The European pet market has grown by an impressive €3.5 billion in the last 4 years, with the trend towards premiumisation helping boost the market to €18.5 billion. One of the strongest markets on the continent is France, which equates to over €5 billion of the European market, and is growing steadily each year.
What are the top trends in France?
Humanization & Premium products
The trend towards pet humanization is common across the pet market. With over 81% of dog and cat owners in Europe considering their pets to be true family members, it’s no surprise that people are beginning to spend more money on their pets, no matter what species.
This trend is most apparent in pet food where we see products that echo the health based marketing trends in human food, but there is also a steady growth of pet owners buying more premium products to keep up with the latest trends, or (as with Ruffwear) to buy into more specialist gear. With 44% of millennials viewing their pets as ‘starter children’ it’s no surprise that their level of spend matches this prioritisation. In fact, 40% of millennial pet owners will spend just as much on their pet at special times of the year (Birthdays and Christmas) as they would on a family member or friend.
New trends to watch out for in the French market include:
We are seeing a huge shift towards healthier pet food demand. As humans are becoming more conscious about what they eat, they will be more likely to serve their pets healthier, organic food too.
47% of pet owners prefer to use pet nutrition apps to keep track of their companions healthy, along with pet fitness trackers and other pet technology. 1 in 4 pet parents admit that they spend more on tech for their pet than for themselves.
Pet Alternative Therapies
74% of humans who use alternative therapies will use pet equivalent alternative therapies.
Although the majority of French customers still shop in major grocery chains for bulk food items we are seeing the trend decline. The move towards online retailers is the most prevalent, but independent stores, pet specialist stores and home and garden specialists also show strong growth. This suggests customers are looking for a more specialised shopping experience.
What does all this mean for the future of the French pet market?
Dog and cat owners in France generate over 80% of the total value of the pet shop market, and this spend is increasing year on year. With 7 million dog owners in France and 92% of French owners considering their dog to be part of the family we will see a steady increase in pet product spend across the country, and a trend towards more specialised and customised products as owners embrace their pets as a key part of the family.