What is driving the South Africa pet industry?

Pets touch our hearts and influence our lives in ways that most people never will. Based on a survey conducted by Boomerang Africa, 67% of children consider pets to be their best friend and 72% of South African families laugh at least once a day because of something their pet does.

Insight Survey’s latest SA Pet Care Industry Landscape Report 2018 discusses the global and local pet care markets based on the latest information and research. It examines the market drivers and challenges, as well as global and local market trends to present an objective insight into the environment, market dynamics and future of the South African pet care industry. 

Globally, pet care product sales were valued at US$109 billion in 2017, experiencing low growth of just 14% between 2012 and 2017. North America remained the largest market with a value of US$48.8 billion and 40% of the global market share. 

By comparison, the South African pet care market, which is largely dominated by pet food, continues to show value growth. Despite the challenging economy, the retail value in the pet care market increased between 2012 and 2017, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.1% over the period. However, pet food volumes have plateaued over the past five years. 

The trends of humanisation and premiumisation have considerable influences on both the pet care and pet food choices of South African consumers. Consumers are now more discerning about the food they choose to purchase for their pet family members than in the past. They are also more informed and aware of the multiple pet food options available to them in in the marketplace. 

Pet food brands are now focusing more on the health benefits that their products offer pets. For example, Raw Love Pets advocates that specie-appropriate diets for both dogs and cats should be predominately meat-based and high in animal proteins, very low in carbohydrates and free of grains. They also suggest that species appropriate raw food is best as it contains a lot of moisture and nutrients that assist the body to operate optimally and remain healthy. 

The trend of humanisation in pet care also has an influence on developments in the South African hospitality industry. Dale Simpson, curator of Radisson Red Hotel V&A Waterfront, claims that the market of devoted pet owners in South Africa continues to expand and that the hospitality industry will have to either progress to cater to it or sacrifice an increasing number of potential guests. “More and more pet-parents are insisting that their fur-children be allowed to vacation too.” Although the international hospitality industry has been rather quick to respond to the changing needs of pet owners, pet-friendly accommodation options, especially in terms of luxury accommodation, are still rather limited in South Africa.

It is evident that the importance of fur family members in South Africa will simply continue to increase in the future and influence the buying behaviour and preferences of consumers. To successfully compete in this capricious industry, it is essential that key players have a comprehensive understanding of the recent market developments and trends. 

The South African Pet Care Industry Landscape Report 2018 (141 pages) provides a dynamic synthesis of industry research, examining the local and global pet care industry from a uniquely holistic perspective, with detailed insights into the entire value chain – from manufacturing and importing to retailing, sustainability, pricing analysis, consumption and purchasing trends.