Saturday, June 10, 2023
HomePet Species & ConditionSpeciesExploring Chinese petfood trends: two main trends apparent

Exploring Chinese petfood trends: two main trends apparent

Amongst global petfood trends, two in particular feature prominently in China: a ‘healthy lifestyle’ and ‘premium indulgence’. To meet the lifestyle and expectations of Chinese pet owners, these concepts have been transformed into convenient and tasty products containing healthy, traditional ingredients.

The Chinese petfood market is unique. 323,000 tons of petfood were sold in 2017 and it experienced 35 percent value growth between 2013 and 2018. It is unsurprising, then, to see companies want to feature in this market.

Young Chinese pet owners’ influence

It comes as no surprise that pet owners are the driving force behind petfood trends. In China, the petfood market is largely shaped by a young generation of pet owners.

According to a 2018 survey from Goumin, an interactive platform providing services to pet owners, more than 75 percent belong to generations born after the 1980s. These incorporate high-income earners, who embrace consumption and consequently become the main drivers of the economy.

54 percent of the young, Chinese generation have a career, are single and have high buying power. This results in the welcoming of pet adoption and the ability to spend a substantial part of their salary on the pet in question. In China, owners increasingly seek pet products and services that mirror their own lifestyle.

Chinese pet food manufacturers, therefore, are responding to this by developing an offers to tailor to this petfood market and to match the expectations of the young generation of pet owners.

Healthy lifestyles

The development of premium petfood products with benefits in health, is a strong and long-lasting trend of the petfood market. This is particularly true in China where food has been regarded as medicine for a long period of time.

Chinese petfood manufacturers are embracing this trend in order to entice young Chinese pet owners for whom Chinese-style health care is more and more popular. Local brands endeavour to differentiate their products from international brands by developing health-oriented petfood with ingredients derived from traditional Chinese medicine or local functional superfoods.

Medicinal petfood enriched with Chinese herbs

An increasing number of brands local to China include in their formula traditional Chinese herbs known to be beneficial for human health. The uses and imagery of these herbs are prominently placed on packaging. Wolfberry goji is the most commonly used Chinese-style ingredient in new, health-oriented petfood products. This traditional herb, widely consumed by China’s ‘young health addicts,’ is claimed to have beneficial applications in a pet’s liver and eyesight.

Numerous other Chinese herbs such as ginseng, lily root or honeysuckle are beginning to appear on packaging as well.

Use of superfoods

The application of superfoods to improve pet health is another popular trend making its way through the global petfood market. Several trendy ingredients used in petfood worldwide for their health uses are also found in Chinese products. Blueberry and cranberry, for instance, are widely used for their antioxidant properties.

But in addition to these ‘international’ ingredients, Chinese-style superfoods such as goat milk, Chinese yam, sweet potato, yacón or black lycium (black Goji), with various associated health support claims, are beginning to appear in Chinese petfood. Even avocado, widely used in human health and skin care, is starting to be used in petfood to support claims for skin and fur.

Balanced nutrition

‘Degrease your lifestyle’ is another health concept recently adopted by young Chinese people, and resonates in the petfood market. Indeed, a blog post titled ‘How to avoid becoming a greasy mid-age,’ written in late 2017 by Feng Tang, a well-known medical blogger, has provoked a huge buzz on the internet.

Promoting the importance for health of a balanced diet rich in fruits and veggies, the article raised a true ‘anti-greasiness’ wave among the younger generation, who decided to become more active and eat salads. Surfing this ‘green’ wave, pet food manufacturers are adding more veggies to their formulas to mirror the healthy meals of young Chinese pet owners.

In European or American markets, fruits and vegetables are generally used either as raw material in veggie diets, or to bring variety to pet food. But in China, they are used to promote the concepts of nutritional balance and weight control. Most local brands clearly highlight the combo ‘meat + cereals + fruit & veggie’ on packaging to support their balanced nutrition model. This phenomenon is not limited to pet food. Following the trend are fruity pet treats that also claim to provide balanced nutrition.

Chinese snack offerings now go beyond meat-based products and include freeze-dried fruits and vegetables such as banana, apple and pumpkin.

Premium Indulgence: Convenience & Taste

 According to CBNData’s 2018 Living consumption trend report, the new Chinese generation is moving toward a lazy lifestyle. Young Chinese people have less and less time to cook due to busy work hours followed by fatigue once they are back home. However, they still want to enjoy their food. They are thus looking for convenient, high-quality products for themselves and their pets.

 From instant food to freeze-dried pet food

 Foods such as instant noodles are emblematic of China. Now, these types of convenience items are coming to pet food. In European and American markets, freeze-dried pieces of meat or vegetables are included in formulas to meet owners’ desire to see ‘real’ pieces of ingredients and avoid ‘aggressive’ manufacturing and preservation methods.

Positioning is different in China. Here, instant pet food, claimed to be fresh and delicious, fits the Chinese owner’s attachment to tradition while addressing the need for convenience and taste.

Encountered first in the treats segment, freeze-dried is expanding to complete food. Several local as well as trusted foreign brands recently launched, diets mixing dry kibble with freeze-dried elements and even 100% freeze-dried diets. Pet owners can choose to give the freeze-dried pet food directly to their pets, to mix it with kibbles, or to soak it in warm water prior to the meal.

Homemade pet food on the go

 Industrial kibbles bought in traditional distribution channels are no longer the only option. Inspired by the eating habits of Chinese people and echoing new consumption models appearing throughout the world, homemade fresh pet food is another solution for ‘lazy’ young pet owners.

Sold in dedicated take-away pet shops or delivered at home, it offers a handy way to provide their pet with delicious meals anytime and anywhere. From starter to dessert, gourmet homemade delicacy foods are a new alternative for parents to indulge their pets with ease.

For more information on Diana Pet Food visit their website, HERE.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
Captcha verification failed!
CAPTCHA user score failed. Please contact us!

Most Popular

- Advertisment -

Recent Comments