Pet care in India continued to register strong double-digit retail value growth in 2010, owing to its low sales base. The consumer base for products in pet care remained very small in India over 2009 and 2010 as pet ownership remained low and many pet owners had not switched to using prepared products to feed their pets. However, pet healthcare and pet dietary supplements witnessed a lot of activity towards the end of the 2010 with more companies entering these categories and new products being introduced. With pets becoming a more integral part of the family, pet owners have become willing to invest in products that are specifically for the health and wellness of their pets. Many pet owners also want to offer the same high level of treatment to their pets as they give to other members of their family and this has resulted in increased expenditure on accessories such as beds, toys and shampoo among other things.
Multinationals have their say
International brands and companies dominate in pet care in India. In pet food, international brands such as Pedigree, Royal Canin, Eukanuba and Whiskas are among the leading brands. Also, in pet products, owing to the number of acquisitions that took place in 2009, the competitive environment changed drastically with multinational companies becoming the dominant players. Even in “other” pet products, which are highly fragmented, several international players made an entrance over the review period. The strong growth potential of pet care in India has encouraged the entrance of several multinational players. Even Nestle under its brand Nestle Purnia Petcare has revisited the Indian market after the successful test market of its product during 2000.
Leading channels of retail distribution
Pet shops and veterinary clinics continued to be the leading channels of retail distribution of pet care in India in 2010. The number of pet shop outlets has increased steadily in India especially in large towns and cities. With more people owning pets and seeking quality products for their pets, pet shop retailers have witnessed increased demand for their products. Also, veterinary clinic retailers are very influential in helping pet owners decide what medication and food they should purchase for their pets and they tend to recommend specific brands. Supermarkets/hypermarkets are also a significant channel of retail distribution owing to the presence of products in pet food under leading brands such as Pedigree in these outlets.
A growing category for future
Pet care is expected to continue to perform well in terms of constant retail value growth over the forecast period. As pet ownership increases and awareness of the benefits of products in pet care increases, consumers are expected to spend more on products in pet care. The trend of humanisation is also expected to increase further and to boost demand for products in pet care, as pet owners seek to give their pets the same luxurious treatment as they give to their family members.