Trend of pet ownership in urban India
15 Sep 2012
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Nuclear Families. Double income households. Changing lifestyles. These are just some of the factors responsible for the growing trend of pet ownership in urban India.Increasingly, pets are being looked upon as companions and members of the family. Careeroriented women are marrying late and therefore,there exists a greater propensity among them to own pets for companionship. The one-child norm has also lead to more families keeping pets.
Consequently, the pet care market has also come into existence in a major way.
Pet’s diet, health and grooming are high on the owners’ priority list. This trend has spawned an entire industry, with a growing emphasis on pet care. There is a growing trend of using prepared pet food as opposed to home-made meals. More and more people are now realizing the fact that dogs need six times more protein and calcium than human beings.
In 2005-06, India was included in the chart of 10 fastest growing markets in the world. Pet care market accounts for all gories of products ranging from toys to grooming products like shampoo, harnesses, collars, etc. According to Euromonitor International, the current overall size of Indian pet care and pet food market, in terms of current price value, is Rs 210 cr in 2008. Of this, the pet care segment occupies Rs 60 Cr.
Major players in the market like Mars International India, Bharat International and PetSmart have witnessed an annual growth rate of 25-30 per cent in 2008. ‘’The Indian pet food market is growing at a healthy rate of approximately 20 per cent per Pittie, CEO, Bharat International. “The pet food market is still in a period of nascence, market size is assumed to be at Rs 45 crores pa; growing at a compounded 30 per cent pa,” says Bijoy Lulla,Chairman & CEO, Petsmart. Mars International India MD John Webb echoes the sentiment by saying,“India’s pet food market is still a very new and dynamic category.” Needless to say, they all see huge potential. The expectations are obviously high for 2009. “We have seen an annual growth rate of 25 per cent per year. Expectation is 40 per cent, “according to Pittie. “We have been growing compounded at 40-50% p.a., except during periods of Government imposed bans which disrupt supply chains time to time,” says Lulla.
Most of the branded pet food is imported. The government’s reduction of the import duties on pet food in 2007 provided a boost to both manufacturers and importers.
But the ban on imported pet food due to the outbreak of Avian Flu in year 2006, which continued through 2007, resulted in the reduced availability of pet food.Few foreign brands such as Royal Canin and Bento Kronen escaped the ban, but others like US brands Pro Pac and Purina were impacted. On the other hand,market for locally manufactured food looked up.
According to Euromonitor International, veterinary clinics and pet shops remained a leading distribution channels for pet food and
pet care products in 2007 and 2008. But more and more retail outlets and channels. This reduced the influence of vets on consumer purchasing decisions.
With owners becoming more knowledgeable about the needs of their animals and thus more willing to buy pet food and pet care products without seeking the opinion of a vet, pet breeder or pet shop owner
, it is likely that the supermarkets/hypermarkets channel will play an increasingly important role in distribution in 2009.