Purina has revealed eight trends that will impact the future of petcare. This data has been released as part of their 3rd Purina in Society Report, which also details emerging challenges for the petcare industry, with key findings identified on the basis of more than 100 interviews with vets, media, sector leaders, Purina partners and key opinion leaders. The report can be viewed online.
The Purina in Society (PinS) Report also showcases the impact of Purina’s initiatives, partnerships and collaborations on the lives of pets, the people who love them and the planet. The report provides a detailed account of progress against Purina’s commitments to society and it is prepared in accordance with GRI Standards Sustainability Reporting Guidelines (2018/2020) at the Core option.
In the last two years, among other activities, Purina has:
- Launched 30 new products to improve the health and wellbeing of pets – including PRO PLAN LIVECLEAR, the first and only cat food that reduces allergens present on cat hair and dander, which has been awarded the Allergy UK “Allergy Friendly Product Award”.
- Reached 94 percent of deforestation free soya and 78 percent of packaging designed to be recyclable.
- Supported the adoption of 98,731 pets – in the UK our financial support focused on helping Cats Protection feed one million meals to cats in their care.
- Created 209 Pets at Work alliances to support pet friendly workplaces across Europe – in the UK Purina has supported companies to become dog-friendly and will continue to champion the mental health benefits pets at work can bring as offices begin to reopen.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, donated over £190,000 to four charities across the UK and Ireland (Cats Protection, Canine Partners, the RSPCA and the DSPCA)
Jeff Hamilton, CEO at Nestlé Purina PetCare Europe, Middle East and North Africa, said: “We are in the process of defining new ambitions and will be reviewing our commitments to ensure that we can truly operate within the planetary limits and positively impact people and society at large. This will push us to go further and faster, drive progress on social issues and continue to fulfil our purpose – creating richer lives for pets and the people who love them.”
Calum Macrae, Regional Managing Director for Purina UK and Ireland said: “I’m incredibly proud of what we have managed to achieve in both the UK and Ireland, particularly through our charity partnerships, which became more important than ever during the pandemic. COVID-19 has brought us all many challenges over the past year but what has become clear is that the role of the pet human bond has never been stronger, with more and more people choosing to own a pet. This is a trend that looks set to continue and we will continue to champion the vital role pets have to play – we want to work to create a resilient future for pets, our planet and the communities where we operate.”
During the pandemic, Purina donated over £190,000 to charity partners across the UK and Ireland (including Cats Protection, Canine Partners, the RSPCA and the DSPCA in Ireland) that helped to ensure that our four legged friends were not forgotten at the height of the crisis. The donations were aimed at helping charities struggling with the loss of their usual income to still provide ongoing support to pets in their care. Over 150,000 meals were also donated directly to animal welfare charities across the UK and Ireland. In addition, 550,000 meals were donated to Community Shop – a social enterprise supermarket – which sells food to its members at discounted rates. Meaning that much-loved family pets could continue to be fed when finances became strained due to COVID-19.
The report also highlights the changes facing the sector as a whole. Based on insights from market research and more than 100 interviews to industry experts, Purina has shared eight trends that will shape – or are already shaping – the future of the petcare as well as six challenges that the industry will face:
- Increase of pet ownership – Recently published Euromonitor figures show an acceleration in pet acquisition across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, compared to 2019 where pet population growth was 3 million. 2020 saw the total pet population grow by 5.1 million across the region – representing an incremental growth of 70 percent.
- Changes to the future of work as a result of the recent requirement for remote working.
- Shift to e-commerce – Historic share gains for e-commerce were amplified last year as shoppers looked to socially distance.
- Growing preference for alternative ingredients/alternative proteins – Declining natural resources on a global scale puts pressure on reducing consumption or finding alternative sources. Moreover, as Millennial pet parents treat their dogs and cats like a member of the family, more dogs are now consuming flexitarian diets – with food made from animal and plant proteins.
- Continued demand for more natural food driven by both health and animal welfare concerns.
- Elevated understanding of the societal impact of pet ownership and the opportunity to positively affect human health, education and communities.
- Seamless, AI enabled, and optimised solutions including personalised nutrition – People are turning to intelligent ways of managing their lives through digital technology, powered by big data, AI and predictive intelligence. As tech fuels better consumer experiences and new services in other areas of their lives, people’s expectations for seamless, customised and enjoyable products and experiences in pet care will become heightened.
- New demands for corporate transparency – Consumers want to be able to assess the environmental impacts of their purchasing decisions including environmental impacts and animal welfare in the value chain; ingredient transparency.
- Supply chain resilience – During 2020, manufacturers faced unprecedented challenges in a global pandemic. Obstacles with a healthy workforce, procuring raw materials or in cross-border trade did in some cases impact stocks and could impact in the nearer future.
- Inequal access to affordable pet care products – due to both availability and the impact of the pandemic on income.
- Scarcity of ingredients – and the need to manage the availability of resources to stay within the planetary limits.
- Nestlé Group commitment to net zero and potential new business models.
- Environmental impact of sourcing and packaging on our planetary health.
- Continued technology-driven transformation of the economy and the way we live our lives and produce petfood.