It is estimated that the pet market retail value of China will reach 214 billion yuan (around 30 billion USD) in 2020.  That said, what are the trends that might drive such valuation for the China market? Here are the trends to watch out for and might be worth considering for your private label pet food.

All-natural goodness

Chinese pet owners are now particular with the pet food they buy for their pets. They have been paying more attention to what goes into the pet food by reading the label, checking if it’s all-natural or grain-free, and how healthy it is for their pets. According to China Pet Market, “Naturalness is still the most popular trend; even now the brands can’t use the word “Nature” unless they fully comply with new regulations on “Nature” claims. But they can still show the “Nature” concept by highlighting raw materials, where they come from and how they are processed.”

Pet’s overall wellbeing has become paramount

In a report from Jing Daily, “nutritional science is now discussed with all pet owners…to help match pets with optimal foods.” Chinese pet owners are very concerned for the wellbeing of their dogs and cats. This concern has become evident as pet insurance, pet hospitals, and other services are on the rise just to improve the living standards of their pets.[1] Pet owners are now deep into preventive care that local brands have sourced powerful Chinese medicinal herbs just to back up their health functional claims, particularly the digestive health claims.

Cat market on the rise

In the recently concluded Pet Fair Asia last August, there was a dedicated hall just for cats. It’s filled with products from cat treats to litter boxes to cat nips and more. This indicates that cat ownership in China is growing. “Cats will go from having the fourth largest population in 2017 to the second largest in 2022.”[2]

Digital joint marketing

Aside from e-commerce, many pet food brands are starting to collaborate using digital platforms to do their joint marketing. An example of this is when Purina collaborated with “Zhi Hu”, a Chinese Q & A social media forum which has a wide following, for their brand awareness and feeding education programs for pet owners.[3]

High quality lifestyle

Humanization of pets is a big thing in China. Because pets are seen as “family members”, pet owners are much more willing to lavish care and attention to their cats and dogs. “Chinese pet owners look for particular and exclusive services for their beloved pets, such as insurance policies for their dogs, concierge services, beauty spa treatments, and lavish gifts (diamond collars and hair accessories).”[4] That means they will pay for pet food of higher quality, with luxurious packaging, as well as new forms of pet treats that are inspired by or resemble human food.

These are just five of the many things which 2020 will usher in for the China market. Which do you think will be best for your private label?

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