The Rise of Vegan Pet Food

The number of vegan dog foods, cat foods and other plant based pet products is growing. It’s essential for new and existing brands to prick up their ears and take note of the vegan pet food rise. Here’s why. 


The pet food industry has changed dramatically in the last decade. New trends have been on the rise, and during lockdowns, there was an increase of 3.2 million pets in the UK alone. People are starting to think more about their furry friend’s health. Everyone wants to look after their companion animals, from playful puppies to old dogs, lively kittens, to regal cats. The next big way of doing that? Plant based pet food. Many have turned their green thumb to a vegan diet for their pooches and kitties, shaking up the industry for good. One thing’s for sure, vegan dog food and cat food is here to stay.

Vegan dog food bowl with vegetables

The plant based pet food industry is projected to reach just under $16 million by 2028 and will likely continue growing. It’s a ripe opportunity for pet brands to get on board with. So why is the prospect of vegan pet food so appealing, and what’s making it blow up?

Human diets have changed.

The humanisation of our pets digs deep. We love our animal companions, so much so we want their tastes to reflect ours. 

Your little sweetheart is more than just a friend. They are there for you 24 hours a day, love you unconditionally and work within your schedule and interests. When someone cuts out animal products, they’ll be looking to do that for their pet. 

Just as vegan food has risen among humans, it’s only natural for it to start gaining popularity in pets. With more and more people turning to a plant based lifestyle, the future of pet food products is changing. Vegetarians and vegans will make up a quarter of the population by 2025. Interest in veganism has skyrocketed, too, as Google searches for the term have increased seven-fold since 2014. It’s more than just a food choice. It’s a lifestyle. As that way of living adapts throughout the human world, so will it in our pet’s worlds. Animal protein is out; plant power is in. 

Vegan pet food speaks to the conscious consumer

Why is veganism on the rise? People are starting to think the grass really is greener when you go plant based. The top three reasons people transfer to vegan food lifestyles are potential health benefits, animal welfare and a desire to be more eco-conscious. 

vegan pet food for Conscious consumers. Sopping baskets on a green backgroundWith climate change in the spotlight, human consumption is a big topic, and individuals are looking at ways to change their lives to be more sustainable. The meat industry is notoriously bad for the environment. A new study has found cutting out animal products is “the single biggest way” to reduce our environmental impact. That goes for pets too. 

Sustainability is a hot topic, and with a 71% rise in online searches for sustainable goods over the past five years, people are educating themselves. Providing a greener diet for their pups and other companions means they can contribute to a better, environmentally friendly future. What does that equal? A reduced carbon pawprint. 

Quality is key

Whether your brand is looking to market dry kibble, fresh food or something else, a range of quality ingredients is critical. The premiumisation of dog food is booming, with owners caring more about what they feed their beloved friends. 

Over a quarter of pet owners admit they like to pamper their pets. We’re talking more treats and premium pet food. Many are jumping onto fresh, new trends to keep their companions happy. 

Dog eating high-quality vegan pet food on yellow tableThe raw food diet has gained momentum among dog owners due to its fresh ingredients and non-processed ideology. Over half of pet-owners said they fed their animals raw food in this survey. But why is it so popular? 

Historically, dog food brands and other types of pet food have made a bit of a dog’s dinner of their ingredients, with harmful preservatives, artificial colours and questionable meat content. Owners have turned to healthy nutritional meals and tasty treats from trusted organic brands. For the cats and dogs, it seems to be puppy love at first sight. 

The global organic and natural pet food market reached a value of US $22.8 Billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.6% during 2021-2026. In other words, health is here to stay. 

The plant based cancer rate in humans is the lowest than the rate of any other diet. But is a vegan diet healthy for pets? According to some professionals, research suggests that a plant based diet can be acceptable for dogs and cats if appropriately handled. With new information coming out every day on the matter, it’s no wonder vegan and vegetarian pet owners are looking to get their companions on a similar journey. Plant based pet food brands should note and be aware of these trends when marketing their products. 

For the love of animals

Vegan dog food and vegan cat food both provide for animals. It’s not just about caring for your pet. It’s also about saving other creatures. 

Dog eating fruits and vegetables and vegan pet food

Vegans save 30 animals per month. Having to change that dramatically through meat-based pet food goes against their principles.

But remember, just as eating vegan saves animals, a vegetarian diet for pets needs to be safe. Both cats and dogs need specific nutritional needs to thrive. Luckily there are other ways of providing the essential nutrients without using animal protein. Thanks to modern technology and new processes, vegan pet food can now contain all the necessary amino acids, protein, and vitamins that animals need. Plant based pet food is becoming an increasingly viable option because of these advancements. 

That’s something to bark about. 

So now you understand the rise in vegan pet food, perhaps it’s time to start howling about it. In the right way. 

Stay transparent

Vegan pet food is based on trust. Transparency is a new fundamental component to success. Why? We care about our mutts and meows, so we want to know what we give them.

Dog with magnifying glassVegetarian dog food and cat food brands need to be upfront. Ingredients and recipes cannot be misleading and must reflect your brand’s morals. Owners want to know they are giving their canines and felines a balanced diet, so stating your intentions clearly is essential to getting your brand across well. 69% of people fear that more brands than ever are spreading fake news or misinformation, so talk to your audience plainly and frankly about your product benefits. They will come back. 

The rise of vegetarian pet foods shows how consumers demand more from their pet-care companies. 94% of people will stay loyal to a transparent brand, so the jury’s in. Throw your customers a bone and put your vegan-diet information centre-stage. 

What’s the best way to get your message out there? Effective packaging design puts your brand’s beliefs in the eyes of your consumers. Clear messaging through expert planning is the way forward. It can be a dog eat dog marketing world out there, so let’s work together to get your brand shining. Contact our team today to discuss how we can help.

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