Pet food products that claim to be “natural” and “grain-free” are growing faster than legacy household brand names, making clear that pets are no exception to the health and wellness craze that’s reshaping the CPG industry. Google search data also reveals that consumers are increasingly searching for terms related to raw pet food, breed-specific food, and dietary restrictions.
Retailers are listening. Platforms like PetSmart have matched consumer demand for high-quality pet food products with expanded premium assortments. Halo and Nutrish recently introduced their products to PetSmart, creating additional competition for legacy brands across the digital shelf where newer premium pet food brands already maintain a lead. On Amazon, premium brands such as Wellness, Blue Buffalo, and Nutrish drive the majority of first-page search results in the dog food category, according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Pet Care.
While newer premium pet care brands have the upper hand in capturing this growth, legacy brands have responded to health and wellness trends by providing robust ingredient content on desktop and mobile sites. Some of these brands, however, fail to maximize the return on these content investments. Despite revamping its on-site product ingredient information, Nestlé Purina PetCare’s Dog Chow fails to syndicate this content to Amazon, limiting its search visibility for health and all-natural dog food terms.
As consumer preferences shift, brands must develop and scale detailed ingredient content across digital channels, including the brand site and e-commerce platforms. They must also look toward search trends to inform forward-looking product innovation.