Russia sees a slump in pet food sales

27-04-2023 | |
Photo: Canva
Photo: Canva

During January-February 2023, pet food sales in Russia plummeted by 19% to 26% compared to the previous year, owing to a mix of factors, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported, citing data from the federal payment service operators.

CloudPayments estimated that online sales slumped by 26%, as the volume of purchases dropped by 10% and an average purchase value went down by 18% to 5,800 roubles ($71). Another financial company Tinkoff Data, in turn, calculated that the Russian market saw a 19% decline in pet food sales in monetary terms and a 15% in physical terms.

Market analysts acknowledge a downward trend in the Russian pet food market at the beginning of 2023. NielsenIQ estimated that in January-February dog food sales in physical terms in retail chains decreased by 7.9%, while cat and dog treats sales dropped by 11.7%. On the other hand, sales of cat food grew by 1.3% compared with the previous year.

Panic buying

Russia saw pet food sales consistently growing during the previous decade. Several reasons could be in play in this year’s slump.

Kirill Dmitriev, president of the Russian National Association of the pet industry, assumed that some Russians may still have stocks of pet food from last year, accumulated during a period of panic buying.

Some market players also attribute the negative sales dynamics to the high base effect. For instance, Tatyana Kolchanova, general director of the Russian Union of zoo business, recalled that Russia experienced a boom in pet food sales at the beginning of 2022. She explained that some customers feared that in the wake of the military conflict in Ukraine, and restrictions imposed by the Russian veterinary body Rosselkhoznadzor on imported pet food, some products could be in short supply.

Consumers revise their budgets

On the other hand, the general consumer economy is also believed to contribute to the drop in pet food sales in monetary terms, Dmitriev said, explaining that some pet food parents have to switch their pets to cheaper products.

Kolchanova also said that the disruption of the supply of medicated and specialised pet food from abroad could also take a toll on pet food sales. She estimated that these products were among the most expensive pet food on the market, and as their range narrowed, it dragged down the market value.

On the other hand, Russian market players expect the market situation to improve further in 2023. Kolchanova said that sales are likely to recover, to some extent owing to a rise in pet food imports from China, Turkey and India.

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