Consumers continue to feed their pets well, despite the tighter economic times

Pet care continues to show good growth year on year in the independent sector, with 52-week MAT figures showing overall growth of 5.4%, similar to growth in the independent sector as a whole (5.8%).

According to SalesOut's data from more than 11,000 independents, 5,000 of which are symbol stores, in the year to August 13 all major pet care brands except Pedigree were showing growth above 4%.

SalesOut insights manager Robert Moore says: "It would appear that despite difficult financial circumstances, compromising on the feeding of our pets is not happening.

"Indeed, the sector shows positive signs with sales of pouches performing well and many featuring prominently in the top-sellers list. Treats for both dogs and cats have also grown significantly, further illustrating our reluctance to cut back where pets are concerned."

Improved quality and presentation, backed up by marketing support, has boosted both cat and dog products in the complete (dry) pet food sub-category, particularly for the leading brands, explains Moore.

"With Bakers showing a positive 11.9% growth and comfortably holding fifth place in the brand listings, it is evident that the convenience and value to the shopper of complete 'dry' pet food should be carefully considered by the independent retailer."

Figures from SalesOut show multipacks growing at 8.3%, compared with 4.3% for singles, indicating that c-stores should have confidence in offering competitively priced multipacks.

For a list of the top-selling pet care brands in the independent sector including year-on-year growth and new lines to watch, visit www.thegrocer.co.uk/independents.

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