Pet owners worldwide feel pain of pet food inflation

8

Inflation, including in pet food, is an issue across the globe, even when those of us within the U.S. are inclined to myopically deal with the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) and pet food inflation here. (Mea culpa.)

For instance, the European Union (EU), which is bearing the worst of the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, recorded even higher inflation overall in June 2022, 9.6% in comparison with June 2021, than the U.S. CPI at 9.1%. That’s based on the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), as reported by the Recent York Times.

Many countries inside the EU are also strong, developed pet food markets, just like the U.S. and other countries. How does pet food inflation compare in such markets to overall inflation there, in addition to to the U.S., where pet food inflation is now outpacing the CPI?

Pet food, product inflation exceeding 8% in multiple markets

In June 2022, pet food inflation within the U.S. reached 10.3% 12 months over 12 months (YOY), in comparison with that 9.1% for the CPI. For an additional North American example, the Canadian economy recorded an inflation rate of 8.1% in June—and inflation for pet food and supplies was at the exact same rate. Thus, while Canadian pet owners are little question feeling the consequences of upper pet food prices, at the very least those price increases are consistent with others.

Within the EU, the European Central Bank tracks and reports inflation data; and within the case of pet food, it’s included in the identical category as other pet supplies (as in Canada). For June 2022, the inflation rate for that category was 8.8%.

It’s value noting that the Central Bank reports an inflation rate of 8.6% for the general HICP, or “harmonised index of consumer prices,” defined because the CPI because it is calculated within the EU based on a harmonized approach and a single set of definitions. I’m unsure why the general HICP for June 2022 was a full point lower than the OECD rate (8.6% versus 9.6%), but it surely’s interesting that the pet food and supplies HICP in June, at 8.8%, was barely higher than the general index—a situation much like that within the U.S.

The UK economy also recorded a high inflation rate in June, 9.4%. In comparison with that, pet services and products (a category encompassing pet food) fared a bit of higher, at 8.4%, based on the country’s Office for National Statistics and reported by GlobalPets.com.

Pain for some pet owners deeper than simply higher prices

In all these regions and markets, including the EU and U.S., pet food corporations and associations are working to ameliorate the consequences of inflation on pets and their owners, in addition to ensuring availability of products.

FEDIAF (an umbrella organization representing the European pet food industry) gave a press release to All Pet Food on supply shortages and inflation, attributing them to the war in Ukraine in addition to ongoing disruptions that began with the pandemic. “Russia and Ukraine are key global suppliers for several raw materials crucial for pet food formulations and production,” the statement reads partially.

“One particular challenge pertains to the incontrovertible fact that the category of complete feeds, which make up nearly all of the animal feeds produced, must be formulated based on legal requirements in such a option to ensure all the necessities for a healthy and balanced weight loss program for the pets,” it continues. “Ingredients often cannot get replaced within the formulations depending on their availability. Thus, to make sure continued food supply, pet food manufacturers have been taking appropriate measures to regulate their sourcing practices, occasionally embracing increased prices of raw materials in a low supply environment.”

FEDIAF ends its statement with the reassurance that it and its members are “working hard to make sure the continuity of supply for pet owners and their pets.” Sadly, for some pet owners, that is probably not enough. Increasingly reports are appearing throughout Europe, the U.S. and other markets of animal shelters and humane organizations taking in additional pets surrendered by owners who can not afford to maintain them resulting from rising costs—including for housing. Some owners are being forced to maneuver to latest places (including with relatives) that don’t accommodate pets.

So, high inflation could also be beginning to hurt pet owners not only by way of the style of pet foods they’ll afford to purchase, but additionally by way of their ownership status. It’s a really painful situation indeed.

LinkedIn

Twitter