German pet market continues to grow
With overall sales totalling 4.786 bn euros, pet stores and grocery retailers in Germany enjoyed sales growth of 6 per cent in 2021. Another 1.055 bn euros was generated by online trade and 162 mio euros in sales of wild bird food.
The pet supplies market in Germany continues to experience an upward trend with total sales of around 6 bn euros. This is according to figures from the Industrial Association of Pet Care Producers (Industrieverband Heimtierbedarf, IVH) and the Zentralverband Zoologischer Fachbetriebe (ZZF).
Sales of pet convenience food in bricks-and-mortar stores surpassed those of the previous year by 6.5 per cent, totalling 3.685 bn euros. The segment covering pet requisites and accessories likewise experienced notable growth, with sales up by 4.6 per cent to 1.101 bn euros.
German Pet Industry: Current Market Landscape
Numbers of pet ownership in Germany rank in second place in overall ownership rates, making Germany one of the most promising markets for pet supply brands in Europe.
However, inflation-induced prices are also affecting German pet owners, as prices for pet food and veterinary services have increased significantly over the last few months. Nevertheless, Mintel's German pet market analysis shows that the German pet industry overall remains resistant in spite of price rises. However, the premium pet food and non-essential pet products and services segments, e.g. toys are at risk of seeing a decline in German pet market growth as some pet owners are looking for cheaper pet food and are cutting back on discretionary spending.
Pet Ownership in Germany: What Consumers Want and Why
According to our experts' German pet market analysis the vast majority of pet owners consider being a pet parent an important part of their identity, and they value their pets as members of the family.
Considering these sentiments, our report on pet ownership in Germany shows that many are willing to spend money on their pets despite the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, thus fueling German pet market growth during difficult economic times. In fact, almost half of German pet owners have not made and are not considering making changes with regards to their pet due to inflation. This indicates a good overall resistance of the German pet market and opens up opportunities for marketing to pet owners in Germany.
Pet Ownership in Germany – Consumer Behaviour: The majority of Germans habour strong sentiments concerning their pets, in fact, 73% of pet owners strongly or somewhat agree that being a pet parent is an important part of their identity.
German Pet Market Challenges: Pets represent a significant cost factor, and this might lead to decisions not to replace deceased animals. Beyond that, many pets are currently in danger of ending up in shelters due to the cost-of-living crisis and consumers no longer being able to stem the costs of taking care of a pet.
Pet Marketing Opportunities: The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced more flexible working patterns and they are here to stay, providing more Germans with the opportunity for pet, and especially future dog ownership. For 22% of Germans, the pandemic provided an opportunity to acquire a pet, and data from 2019-21 shows a notable rise in cat ownership.
German Pet Market Opportunities
The fact that pet ownership in Germany sports such high numbers provides chances for brands across various sectors to cater to German pet owners, e.g. with pet-friendly travel options to target activity-focused pet owners. However, the ability to own a pet is heavily dependent on one's lifestyle. A number of Germans who report not owning a pet, said that this is due to them being away from home too much, while others say their residence is not fit for pets. This opens up opportunities in pet marketing for leisure brands to attract animal lovers who do not own a pet by providing them access to animals.
Despite the high regard Germans have for their pets, squeezed household budgets may dampen German pet market growth. Pet supply brands need to provide good value for money to be able to continue to provide competitive marketing to pet owners in Germany, e.g. by claiming greater product durability, or with multifunctional pet food promoting pet health.
To discover more about the German Pet Market, read our Germany Pet Food Market Report 2021 or take a look at our extensive Pet Market Research
by Dr. Jennifer Hendricks - Research Analyst – Consumer Lifestyle, Germany