Pet food sales in decline, claims new Mintel report
A new 'Lifestyle' report into consumer trends by market research specialist Mintel claims that pet food sales are in decline, and it blames demographic changes for a 'stagnating' market. The company believes an ageing population are less likely to own a pet, and a growing number of people renting their homes are prohibited from pet ownership.
A Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association survey last year revealed that the number of pet dogs and cats had fallen.
A new 'Lifestyle' report into consumer trends by market research specialist Mintel claims that pet food sales are in decline, and it blames demographic changes for a 'stagnating' market.
The company believes an ageing population are less likely to own a pet, and a growing number of people renting their homes are prohibited from pet ownership.
After decades of the number of dogs and cats in Britain increasing (from an estimated 4.7m dogs and 4.1m cats in 1965 to 9m dogs and 7.9m cats in 2014), a Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association survey last year found a fall to 8.5m dogs and 7.4m cats last year.
These stats are based on a relatively small sample, but the trend is mirrored in other affluent, English-speaking countries: dog and cat ownership in the United States, Canada and particularly Australia all seem to be in decline.
“Older people – more than a third of us will be over 55 in the next five years – don’t tend to have really high pet ownership,” says Ina Mitskavets, a senior analyst for Mintel. “The market is driven by families with kids, who tend to have the most pets per household.”
Peak Stuff – the preference for experiences over possessions – may also be reducing the appeal of pets.
“I’ve recently got a couple of kittens,” says Mitskavets, “and my life has completely changed. So I can understand it’s a huge commitment, and a lot of people shy away from commitments these days because the pace of life is so incredible.”
Commitment-phobia is also cited by Marc Abraham, the TV vet and animal welfare campaigner.
“People are reluctant to commit to pet ownership, especially dogs, because they require walking twice a day and live to 15 years old. That’s a huge commitment, and we want to go on lots of holidays,” he says.
“Maybe the human need for companionship is being delivered now more by social media than getting a pet.”
Leading retailer Pets Corner says it hasn't been affected by any downturn in pet food sales announced in the Mintel report...
Managing director Dean Richmond told Pet Trade Xtra: "This is not a trend we have been experiencing at Pets Corner where we specialise in natural pet foods sourced from smaller manufacturers.
"It's possible that historically dominant players in the pet food market are seeing a fall in demand because pet owners are changing their shopping habits or making different or more informed choices for their animals."
Pets Corner is the second largest pet retailer in the UK with 158 stores with another one opening in Camberley, Surrey, next week.
CASCO Pet has completed the acquisition of IHM Müller Aquarientechnik, based in NW Germany.
This acquisition is part of the company's strategic growth plan and will give it access to the biggest pet market in Europe - Germany.
IHM Müller is a family run business with over 20 years' experience and this acquisition will result in a combined expertise in aquatics and also brings CASCO's expertise of reptiles, birds and small animals to this very important market. Together the two firms have over 40 years of knowledge, experience as well as reputations for quality and service.
Commenting on the acquisition Matthew Bubear, CASCO Pet CEO, said: "CASCO has always had an ambition to be based in Germany but I wanted to ensure it had the right infrastructure and team in place.
"IHM Müller is a perfect fit, it has similar values to CASCO and, like us, has earned an enviable reputation for excellent quality and that is very much reflected in their product.
"Frank Müller, the son of the founder, will remain with the company as General Manager and I am very excited about the opportunities that lay ahead."
Frank Müller added: "I am happy and proud to be part of the great CASCO Pet family. Sharing our significant and diverse experience, this combined company will provide great products for our customers. I'm hugely enthusiastic about the future and the great work we will do."
A Hertfordshire-based maker of a live tracking device for pets has smashed an equity crowdfunding target, with tennis star Andy Murray revealed as one of the investors.
The business behind Dog Tracker Nano has returned to Seedrs for the second time to raise a minimum investment of £70,000 in return for a 5 per cent equity stake.
It has already exceeded 115 per cent of the target, raising more than £81,000 from 110 investors.
Dog Tracker Nano is described as a small, lightweight and waterproof dog tracking system used to monitor activity and fitness.
The product was officially launched in October 2015 following an overfunded round on Seedrs, and went on to sell more than 500 pre-orders in ten weeks. The business now has sales - or commitments - for almost 1,000 devices and deliveries started at the end of January 2016.
The company said it now requires a second round of funding to "ensure we can build a constant supply of product before our partners start marketing Nano".
"Our first objective is to achieve sales of 2,500 devices and reach a point where the company is self-sustaining through ongoing subscriptions and sales," it added.
The business is one of a number of British start-up firms to receive a boost from the Scot, who has two terriers, Maggie May and Rusty, and has often spoken about his love for dogs.
He has also backed Beeline and Blow Ltd, both listed on Seedrs.
He said: "Giving recognition and support to British entrepreneurs is really important to me, especially those who are the driving force behind growth-focused businesses. Every one of these entrepreneurs is passionate and dedicated to succeeding and I'm excited to have invested in their future growth."
The UK’s leading veterinary charity, PDSA has released distressing statistics that show more than 55% of rabbit owners have identified signs of worrying behaviour in their pet rabbits.
In the run up to this year’s 10th Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW), PDSA veterinary surgeon Rebecca Ashman has highlighted the effects of boredom and loneliness on the mental health of rabbits.
The findings, taken from the latest PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report, suggest that on a weekly basis owners have noted signs of unhappiness in their rabbits such as biting the bars of their run or hutch repeatedly, fur pulling, biting, growling and hissing.
With more than 680,000 rabbits living alone, despite being highly sociable animals, and thousands more living in small hutches with no opportunity for exercise or mental stimulation, Ashman says it is no surprise owners and vets are seeing these issues on a regular basis.
“Our figures highlight that lack of mental stimulation can have a huge impact on pet behaviour,” says Ashman. “What’s most frustrating is the fact that many of these issues could easily be avoided if rabbits were given the right conditions, diet and companions to live alongside.”
As a charitable partner in this year’s RAW, which runs from 18 to 26 June 2016, PDSA is backing RAW’s #BuddiesForBunnies campaign to get solitary rabbits paired up with suitable companions from rescue centres. The charity says the findings should be a ‘call to action’ for the 57% of rabbit owners who own single rabbits.
Ashman added: “Pets do so much to enrich and improve our lives, but by not meeting their needs, their physical and mental wellbeing can be severely compromised. Sadly, rabbits seem to be the forgotten pet. They can’t speak up and tell us if they’re unhappy, but with the right information and education, owners can make positive changes to their pets’ lives.”
Nominations for the 2016 Pet Industry Federation Awards are now open and being received online at www.pbwnews.com...
The winners will be announced at the 2016 Pet Industry Federation Awards dinner, which will take place at Wokefield Park hotel, near Reading on Tuesday, November 1.
The winners will receive their awards from ‘Rimmer’ from Red Dwarf and ‘Mr Brittas’ a.k.a comedian and actor, Chris Barrie, who will then delight the audience with a light-hearted after dinner speech.
It is free for businesses to enter the Pet Industry Federation Awards and to be in with a chance of winning they need to outline, in no more than 500 words, why they think their business should receive the award. Judging criteria is available online at www.petfederation.co.uk.
The deadline for the receipt of entries is Monday, August 1.
The award categories are:
- Retail Chain of the Year – sponsored by Natures Menu
- Independent Retailer of the Year - sponsored by Natures Menu
- Manufacturer of the Year – sponsored by PATS
- Wholesaler of the Year – sponsored by PATS
- Exporter of the Year
- Grooming Business of the Year
- Kennel or Cattery of the Year
- Pet Service of the Year
- Sales Representative of the Year
The PIF Awards are announced following the daytime Pet Industry Forum - a conference aimed at all pet businesses which will look at important issues affecting the pet industry, such as safeguarding the future of the industry; how the specialist channel can survive and looking at pet health opportunities for businesses.
Tickets for the Forum & Awards will be available online at www.petfederation.co.uk
CentreBarks, a new educational doggie day care crèche, has been launched in North Yorkshire by dog trainer Heather Stevens.
The business is open from 8am to 6pm and owners can drop off and collect their dogs at a time to suit them and their needs.
Heather already runs her own dog training school called ‘We Train Any Dog’ but saw the need for a concept like CentreBarks.
“I've had the idea for a day care for dogs for about nine or 10 years, but in all that time I've been unable to locate the right property in the right place at the right rent, until February this year,” Heather told Pet Trade Xtra.
“I was originally going to call it Paws2Play but one of the gentlemen in my dog training classes said, ‘Oh no, I think you should call it CentreBarks’ - and so I did!
“The concept is not unique, and indeed there are many hundreds of doggie day care crèches in the USA. There are a number of them in the UK but not all offer training as part of the day care, which we do.”
CentreBarks offers dogs a small training session morning and afternoon, and there are a number of activities throughout the day, such as finding stuffed and empty Kongs in the ball pit, and paddling in the dog-proof paddling pool outside in the garden area.
CentreBarks is located in a single-storey detached unit on a trading estate in Richmond, North Yorkshire. There is about 2,400 square feet of indoor space and a garden area, which backs onto open farmland.
The business is licensed to take up to 30 dogs, and there is one member of staff per eight dogs. An assessment is carried out by a behaviourist for each new dog.
CenterBarks is open Monday to Friday and at weekends by appointment. Heather isv planning extra opening hours as the business grows and staff numbers increased.
“Once the creche closes at 6pm the room is cleaned and turned into a training area, where classes run from 6.30pm to 8.30pm most evenings, and also during the day over the weekend,” said Heather.
“There will definitely be more CentreBarks around the country if this takes off, which it is currently doing.”
Heather charges £15 per full day and £8 per half day.
A website www.CentreBarksYorkshire.com is currently being built but in the meantime there is information about CentreBarks on www.WeTrainAnyDog.com
CentreBarks was officially opened by Lord Ronaldshay, the son of the Earl of Zetland (pictured on the right of the photo).
Despite the growing body of research highlighting the benefits of time spent interacting with nature, the nation’s children are sadly spending more and more time indoors glued to screens. The estimates vary but one study found that children are spending an average of 6 hours or more a day on screens.
To redress the balance, the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) is looking to team up with schools in the UK to launch a bird feeding education campaign aimed at reconnecting children with nature.
The benefits of learning about wild birds as a school activity are numerous. The PFMA has developed Maths and Literacy Lesson plans, with a toolkit containing some beautifully designed posters.
The material will give children an appreciation of the most common British wild birds and an understanding of the impact of the changing seasons, whilst supporting the national curriculum.
Michael Bellingham, PFMA Chief Executive, comments: ‘Feeding birds can be great fun and educational. We encourage pet retailers and vets who work with schools in their community to get involved.
"For all those registering for the project, we are delighted to offer a free bird feeder and food to start the ball rolling!’
3 easy steps to get involved:
- Talk to your local school and encourage the teacher to go online to www.pfma.org.uk/bird-education and register to take part in the project.
- Once registered the teacher will be sent a starter pack including a free bird feeder and food and they can download the lesson plans and posters.
- Keep in touch with your school contact and let us know how they get on!
For more information contact Sarah Hormozi or Nicole Paley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7379 9009.
Animal-loving kids are encouraged to capture photos of their favourite pets this summer, as vet charity PDSA launches its annual photo competition for young people.
Running with a ‘super pets’ theme, youngsters are asked to submit their photos to one of three age categories: under 10s, 10-13 or 14-16-year-olds.
From captivating cats to beautiful bunnies, PDSA wants to see the best snaps of pets showing off what makes them awesome!
The competition is free to enter – each child’s best photo should be emailed to email@example.com with ‘Pet Photo Competition 2016’ in the subject, along with their full name and date of birth in the email. The closing date is 9 September 2016. Kids who are already members of PDSA’s kids’ club – Pet Protectors – should also include their membership number to receive their points.
The winner of each age category will receive a print of their picture and a selfie stick. The overall winner across all categories will also receive a professional photoshoot with their pet, courtesy of Venture Studios, and a special VIP tour of one of PDSA’s Pet Hospitals.
Last year’s competition was won by thirteen-year-old Aiden van Rensburg, who said: “I was so excited to win PDSA’s photo competition! I loved all my prizes, especially my behind-the-scenes tour where I met the vets, nurses and pet patients. I’ll never forget the experience!”
Aiden has shared her top tips for snapping the best photos:
- Always have your camera nearby so you can catch your pet being funny or cute
- Practise taking shots from different angles
- Make sure the light is good
- Play with your pet in lots of different places
- Take loads of pictures so you can choose the best one
Vet and TV presenter Steve Leonard, who will be helping to judge the competition, said: “Just about everyone I meet who knows I’m a vet shows me photos of their pet! I also have lots of snaps of my own cat, Bruce, getting up to all sorts of mischief. I can’t wait to see what PDSA’s young supporters send into the competition and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of laughs, smiles and ‘Ahhhhhs’ when we see their entries!”PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity, treating 470,000 pets annually across its 51 Pet Hospitals. The charity strives to improve all pets’ lives through education, preventive care and emergency treatment. For more information visit www.pdsa.org.uk.
PDSA Vet Rebecca Ashman added: “We’re looking forward to seeing lots of amazing pets. But remember not to dress your pets up, it may look funny to us but it can make them nervous and uncomfortable. Why not capture them showing off a skill or playing with their best friend instead?”
For more information, plus terms and conditions, visit www.pdsa.org.uk/photocomp.
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Three fire crews were called to the Nestle Purina factory in Sudbury in the early hours of yesterday morning (Wednesday).
On arrival at the factory on the Chilton industrial estate, firefighters found that the fire in the internal light fitting was already out.
They made sure the building was safe and the fire had not spread.
The incident was under control by 2.50am.
The Pet Industry Federation has given pet businesses another reason to join in membership by adding another feature to its growing portfolio of business benefits.
PIF has teamed up with energy broker, Business Juice, to bring PIF member businesses the best prices for their gas and electricity rates.
PIF members who sign up with Business Juice will also receive a £35 Amazon voucher, on top of an excellent energy deal.
Business Juice has access to the majority of companies in the energy market and will actively promote the top five supplier prices, which means that businesses get access to the best prices.
The company works actively on PIF members’ behalf to manage the switchover and use their expertise to deal with issues as they arise, saving members both time and effort.
If you are interested in getting a quote and finding out how much your pet business can save, simply telephone PIF’s customer service team on 01234 273933 to get the members’ code. They can also tell you about the full range of business benefits available to PIF members, which include discounted telephone and broadband, legal helpline, pension auto-enrolment help, commercial finance and a range of insurance packages.
Find out more at www.petfederation.co.uk
Over 250 people and their dogs enjoyed the ‘Walk in the Park’ event at Walsall Arboretum and helped raise over £2,200 for Birmingham Dogs Home. Many families took part with dogs they had adopted from the Home.
Sponsored by Walsall-based pet accessories company Ancol Pet Products, the event invited families and their dogs to enjoy a leisurely walk around a 3km route of the Walsall Arboretum.
Following the walk, families received a goody bag and enjoyed a BBQ, refreshments and a range of stalls. Many also had their dog’s photo professionally taken by Ancol as a memento from the day.
Chief Executive of Birmingham Dogs Home, Simon Price commented: “Thank you to everyone who took part in our second Walk in the Park event. It was great to see so many of our rehomed dogs looking so happy and healthy with their new owners.
“I would also like to say a big thank to our many volunteers who helped out on the day, and to Ancol for sponsoring the event. All money raised will help the thousands of stray dogs we look after every year.”
Sarah Lane, Sales Director of Ancol added: “We were delighted to support the Walk in the Park, which was another great success. We look forward to working with Birmingham Dogs Home on lots more campaigns and events throughout the coming months.”
Look out for next year’s Walk in the Park event which will take place on Sunday 11 June 2017. You can find out the latest information at Facebook.com/Birminghamdogshome or Twitter @Birminghamdogshome
Pictured (l-r): Ancol Director Simon Lane; Birmingham Dog’s Home Commercial Manager, Alayna Warner; Ancol DirectorsSarah and Jonathan Lane.
Stones, babies’ dummies, socks and even kebab sticks were among hundreds of weird and wonderful items PDSA vets surgically removed from pet patients last year.
The vet charity treated nearly 400 pets for swallowing things they shouldn’t. And it appears that pets in Bradford are the most curious in the country, as the charity’s vets saw a whopping 33 cases in the city alone.
PDSA, which has 51 Pet Hospitals across the UK, has compiled a list of the ‘top ten’ items pets swallowed according to the number of cases:
- Bones – 59 cases
- Stones – 29 cases
- Corn on the cob – 28 cases
- Plastic e.g. parts of kids toys, food wrapping – 25 cases
- Rubber balls – 19 cases
- Rubber e.g. parts of dog toys – 19 cases
- Socks – 11 cases
- Thread – 9 cases
- Babies’ dummy teats – 9 cases
- (Joint) Kebab sticks/Peach stones – 7 cases of each
PDSA vet Rebecca Ashman said staff have also removed more bizarre objects in the past, from tent pegs and knives to radio aerials.
Rebecca said: “You’d be amazed at some of the crazy things pets eat. Our top ten list highlights the objects we saw most frequently last year, but every now and again we see even more unusual cases.”
Thanks to funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, PDSA is educating pet owners about the phenomenon of pets eating strange objects – known as ‘pica’ - and how to keep their animals’ safe.
Rebecca added: “Pets, especially puppies and younger dogs, like to use their mouth to investigate objects as well as to eat. Sometimes a pet will swallow an item by mistake, even though they had only meant to investigate it.
“We might think it’s comical but in some cases it is incredibly dangerous and can even prove fatal. If an object moves along the digestive system, it can cause a tear or life-threatening blockage.
“If you have pets at home, try to keep anything dangerous or easy to swallow out of paws’ reach. Only let them play with suitable pet toys and try to supervise them to avoid any accidents. If you do suspect your pet has swallowed something you should contact your vet for advice immediately.”
PDSA vets say training pets from a young age can help to curb their temptation to chew objects, and they can learn basic commands like ‘drop’ and ‘leave’.
For more free pet health information and advice visit www.pdsa.org.uk
Greedy American Bulldog Hooch needed emergency surgery after wolfing down a corn-on-the-cob husk from his owner’s bin.
Sarah Baldwin, from Elland, West Yorkshire, had placed the husk in the bin after having a quick bite to eat before work. But no sooner had she left the house when Hooch (11) stuck his head in the trash and got his paws on the tasty treat.
“The next day he wasn’t himself at all,” said mother-of-three Sarah (40).
“He was sick, he wasn’t eating and didn’t want to walk. One of my sons had seen him finishing off the corn-on-the-cob so we did a quick Google search and were horrified at how dangerous they can be for dogs.”
Hooch was rushed straight to PDSA’s Bradford Pet Hospital where vets performed X-rays which revealed something lurking in his intestines.
The family were warned that their beloved pet would need an emergency operation to remove the cob as it could cause a fatal blockage.
PDSA Head Nurse Miriam Wilson, said: “We could feel an obstruction in Hooch’s intestines and the X-ray was consistent with a foreign body.
“As Hooch was getting increasingly unwell we knew we had to perform emergency surgery to remove the corn-on-the-cob husk. We had to open up Hooch’s intestine to remove a large piece of corn husk and some smaller pieces that had broken off”.
“Unfortunately Bradford seems to be a bit of a hotspot for pets swallowing strange items and corn-on-the-cob cases are ones we see quite a lot. It’s important pet owners recognise how dangerous they can be, especially at this time of year as it’s barbecue season. In most case it is fatal if it’s not treated, as the husk can completely block the digestive system.”
Hooch was kept at the hospital for two days before being discharged on pain relief and antibiotics. He has since gone on to make a full recovery.
Sarah said: “I was so worried when Hooch was in hospital but I can’t thank PDSA enough for saving him.
“The whole thing has really scared me, so much so that it’s put me off corn-on-the cob for life!”
Don’t buy fish on a whim after watching the new Finding Dory film, warns the UK trade body that represents the ornamental aquatic industry.
The Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA) is worried that the increasing nature of online sales could encourage impulse purchases of the fish made popular in the new Disney film without people doing the proper research and preparation they need before buying any new pet.
OATA is also advising first time fishkeepers to avoid marine fish like regal tangs (Dory) and clownfish (Nemo) which need an experienced hand to keep successfully.
“Since Finding Nemo was released more than 10 years ago the internet has changed the way people shop,” said OATA Chief Executive Keith Davenport.
“We hope people enjoy the new Finding Dory film and if it inspires people to think about what’s involved in keeping fish then that’s great. But please act responsibly by going to a shop and talking to a good retailer before buying your first fish.
“Ornamental fish are beautiful, delightful, breath-taking animals. And like any pet they deserve respect and a lot of research before you take the plunge into ownership. Do it right and we’re sure people will be hooked by this hobby for life! But don’t just buy a regal tang like Dory or clownfish like Nemo from an online site on a whim and hope it will all work out. It won’t.”
A responsible retailer – like an OATA member – will be able to explain everything people need to know about particular fish species, whether they’re right for them and what they need to keep them successfully. Marine fish like regal tangs and clownfish are not the fish to start with for beginner aquarists but there are fantastic tropical freshwater fish that make a great introduction to keeping fish. Find out more on our Finding your first favourite fish flyer.
OATA's advice to anyone inspired by Finding Dory to set up their first tank is:
If the film inspires more experienced aquarists to think about keeping regal tangs then again OATA's advice is to do lots of research and visit a good marine retailer who can help because these are specialist fish that require the right investment to keep successfully.
- Do plenty of research – keeping marine fish needs a lot of experience so try tropical freshwater fish first
- Talk to a specialist retailer - about the kit you’ll need, the best fish to keep in your first tank and how to introduce them into their new home
- Be prepared to wait – setting up any tank takes time before you can add your fish
- Go big – bigger tanks help with better water quality
“We would expect any responsible retailer to be able to help with information on the care and welfare involved in keeping any kind of fish and to help customers to make the right decisions.
“Regal tangs are caught in the wild so we would encourage retailers to talk to their suppliers about where and how the fish are sourced. Fish caught sustainably from the wild can be an important source of income to vulnerable coastal and riverine communities across the world, encouraging them to conserve their environment because they get a long-term income from it.”
Find out more in about the issues in Wild caught ornamental fish – the trade, the benefits, the facts report at http://wcof.ornamentalfish.org/
Finding Dory opens in the US on Friday June 17 and is due on UK cinema screens on Friday July 29.
ITV newscaster Alastair Stewart is to return to BETA International, where he will host the 2017 trade fair’s Talking Business feature – an exciting industry debate where the very latest hot topics take centre stage.
“I am delighted to be taking part once again in this premier event for our industry,” he said. “Intelligent conversation is guaranteed from a top-class panel on all that matters to our sport and the brilliant industries that support it.”
Alastair, an equestrian enthusiast who first took the helm when Talking Business put in its inaugural appearance in January 2016, proved a big hit with visitors and exhibitors who gathered to see him oversee industry movers and shakers as they went head-to-head in a meaty discussion that put the latest industry issues in the spotlight.
“We are extremely pleased that Alastair has accepted our invitation to continue in his role as Talking Business host,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “
We definitely have the right man for the job. He is polished, professional, entertaining and fantastic at ensuring that all members of the panel have the opportunity to express their views. We were incredibly impressed with his performance in January and so was the audience – you could certainly say that Alastair is back by popular demand!”
The Talking Business panel of representatives from the international equestrian business community will be confirmed nearer the time of the show.
BETA International is the world’s leading equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet product trade exhibition. The 2017 show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 22 to 24 January.
For information about exhibiting, contact James Palmer, telephone +44 (0)1937 582111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.