Since the beginning of the COVID-19 health crisis, industries have worked hard to shift their processes to maintain safety for staff and customers. The pet food industry is no exception, with e-commerce standing out as a successful tool to create growth in the space despite the virus. Freshpet acknowledges that some people are unsure of the reasoning behind the increased popularity of online pet food delivery and, here, Freshpet reviews information to clarify recent changes in the space.
Why Has Pet Food Delivery Grown in Popularity in 2020?
The pandemic had a large impact on many of our schedules, with many of us staying home more often to avoid transmitting the virus. This behavior created the perfect environment for pet food ecommerce to grow as people moved towards online platforms to get a hold of essential items. Freshpet and other experts in the pet food space recognize that several factors have continued to play a role in pet food delivery’s popularity.
Pet Food Delivery Keeps Customers Safe
One of the largest reasons for the ongoing success of online pet food delivery services is the safety it allows customers. As cases surge once more in areas across the country, customers have picked up online shopping to avoid crowds and reduce the risk of spreading the virus. It may not be possible to always avoid stopping at a store in-person, but shoppers are realizing that limiting or consolidating our trips out has a positive impact on the safety of ourselves and others.
Creates a Convenient Way to Purchase Products
Since the onset of COVID-19 in 2020, customers have valued convenient ways to get their essentials. Ordering pet food online is convenient for consumers because it can easily be done from our phones and computers. For those of us that are accustomed to visiting stores in-person, online shopping can free up time as there are less distractions.
Provides Space to Research
Pet parents always want to ensure that they are giving their pets the best food possible. Shopping for pet food online provides the opportunity to make a more informed decision on our purchases. With access to the feedback and reviews of other customers, we can evaluate old favorites or new products and compare them to others. This is a contrast to purchasing pet food in stores, where we may need to make a spur of the moment decision on what to buy if our preferred brand is sold out.
Pet Food Trends Expected to Continue in 2021
Naturally, consumer behavior has seen shifts as a result of the pandemic, making way for several trends that will continue into 2021. While there are bound to be many changes in the space this year, when Freshpet reviews a number of these trends, there are a few that stand out for the impact they will have on companies moving forward.
Popularity of Pet Food Ecommerce Will Rise
One of the most notable changes has been the recent boom in pet food ecommerce as customers looked for ways to fulfill their needs as pet owners without the need for visiting brick-and-mortar stores. E-commerce growth in the pet space is not new, however, the recent growth in online shopping has pushed e-commerce in the pet food category up from 16% of sales to about 23%. According to research from Packaged Facts, e-commerce is expected to continue to grow to cover 34% of the pet food market by 2024. This growth has led to an increase in sales for Freshpet and other pet food companies on the market.
Renewed Focus on Healthy Options
While pet owners could easily have used the financial hardships that many families are experiencing as a reason to flock to lower cost brands, experts have found that the pandemic has accelerated interest in premium pet products. Freshpet reviews several potential reasons for this trend. For example, COVID-19 has inspired many pet parents to focus on immune system and general health for both themselves and their furry friends. Specialized diets that address specific health concerns and needs linked to dogs and cats’ needs based on size, age, and breed are also expected to see growth.
Growing Interest in Sustainability
As consumers express more of an interest in the environment, the expectation that pet food companies will choose sustainable practices has continued to grow as well. There are many ways that companies are urged to be more sustainable in their practices. For example, there has been a push for businesses to utilize more sustainable ingredients and to manufacture their product in ways that minimally impact the environment. The emphasis that 2020 placed on social issues and the importance of brands protecting the rights of their employees has led costumers to look into which brands have invested into sustainable practices for their workforce as well.