SALES of pet food in the Philippines is projected to grow by 9 percent on an annual basis to a record high of $434 million, driven by the growing number of dog and cat owners nationwide, an international agency said.
The United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service in Manila (USDA-FAS Manila) said that pet food consumption in the Philippines increased as more Filipinos adopted more dogs and cats during the pandemic.
“While people were confined to their homes during the pandemic, dog and cat adoptions increased and pet food consumption grew,” the USDA-FAS Manila said in its latest Global Agricultural Information Network (Gain) report.
The USDA-FAS Manila noted that the Philippines ranks fifth in the world in terms of total dog population. Furthermore, dog food forms the bulk of pet food sales in the Philippines, it added.
“Cat food, though minimal compared to dog food, has shown upward sales growth since 2017,” it said.
For this year, USDA-FAS Manila projected that total pet food sales in the country would rise by $37 million to $434 million from last year’s $397 million.
The USDA-FAS Manila estimated that bulk of the total pet food sales would come from dog food, which is projected to be valued at $360 million, $29 million higher than last year’s $331 million.
Meanwhile, total cat food sales this year would be at $69 million, $8 million over last year’s $61 million, according to the USDA-FAS Manila.
“Dry dog food remains the best-performing pet food in terms of sales, with a forecast growth of 9 percent. Economy dry dog food forms the bulk of dog food sales due to the high demand for affordability and convenience,” it said.
“Mid-priced wet cat food remains the preferred pet food for cats in the Philippines. Companies introduced dog and cat food mixers with antioxidants, nutrition-filled ingredients, or formulas to increase appetite, which are suitable for sensitive digestive systems,” it added.
USDA-FAS Manila said local manufacturers have shown greater interest in selling pet food but most pure-breed pet owners prefer imported pet food.
“The majority of imported dog and cat food originates in Thailand, the United States, and Europe. Pet food from the United States dominated the market from 2016 to 2019,” it said.
Pet food imports have also been growing, with local companies sourcing from traditional sources due to supply issues, USDA-FAS Manila said.
“Importers of US pet food experienced shortages in supply due to increased demand and logistical challenges during the pandemic,” it said.
“Apart from some US brands, pricing and the entry of new players, such as San Miguel Foods Inc., contributed to the rise in sourcing from Thailand,” it added.
In Asia alone, the Philippines ranked the highest in dog ownership at 67 percent and the second-highest in cat ownership at 43 percent, the USDA-FAS Manila said, citing a 2021 Rakuten survey.
“Cats rank second in pet adoption and are gaining popularity recently as more people searched for cats on the internet during the pandemic,” it added.
USDA-FAS Manila added that the rise of condominiums also encouraged Filipinos to adopt small pets with the majority of them preferring cats, “given their quiet nature and comfort with indoor living.”
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