Customized pet food is a specifically made food for a particular pet catering to its individual needs, such as sex, age, breed, weight, activity level, health condition, and appetite to meet the overall health condition of the pet and for its better nourishment. This type of food avoids allergens, helps to monitor pet eating patterns, and easily addresses health conditions, such as dry skin, obesity, and loose stools. It also reduces the need for switching brands to check suitability. Most importantly, the food comprises fresh ingredients that avoid excessive processing and maintain the final product's nutritional composition. Further, custom food gets delivered to the doorstep. Therefore, customized food is becoming a great choice for pet owners who seek convenience and are concerned about the health of their pets.
For instance, according to Diana Pet Food, in 2018, 52% of pet owners in France were interested in buying customized pet food. According to a survey by 'Nutritional Knowledge for Dogs,' the younger generation tends to purchase personalized dog nutrition products. Most Gen Z pet owners (54%) interpret personalized dog food as meaning the diet has quality ingredients, while Millennial pet owners (ages 25 to 34) interpret this category to mean "better for my dog." Millennial pet owners usually prefer buying pet food online, compared to other age groups.
Pet owners being more concerned about their pet's health and the food they eat, tend to choose ingredients on their own. Hence, through customized pet food, pet owners not only get to choose the ingredients but also get to see them getting mixed.
Considering the convenience and the growing trend towards customized pet food, online direct-to-consumer pet food brands have started focusing on subscription-based products. For instance, Just Right (subsidiary brand of Nestle S.A.) is a subscription-based brand that provides customized dog food based on the online quiz taken by pet owners. The quiz consists of questions about the pet's sex, age, breed, weight, activity, mobility, skin and coat condition, and even the pet's speed of food intake. This approach assures the pet owners that they are giving a balanced diet to their pets and feel confident about the brand.
The rising trend of customized food has also caught the attention of numerous start-ups in developed regions. For instance, Farmer's Dog Food is one of the leading start-ups in custom food. It provides fresh, ready-to-serve meals for dogs and delivers them at home. Start-ups are focusing on using human-grade ingredients in their recipes, sourcing them from providers that meet USDA standards. Further, the formulation is designed by board-certified veterinary nutritionists to ensure completeness, meet AAFCO standards, and contain no additives and preservatives.
Moreover, pet food manufacturers have started providing customized pet treats according to the pet's liking, which can also be used during training.
Thus, the present market trend of custom pet food is expected to increase in the near future due to the rising number of millennial pet owners and the willingness of consumers to spend a considerable sum of money on quality products.