In Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, one dog owner switched to fresh, home-delivered dog food for his family’s three dogs after a dramatic health event. One of his dogs had developed cancer. His veterinarian warned him that his dog had only four months to live. The dog’s owner decided to at least try the new fresh, frozen option a friend suggested. The sick dog began eating meals from a local pet food company, PetFoodie. This pet food delivery service provides a range of recipes delivered frozen to dog owners in Mexico. After switching to PetFoodie, the sick dog lived out those four months, and two years later he is still getting around at 15. His owner couldn’t explain it, but he was convinced and decided to switch to dog food subscriptions for his other two dogs too.
Other pet owners haven’t needed as much persuasion to try fresh, frozen pet food delivery services. Refrigerated or frozen pet foods have grown faster than other formats in many markets worldwide. The fresh pet food trend manifested in Brazil with producer Mascote Fit in the natural dog food segment. Macote Fit offers a subscription-based dog food delivery service. The company cooks their products with steam. After the cooking process, the food is vacuum-sealed and deep-frozen. Delivery is as often as the consumer requests: weekly, every other week or monthly.
Pet food delivery service growth
In Packaged Facts’ report “U.S. Pet Market Focus: Pet Food Update, 2021,” research director and publisher David Sprinkle noted that fresh pet food remained a niche, but accounted for 4% of overall U.S. pet food retail sales. Fresh dog food fuels much of this growth, with FreshPet continuing to show strength in the segment. Fresh, frozen and refrigerated dog food remained more prevalent than cat food, but he believes the success in dog food markets will encourage product development for cats.
COVID-19 may have spurred some of this growth in fresh and raw pet foods, according to Sprinkle. Movement restrictions and other aspects of the pandemic encouraged people to spend more time bonding with pets, while fueling pet adoptions. That increase in pet ownership and affection led to increased spending on pets. Fresh pet food may now be the pinnacle of superpremium products, he wrote.