The trend towards organic, raw and gluten-free diets has crossed over to pet food. L2’s Insight Report on Pet Care search finds that savvy Pet Care brands can capitalize on food trends to predict the next trends that will become popular in their category and invest in those search terms. For example, an analysis of Google search data reveals that interest in terms like “grain free” and “raw” dog food increased. Similarly, consumers are becoming less concerned about prices and searches for coupons in the category is declining.
Specialty Pet Care brand Blue Buffalo, which has been at the forefront of humanization of pet food, is know for making dog food with natural ingredients. Its products are in line with current trends, making it appear more frequently in top search results. For example, the brand appears in the first page of Google search results (in either paid or organic listings) of all the following six terms: grain free, healthy, holistic, natural, organic and raw). Compared to the entire Home Care Index, it leads in the number of Google PLAs returned.
This visibility translates to sales as well. Blue Buffalo has seen tremendous growth since its launch in 2002, and sales of tripled from 2011 to 2015. In 2015, its share of dog and cat food sales climbed to 6%, further proving that category brands should informed of upcoming consumers trends and concerns to compete.