Adverts: 0161 709 4576 - Editorial: 0161 709 4571
Mail Order: 0161 709 4578 - Subs: 0161 709 4575 - Webteam: 0161 709 4567
Pet food sales higher than ever

PET FOOD sales have continued to grow over the past year and are now worth more than £1.9bn, according to latest analysis and figures published recently by the Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association.

Key growth areas are dry cat food (up 13 per cent), single-serve wet cat food (up 19.7 per cent), dry dog food (up 6.7 per cent) and dog snacks and treats (up 7.3 per cent).

Whiskas and Pedigree are the number one brands by value in the cat and dog food sector, according to Masterfoods’ annual Petcare Market Review, published this week. Number two spot in the total cat food market is taken by Felix, with Winalot in second place for dogs.

Petfood market

Breakdown of the 2002 UK Market for Prepared Pet Food by Type

Volume Value
'000 tonnes £million

Moist 350 311
Complete Dry 307 317
Mixers 63 37
Treats 48 131

Moist 399 527
Dry 78 157

Total 1273.6 1460


Pet keeping trends remain a point of interest and are also covered by the PFMA’s report.

Latest figures on the pet population show cats at 7.5 million, ahead of dogs at just over six million and rabbits at 1.1 million. Top pet is still the goldfish, however, at 14.7 million, with tropical fish at 9.3 million.

Pet Ownership in 2002

• Of the 24.6 million UK households, just under around 50% own a pet. In 2002 the number of households owning pets was: Dogs: 4.8million. Cats: 4.5million.

• The 2002 dog population is broken down into: Toy 6.5%, Small 22.9%, Medium 26%, Large 40%, Giant 2.9%

It has been estimated that approximately 59% of dogs are Pedigree.
The most popular breeds are

1. Labrador Retriever
2. Yorkshire Terrier
3. Border Collie
5. (joint) Jack Russell and German Shepherd

The number of actual pets in 2002 still shows cats in pole position with 7.5 million well ahead of dogs, on 6.1 million. Accurate figures for other pets in 2002 are currently awaiting update by the PFMA from a new survey, but it is believed that figures will be much in line with the 2001 figures indicated in the chart below.

Pet (millions)

Dog 6.1
Cat 7.5
Budgerigar 0.75 (2001)
Rabbit 1.1 (2001)
Fish 24.7 (2001)
Gold 14.7 (2001)
Tropical 9.3 (2001)
Marine 0.7 (2001)
Guinea pig 0.73 (2001)
Hamster 0.86 (2001)
Canaries 0.26 (2001)
Other birds 1.06 (2001)

There is a growing trend among pet owners towards owning unusual or exotic animals.

Snakes, reptiles and tropical fish are all growing in popularity, however ownership of exotic pets demands time and commitment from the owner. Prospective owners should be aware that such animals often require specialist attention and should seek appropriate veterinary advice before acquiring them.

Just under half the households in the UK own a pet, ranging from dogs, cats and rabbits to the more exotic snakes and spiders. Dogs and cats have traditionally been the most popular British pets. Their population has remained fairly stable over the past six years and in 2002 amounted to13 million. However, over the past 10 years changes in lifestyle and how households are structured has affected the relative populations of dogs and cats with the cat population gradually increasing to out-number dogs.

Dog ownership has shown a gradual decrease over recent years, with more people living alone, and with more couples both going out to work. Urban living and modern working lifestyles favour the free living, independent cat over the more dependent dog. Cat ownership is greater in the more urban South of England in owner occupied dwellings.

*The results of the US Pet Food Institute survey released in February 2002, show that in 2002, the US pet cat and dog populations continued to grow. The number of pet cats is over 76 million, while the number of dogs grew from 59 million to 60.7 million.