LONDON — Pet parenthood has been proven to improve mental and physical health, so it’s only natural for pet owners to be inclined to seek the best for their pets. This trend toward humanization has manifested through products that improve pet health and wellness, whether they be pet accessories, durable products, or part of a pet’s daily diet.

According to Mintel, prioritizing the health and wellness of pets has translated to increased demand for health-focused pet food formulations. For example, pet food touting health benefits — including all-natural diets, organic options, or those formulated without additives or preservatives, artificial ingredients, GMOs — made up 51% of new products launched in 2022.

This trend is expected to continue into 2023, as evidenced by demand. For this year, Mintel reported 60% of pet food buyers in the United Kingdom are making pet food purchasing decisions based on how healthy the formula is. By species, 33% of cat owners and 32% of dog owners said they prioritize health and wellness when deciding what to feed their pets. This trumps demand for palatability and saving money.

Cats vs Dogs Pet Food PrioritiesSource:

With these priorities in mind, Mintel shared some emerging options that fit the bill for healthy pet food, one of which is a personalized meal plan.

According to the firm, most pet food buyers in the United Kingdom said they would be interested in a personalized meal plan for their pets to help them lose weight. According to UK Pet Food, 50% of dogs and 43% of cats in the region are considered overweight or obese, as detailed by a survey of 148 veterinary professionals in November 2022.

Fresh recipes are another way UK pet owners are satiating their desires for health-focused pet food formulas. According to Mintel, 52% of pet owners ages 16 to 34 are interested in chilled pet food, while 42% claimed interest in frozen pet food. Interest in these emerging categories is currently lower for older pet-owning cohorts in the United Kingdom.

Another health-focused option making its way into the UK pet food market today is formulas featuring insect protein, which also poses benefits for the environment and for pets with allergies or sensitivities to traditional animal-based proteins.

Read more from Mintel on the mutually healthy relationship between pets and people.

Keep up with the latest pet food trends on our Trends page.