British firm builds international success on a growing love for bunnies at home and abroad
Supreme Petfoods, a British company specialising in small pet nutrition, is celebrating its success both at home and internationally, as it doubles in size over the last five years. The company’s expansion is fuelled by the growing popularity of rabbits and guinea pigs as pets, and the changing attitudes of pet owners towards these small animals.
During the pandemic, there was a surge in demand for four-legged companions, and while the dog and cat populations have since seen a decrease (figures from UK Pet Food show an eight percent reduction in numbers) the small pet population is continuing its upward trajectory. The new small pet owner is also a completely different breed compared to even five years ago.
Claire Hamblion, Supreme Marketing Director takes up the story, “Rabbits and guinea pigs are no longer seen as starter pets, or suitable for children. In fact, 83 percent of rabbit and 75 percent of guinea pig owners consider them to be adult or family pets. They are often Generation Z or millennials who have acquired a lot of specialist knowledge to allow them to better care for their pets. Their needs are taken seriously, and pet ownership is viewed as a commitment. Not only are these owners seeking out high quality nutrition for their pet, but they also view their pet as a much-loved family member.”
This ‘humanisation’ trend is having a big effect on the small pet market, with a growing demand for natural, healthy foods. Pet parents are increasingly aware of the benefits of meeting the unique dietary needs of small pets and are willing to invest in high quality nutrition, understanding that it plays a crucial role in their pets’ overall health and wellbeing. They are seeking out no added sugar, high fibre recipes, made with tasty natural ingredients.
Supreme Petfoods has been at the forefront of meeting these changing demands and its Science Selective lifestage diets are particularly strong performers. Science Selective Junior Guinea Pig Food was launched in 2022, expanding the existing range of lifestage diets, which includes Science Selective Junior Rabbit Food, for young rabbits up to 20 weeks of age, and Science Selective Four+ Rabbit for more senior pets.
With a long-standing ethos of providing strong retail support, Supreme now offers free samples of all lifestage diets. With highly palatable diets like Science Selective, these can prove to be very effective in starting owners on a lifelong journey of optimum nutrition. Despite the rise of e-commerce, data* shows that 91 percent of owners still shop in specialist pet stores, with only 10 percent shopping exclusively online. To further support retailers, Supreme provides a comprehensive range of point-of-sale materials to encourage repeat store visits and build customer loyalty.
Small pet owners truly are ‘pet people’, with the average household owning five pets – 54 percent of rabbit and guinea pig owners also own a dog, while 43 percent also own a cat. Small pet owners are valuable customers. Pet retailers can capitalise on this by providing expert advice and high quality small pet nutrition, including lifestage diets. By catering to the needs of multi-pet households, retailers can not only contribute to the health and wellbeing of all pets in the family, but also foster customer loyalty and ongoing business success.
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