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PET OWNERS EMBRACE HUMANIZATION OF ANIMAL COMPANIONS
Source: Marketing Daily article by Tanya Gazdik

One of the most important driving forces in the pet industry is the humanization of animal companions, according to a recent study by Packaged Facts.

The trend began with products for dogs and cats, but now is expanding to products for other pets, according to research featured in U.S. Pet Market Outlook, 2016-2017.

What happens in the dog and cat food markets tends to spread to non-dog/cat pet food categories, says David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts.

"Consumers generally want to treat all types of pets responsibly and as well as possible, and that is often expressed by seeking to provide pets with a healthier diet with high-quality ingredients," Sprinkle says in a release.

Marketers of foods for other pets continue to upgrade product selection with better-quality premium offerings. The chief new product trends include pure and natural products, fortified/functional products, gourmet lines, products offering convenience and ease of use, and "green" features, according to the report. Marketers also continue to segment the market with products targeted to specific pet species, lifestyles, and health conditions.

The humanization trend is apparent in the treat segment, with marketers in bird and small mammals segments introducing products not just similar to human food products, such as "muffins" or "yogurt drops," but also made with human-grade ingredients. Limited ingredients and natural diets are trends in the dog and cat world that have also made their way to other pet food as well, in addition to "Made in the USA" claims.