demanding that consideration is given to more sustainable solutions. Tetra pack cartons seem to be paving the way when it comes to wet food as their cartons are renewable, lightweight and space efficient.
Cooler and more sophisticated packaging design executions are becoming more commonplace than ever. The demand for something different, something special and clever seems to be driving a more super-premium category of pet foods and snacks. The packaging is a real statement – possibly fitting more with the pet owners own lifestyle than their pets.
It’s good to know our pet friends are having a real impact on shaping our world of brand and packaging, even if they don’t shop for themselves.
MARIE MCGRATH, ACCOUNT MANAGER – BRAND & PACKAGING
Marie has many years’ design and consultancy experience to the team, gained from working alongside many of Ireland’s highly regarded brand heavyweights. She has extensive experience in branding, design and project management and injects a high level of creative and strategic thinking across all projects. Marie is constantly on the lookout for new opportunities to enrich the brand experience and build your brand’s strength in the market. The primary communication conduit, she manages the entire process from concept to finishing, ensuring that the project delivers at every stage.