German Pet Food Market reached to $4,785 Million in 2014

Date: 2015-12-21

The German is characterized as a mature and bifurcated market, with sales of over $4,785 Million in 2014. Germany, the largest economy in the European Union, is a large and promising market for U.S. pet food exports. The German market is mature and somewhat saturated but it is steadily growing.

German pet owners are trending toward products that ‘humanize’ the care of their pets and, in response manufacturers have developed premium pet foods focusing on health and wellness issues. This focus on specificity is increasing the unit price of the product thereby countering the reduced volumes sales. Germany is a leading market for pet food products and the market is steadily growing. The other impact of this is the development of private label stores that are focusing on the premium and super premium segment. Economy lines are sold by supermarkets and discounters. Economy lines or private label products account for nearly two third of all sales. While the Premium pet food products are mostly marketed through specialty shops. This shows that price and quality are the most important factors for German customers. The industry is also utilizing the increased penetration of the e-commerce sector, giving customers more flexibility and ease in shopping.

The main constrain of the market is the regulatory framework of the EU which dictates rules on labeling, hygiene, and animal health to the industry, with specific import and export specifications. The growing incidence of pet obesity is causing most consumers to limit the calorie and food content; this is proving to be a dampener for the industry. The increasing allergic reactions to certain foods are another important constraint to the market.

The market is segmented based on product type, pricing, by animal type, and by sales channel. Dry food is the largest segment accounting for a large part of total market share, followed by snacks and wet foods. The free-from products such as grain free, soy free, and low grain products are gaining a major foothold in regard to the increasing health consciousness among consumers. The market has a good demand for both premium and economy priced foods, showing the importance of price and quality in the Germany. Over 38% of the households in Germany own atleast one pet; they have over 11.8 million cats, 6.8 million dogs and nearly 5.9 million small mammals. The premium products are mostly sold in specialty stores and mid-priced products occupy the supermarket. Private label products account for over 60% of the sales.

The major pet food companies in Germany are Deuerer, Heristo AG, Vitakraft-Werke Wührmann & Sohn, Fressnapf, Aldi, Rewe, Mars and Nestle. Manufacturers are broadening product ranges by targeting specific breeds, sizes, and ages. Sales of therapeutic dog food have also increased; however, it remains a small niche product due to high prices. Premium dog food and dog treats are expected to be the primary drivers of future growth. Premium cat food will be a major driver of overall cat food growth. However, economy wet cat food will likely grow due to the rising popularity of private label products.

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