2021 Trends in Pet Snacks and Treats
The rise in single-person and childless households, especially among Millennials, has been an important factor in the shift in perception from pet owner to pet parent. The movement toward pet humanization is manifested in the pet food and products industry as increased spending on pets and a growing interest in premium ingredients and ingredients with wellness benefits.
In the U.S., 88% of pet owners agree it’s important to take preventive measures to protect a pet’s health,1 and the COVID pandemic has further highlighted the importance of prevention. This is creating a big opportunity in pet snacks and treats that can offer added benefits, satisfying both pet and pet parents.
Here we explore the top four trends in pet snacks and treats for 2021:
1. Sustainable Proteins
The demand for sustainable proteins is expanding beyond the food industry into the pet food industry. Pet snacks and treats made with sustainable proteins offer pet owners a way to act on their values and support environmentally aware brands, even if they rely on more traditional and widely available proteins for their pet's regular food.
Plant proteins such as peas and chickpeas are on the rise in pet snacks and treats as a plant-forward, sustainable option. Insect protein is also emerging in the category with Scout & Zoe’s recent launch of Super Fly for dogs—a line of treats and meal toppers made from black soldier fly larvae.
2. Immunity, Digestion, and Healthy Skin Support
Pet supplements in the form of a snack or treat are also on-trend. These products can target many different areas of health in which pet owners are interested. Among U.S. pet owners, 55% would like to see healthy digestion benefits in pet food and treats, while 46% are interested in skin/coat health benefits and 45% in immune system support.2
Pet treats and snacks for healthy digestion may include enzymes, prebiotics such as inulin, and probiotics, while products for skin and coat contain ingredients such as collagen, flaxseed, and omega-3s. With immunity in the spotlight due to COVID, many pet owners are also looking for pet products with antioxidants, vitamin C, zinc, and superfoods or botanicals for immune system support.