Andrew Rice (Andy for most of us) is our Head of Sales in Europe and one of the most experienced members of the QRILL Pet team.
By his side, in the picture below, you can see a beautiful lady by the name of Bella, his Irish setter. Andy loves to have dogs, which is why now he has not one but two Irish setters. As he's been owning dogs since 1994, we can call him an experienced dog owner.
That's why we asked him to look at the pet food industry as would any consumer and tell us a bit about the trends in Europe at the moment. Here’s what he answered.
What do you think will change in the market in the nearest future? What are the trends in your opinion?
I believe inflation and the current financial situation will probably slow the growth of the pet food market. But this is to be expected, considering what’s been happening in Europe and on a worldwide level this year.
Also, I think pet owners are focused on sustainability and healthy products much more than before the pandemic, which is absolutely amazing. As a proud pet owner and a father, I am much more committed now than ever before to doing my part and helping this planet in any way I can.
I highly recommend this article to all pet owners that want to know the type of pet food to purchase if they wish to lower their environmental impact.
We know that COVID times boosted sales in the pet market. How do you think COVID-19 changed consumers' preferences?
In the last couple of years, and even more after COVID, more and more people started to treat their pets as family members. We love our pets just as much as we love our family. For many people, pets are the kids they never had.
In our industry, this is called humanization and has also led to the appearance of a few pet food products made for cats and dogs with special needs or conditions. And all these great, nutritional, products become popular quite fast among pet owners, myself included, mostly because they make our pets' life better, in so many ways.
Just to give you an example, my dog Bella is extremely active, she is in fact a hunting dog, and so she needs a specific diet based on pet food and supplements specially made for dogs like her. If in the past there weren’t so many choices for active dogs, these days I can find many premium, healthy pet food products for her.
Are there any new great findings you can recommend as a dog owner?
I strongly advocate adding supplements and treats with health benefits to your cat and dog's diet. I think the appearance of these healthy products both for pets and humans is one of the greatest achievements of our times.
What is the best advice you can give to a dog owner?
Nutrition is a key factor to keep your dog healthy and high-quality pet food can make that happen. For me, with my active hunting dogs, nutrition has always been a top priority, so that they can perform at their best.
I think all pet owners out there should read the Basic nutrition series so they can understand better what their dog needs to have a healthy and full-of-energy life.