Consumer blog: Humanisation of pets

Society now recognises ‘pet parents’. Owners are being referred to as ‘parents’, driven by the humanisation of pets. With cats and dogs and other animals increasingly being treated as members of the family, many are admitting their expenditure on pets is now higher than on their children.

The market for pet products is seeing phenomenal growth – premium pet food in particular. Just as a mother or father wouldn’t feed their baby an unhealthy meal, pet parents are not willing to comprise on the quality of the food they feed their pets. The increase in premium pet food is driving growth in the sector globally.

We’re seeing a number of acquisitions and investments in the space, recent examples include: the global consumer private equity firm L Catterton’s investment in ‘I and love and you’, fast growing premium dog and cat food brand; and UK private equity firm Piper’s investment in natural pet food company Pet Food UK, the company behind the Barking Heads, Meowing Heads and AATU brands.

Humanisation is also driving growth in animal health related businesses, as pet parents seek to ensure their pets are healthy and happy. Earlier this year we saw Mars, one of the world leaders in the pet food market, move into the animal-hospital world, purchasing VCA Inc. for c. €8.6bn.

Animal humanisation is undoubtedly driving acquisitions and we expect this to continue to enhance the treatment of their pets.