Dog, cat owners increasingly shop for natural pet foods with active health benefits, global survey shows

The global survey, sponsored by ingredients supplier Beneo (Manheim, Germany), found that 79% of pet owners are checking ingredient labels for undesirable ingredients.

Dog and cat owners are now more often purchasing pet foods deemed as natural and offering additional health benefits, according to a new global survey. The survey was sponsored by ingredients supplier Beneo (Manheim, Germany) and conducted by market research company Wizer on 2,500 dog and cat owners in the UK, the U.S., Brazil, Germany, and China.

Up to 79% of pet owners scan labels for undesirable ingredients, the survey found. Clean-label, health-promoting, and no- or low-allergenic ingredients, as well as those that are sustainable and plant-based, are increasingly popular with these shoppers. Specifically, the survey found that 4 out of 5 pet owners believe pet food is healthier if it contains fewer or no additives, and 3 out of 4 pet owners believe pet food is healthier if it eliminates allergens such as soy or corn.

Additionally, pet owners are drawn to foods with active health benefits. The survey found that 90% of respondents were more likely to purchase a pet food if it supports digestive health, for instance, and that 70% of respondents believe that added fibers make pet food seem healthier.

Finally, pet food shoppers are drawn to sustainability, with more than half of respondents stating that they are mindful of the sustainability and carbon footprint properties of pet food when making a purchase, and that the product claims like “environmentally friendly” are an impetus to buy.