A Dynamic Growth built on Sociology
We don't have to worry about the pet sector. Indeed, industry and services related to pet animals are still growing. The main reason for this is that we are not only in the field of business but we are also and primarily in the field of sociology. According to numerous researches pets are increasingly considered members of the family: 75% of German, 64% of Spanish, 61% of French, 58% of Italian treat their pets in this way (Fig.Mintel). Among various sociological reasons which have been forwarded, we find the declining birth rates in most European countries and the rise of one-person households. These explanations are relevant and human behavior in many rich countries obviously contributes to the rise in the status of pet animals. But unfortunately it will also lead to more pets developing "human lifestyle" diseases linked with obesity or even psychological dysfunctions. It is estimated that 75 million European households own at least one pet animal. And the european pet food industry (the Swiss company Nestle is among the worldwide leaders) employs directly 80.000 people (Fig.Fediaf). Unsurprisingly, prospects are bright for the future of the pet industry worldwide (including food and accessories): manufacturers have a target of US$ 91.7 billion in sales by 2019. In Europe only, the pet food market is expected to reach US$ 28.1 billion by 2021. In such a continuous growing business, care will of course need to be taken to ensure respect for stricter regulations with a main goal: the welfare of our companions.