Winning Pet Owners Over Through Colour

According to the European Pet Food Industry Federation (FEDIAF) 80 million households in Europe own a minimum of one pet animal today. FEDIAF counts this to result in 74 million cats and 68 million dogs next to many other small mammals, birds and fish that are present in today’s society. The role of pets in peoples’ lives is an important one, and owners are taking great care of their pet’s wellbeing. They are reflecting some of their own eating habits, wellness decisions, and overall lifestyle in their buying behavior in petfood. Consequently, there is a notable dynamic in the pet food industry. It comes as no surprise that the array of petfood in the supermarket isles is abundant and ranges from wet to dry food, from functional snacks to more indulgent treats and consistently innovates and stretches into new areas and offerings. Whilst in dog dry food the functional claims rank highest in new product launches, the absence of additives or preservatives prevails in wet dog food and snacks, so Mintel GNPD stated amongst global new product launches between April ’16 and March ‘17. The naturalness trend does not stop at the petfood isle, and consumers are taking time to scan ingredient lists on products for their four-legged family members. While an ingredients list that is easy to read wins pet owners over, pet food developers should find it compelling to see the results of Sensient’s recent consumer research concluding the correlation of colour to quality, taste and product appeal:


1. The colour of petfood is an important driver of product appeal and product associations

Three Colour Insights 1

2. Colour intensity raised consumers’ impression of a more appetizing and higher quality product

Three Colour Insights 2

3. Colour intensity raised consumers’ impression of a more of tasty and flavourful product – ‘right’ level of taste

Three Colour Insights 3
For 2016, FEDIAF estimated € 19.5 billion turnover was spent on pet food in Europe, and due to the popularity of pets, the outlook seems equally positive. Based on our research, the role of colour in pet food is very distinct and strongly influences positive consumer choice due to a high quality product perception. For pet owners, nutrition is of course the most important aspect to their’ pets well-being. Yet observing the enjoyment when a cat or dog is having its favorite meal and being able to excite the furry family members with variety in their diet remains highly important to them as well. We have an extensive portfolio of heat-stable colours perfect for extrusion processing. Due to many shades of brown, red, yellow, or green the possibilities to re-imagine kibbles and snacks or treats in a new way is manifold. If interested, you can always let us know here, and our colour experts are happy to get in touch.
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