More pets means more demand for pet food, and right now, that may mean

home delivered dog and cat food, boosting the already growing pet foode-commerce channel.

Dog, cat and even hen adoptions soared in the early stages of the COVID-19pandemic as people prepared to shelter in place. This boost in pet populationsmay influence the fortunes of the pet food industry in the economic upheavalcreated by the disease.

While millions adapt to working from home, social distancing and self-isolation, they seek out new pets to keep themselves or their kids company. InMinnesota, animal shelters promoted adoptions in anticipation of temporaryclosure, reported Minnesota Public Radio. By the time the shelters closed,people adopted more than 300 animals, leaving only a few. Similar pet adoptionbooms occurred when animal shelters in New York, Arizona and California madeadoption appeals, reported the Washington Post. Even hens have found homesrecently, as people look for backyard pets that will also provide eggs inuncertain times, reported the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. More petsmeans more demand for pet food, and right now, that may mean home delivereddog and cat food, boosting the already growing pet food e-commerce channel.

Pet food industry may be resilient during pandemic market crash

Meanwhile, the global economy faltered as numerous nations froze travel,millions stayed home, hospitals overflowed and thousands died. However, thepet food industry may prove resilient to this turmoil and tragedy. Pet ownerspurchased large quantities of dog, cat and other pet food as they prepared forthe pandemic, as a General Mills’ executive noted about Blue Buffalo sales inMarch. He believes pet food sales will remain strong despite the effects ofthe pandemic and its economic aftermath, citing the inelasticity of demand forpet food during the Great Recession.

Similarly, Packaged Facts publisher David Sprinkle believes that pet food’sperformance during the Great Recession may give hope during the current marketcrash and volatility. Pet foods and treats even may have gotten a short-termbump the first quarter of the year, as pet owners stocked up, Sprinkle wrotein “Pet market bulletin: Assessing coronavirus impacts on the pet industry.”Supply chains may be disrupted though.

In contrast to the Great Recession, the current crisis involves factors thatmay benefit the pet food industry, beyond the bump in pet numbers. Due to thepandemic, many people now work from home, at least temporarily. Plus, theylive in areas with legal or suggested restrictions of movement. These publichealth measures have shuttered stores, restaurants, bars, gyms, museums,libraries and other opportunities to socialize with Homo sapiens , but youcan still take the dog for a walk or tease the cat with a laser pointer, thengive them a treat afterwards. Building that bond with their pets may encouragepeople to humanize their pets a bit more and subsequently buy premium orsuperpremium pet foods and treats.

Source: Tim Wall – Petfood Industry

Image: Bigstock

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