Pet food: the Italian market grows by 4.2% and exceeds 2 billion


The positive trend of the Italian pet food market continues: in 2020 grew both in terms of value (+4.2% compared to 2019) and volume (+2%), with a total turnover well over 2 billion euros. Accomplice to the pandemic, pets have assumed an increasingly important role in families, in which today live more than 60 million specimens including dogs, cats, small mammals, birds, fish and turtles.

These are the first indications of the 14th edition of the Assalco – Zoomark Report, produced by Assalco, the National Association of Enterprises for the Feeding and Care of Pets, which will be presented at Zoomark International, scheduled from 10 to 12 November 2021 at BolognaFiere.

The event, the only one in attendance in 2021, will be the first international event of reference for the sector after the forced suspension of events caused by the covid-19 emergency. An appointment awaited with high expectations that is recording an excellent adhesion from exhibitors (national and international) and operators who feel the need to return to meet at the Fair.

Cats and dogs drive the Pet Food market
Dog and cat food continues to be the most significant item in the Italian pet food market. In 2020, IRI notes that sales in the main distribution channels, i.e. Grocery, Traditional Petshops and Petshop Chains1, reached 2,257 million euros for a total of 626,600 tons of food sold, thus registering an increase of 4.2% and 2% respectively over 2019. In addition to these data, the results obtained by the Petshops of the GDO2, that is the new distribution format to which some retailers of the Great Organized Distribution have given birth, which in 2020 sold 6,036 tons of food for dogs and cats, for a value of 34.3 million euros.

In the eternal challenge between cats and dogs, the latter is the winner, driving the expenditure of Italians. In fact, food for felines represents 53.2% of the total value of the market at Grocery, traditional Petshops and Chains, for a value just over 1,200 million euros (+5.9% compared to 2019). Dog food accounts for the remaining 46.8% of the market, with a value of around €1,057 million, a figure that is also up on 2019 (+ 2.3%).

Birds and rodents
The small pet food market saw sales of just over €12 million in 2020 at Hypermarkets, Supermarkets and LSP (Libero Servizio Piccolo) outlets. Birds and rodents dominate the market: food for ornamental birds accounts for 42.1% of the market value and 50.5% of the volumes, while products for feeding rodents absorb 30% of the value and 38.9% of the volumes.

Hygiene products
According to IRI data, the sector of accessories for the care and daily management of pets is also growing, and includes hygiene products, toys, leashes, kennels, bowls, aviaries, aquariums, turtle tanks and various tools. In 2020, this market recorded a value of 72.8 million euros in the large-scale retail channel and an increase in value of 2.3% and in volume of 6.7% compared to 2019.

The hygiene products segment (mats, sanitary towels, wipes, shampoos, brushes, deodorants and other beauty products) is confirmed as the most important with a value of just under 33 million euros, up 14.7% compared to the previous year. The pet toys segment also reached significant dimensions, with a total turnover close to 6 million euros (+1.7% compared to 2019). Cat litters, surveyed separately, saw sales of more than 76 million euros at the GDO channel in 2020, with value growth of 3.1% compared to the previous year.

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