3 Trends in Pet Food Packaging

27 April 2021
Uppy Pet Food packaging design

The pet care industry has been growing for a few years, but the sharp rise in pet adoption during the Covid-19 pandemic has made this a market to watch closely. Aside from this impressive growth, new trends have allowed businesses in this industry to diversify and win over the minds and hearts of pet owners. 

At a glance, the pet food industry has been the fastest-growing segment in the pet care sector, with a whopping CAGR of 9.08% between 2017 and 2021 – and it is expected to grow by 8 billion by 2023. At the same time, a sharp shift towards sustainability, organic products, and high-quality pet food has given brands plenty of opportunities to reconsider their offer and packaging to appeal to today’s pet parents. Here are the three emerging trends in the pet food packaging market to watch. 

The Rise of eCommerce, Larger Sizes, and Resealable Packaging

No industry is completely immune to the rise of eCommerce – including the pet food packaging sector! The advent of online stores and shops stocking pet supplies has been disrupting the market – a trend that the consequences of the pandemic have heightened. 

And, while retailers scramble to adjust to new business models in the pet food market, the search for more suitable packaging solutions continues. Indeed, there has been an increased need for high-quality bags and pouches that are not only able to maintain the freshness and flavor of luxury kibbles but also withstand shipping and delivery. 

The advent of eCommerce has opened up several opportunities, including:

  • Packaging personalization – humans always feel closer to their pets, and they are more likely to invest in higher-quality, more expensive products. For example, online retailers offer owners the chance to put their pet’s name on the package. 
  • More flexible and durable packaging – packaging now has to be more durable than ever as it has to be shipped to the customer’s door.
  • Larger sizes – Customers can choose larger, and therefore more affordable, packages without having to worry about carrying them home.
  • Resealable packages – these allow owners to buy larger pet food bags without having to worry about possible wastage.

Ultimately, pet owners have started to shop online for larger bags of pet food. When doing so, they want the pet food purchased to land on their doorstep intact and in a resealable bag, so they can make it last for longer.

Buying pet food online is a trend that is only likely to increase, especially as this comes with the added convenience and affordability for pet owners. Indeed, consumers no longer need to carry heavy bags or buy smaller packages because of their fear of wasting premium kibbles.

As the economy will start to open up again over the next few months, it is important for brands to understand the local economy better. However, in the meanwhile, business owners working in the pet food industry should be operating online, offering higher-quality food in larger, resealable bags.

A Shift Towards Higher-Quality Pet Food

It is impossible to understand the pet food packaging market without looking into the pet food market itself. And, when doing so, you will notice the rising humanization of pets by their owners. More than companion animals, pets are today seen as family members who celebrate birthdays, have their own social media handles, and deserve the highest-quality products on the market. 

To heighten this trend is the shift in the pet-owner relationship that happened during the pandemic when pets have helped many people overcome stress, anxiety, and depression. 

As pets take on an always more important role in family life, owners have realized how important nutrition is to keep their furry friends healthy and happy. In turn, families are prone to invest more money to ensure that their pet receives the best nutritional support.

Some of the trends that are disrupting the pet food market include:

  • Preventive medicine through certain foods
  • Healthier foods
  • Higher-quality ingredients
  • Less processed foods

And, as these trends evolve, the pet food packaging industry can reap its own opportunities. Indeed, there is a substantial need for high-quality packaging that can envelop and preserve premium kibbles and wet food. All this while also being able to deliver a feeling of exclusivity and luxury. 

The humanization of pets is in continuous development, and it is stemming into new trends. In terms of nutrition, it is easy to see how this leads to natural, organic, gluten-free, or even plant-based diets. While the ethical and sustainability expectations of pet owners are always increasing, it is also worth considering that they are more prone to pay higher prices for the right product. 

Sustainable Packaging is the Packaging of The Future

While plastic might not be totally out of our lives, it might be out of the pet food packaging market. To understand this growing green trend, it is important to look at the changing buying process of today’s pet owners. 

Almost 90% of consumers will check out a company before committing to a purchase and, since all the information is accessible online, they can gain an idea of the company’s values within seconds. At the same time, the marketing campaigns carried out by several companies have encouraged the greenwashing phenomenon. 

Undoubtedly, pet owners, just like other consumers, are looking for sustainable, ethically sourced, recyclable, and plastic-free products and packaging. At the same time, they have learned how to distinguish between brands that use sustainability as a marketing tool and those that uphold it as a core value. 

Aside from the materials used in pet food packaging, it is important to display ingredients, processes, and sustainability standards clearly.  

As pet food brands are increasingly concerned with offering organic, clean, and ethical ingredients, packaging manufacturers should find solutions that are entirely recyclable, BPA-free, and clean labels. 

When exploring this trend, it becomes evident that there will be an increased need for designs that associate luxury with a natural, organic, and minimalist feel. 

Bottom Line

The pet food packaging market is always in evolution, following the trends set by the pet food and pet care markets. However, some consumer trends have been disrupting the market – from a sharp increase in online purchases to a higher need for sustainable, recyclable packaging. While brands in the pet food packaging market have to keep looking out for sharp changes of direction, these trends have opened up impressive opportunities in an always-growing market. 

We are experts in Pet Food packaging and have worked with leading brands. Get in touch today to find out more.

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