Animals are domesticated for various reasons, including food, protection, safety, and companionship. In the modern age, several animals are adopted and domesticated solely for companionship. Animals such as cats, dogs, and birds, are widely adopted. The number of pets in Europe has increased during the last century. According to the European Pet Food Industry, there were around 110.1 million cats In Europe in 2020, an increase of 3.8% over 2019. The European pet food industry has also been expanding simultaneously with the rise in the region's pet population. As the number of pets in Europe has increased, the demand for the products and services for pets has also increased. For instance, according to the European Pet Food Industry Federation, the total value of pet-related products and services in Europe increased from €19.7 billion in 2019 to €21.2 billion in 2020. In 2020, consumer spending on pets and pet products in the U.K. stood at £7.88 million, an increase of 9.1% over 2019. Thus, the rising pet population and growing pet expenditures are projected to drive the demand for pet food in Europe.
Further, the premiumization trend has been driving the pet food market in Europe for several years. The pet owners' concerns about their pets' health are boosting the demand for tailor-made offerings that target specific ages, sizes, lifestyles, and breeds. Pet owners increasingly demand greater control over what their pets eat (the quality and quantity of pet food consumed). Premium pet food products are usually more expensive as they contain exotic ingredients that are biologically more available and digestible than those found in mainstream diets. These products usually do not contain animal byproducts, artificial colors, preservatives, or meat and bone meal.
Premium pet food products are segmented into the gourmet, artisanal, and healthy categories. The 'high-protein' trend is also gaining traction in Europe's pet food market, as pet owners increasingly seek high-protein (and grain-free) food products for their pets. New protein types such as plant-based proteins (sweet potatoes, lentils, tapioca, peas, etc.), insect-based proteins, and microbial proteins, which offer higher nutrition levels and are also more environmentally friendly, are gaining popularity. For instance, the high feed conversion efficiency of insects make insect rearing a viable and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional livestock agriculture (on average, insects can convert 2 kg of feed into 1 kg of insect mass, whereas cattle require 8–10 kg of feed to produce 1 kg of body weight gain). The low environmental impact of using these alternative proteins is expected to drive the growth of the global alternative proteins market. Moreover, protein-rich diets can also alleviate several health concerns. Pet owners nowadays are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of incorporating protein into their pets' daily diets, driven by increasing health consciousness. These benefits of premium products with high protein content pave the way for even more pet food products to be launched in the market. Thus, the growing pet food market and increasing demand for premium pet food products are expected to boost the growth of the pet food protein ingredients market in Europe.
Meticulous Research®, in its latest publication, 'Europe Pet Food Protein Ingredients Market,' states that the pet food protein ingredients market in Europe is expected to reach $2.85 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 14.7% during the forecast period 2021–2028.
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