The World’s Most Expensive Cat Food: Has the ‘Premiumization’ of Pet Food Gone too Far?
We’re always talking about the humanization of pets within consumers’ households. And usually, we’re referring to the average American family. You know, roughly three family members, one dog, two cats, and a yearly income of just over $55,000. Today’s consumers want the very best for their pets, and while the average household is willing to spend just over $500 on their pets, what if we told you there is a market of people willing to shell out $11,000 a year on pet food alone?
You read that right. Dubbed “the world’s most expensive cat food,” UK-based Green Pantry’s British Banquet cat food costs $300 per 4.5 pound bag. According to Simon Booth, co-founder and managing director, “[It’s] for those few insanely rich pet owners to whom money is no object.”
Made with Arenkha caviar, line-caught Scottish salmon, hand-caught Norfolk lobster, locally-sourced Devon crab, quinoa and saffron for that “extra touch of luxury and refinement,” consumers looking to buy a bag of British Banquet must email directly, as it cannot be bought online and isn’t stocked in any stores.
While this may sound outlandish, there seems to be a market out there for luxury pet goods. CNBC has highlighted the most luxury pet items out there, a list that includes but isn’t limited to:
- a $340 automatic, self-cleaning litter robot
- a $350 bone crystal poop bag holder
- a $3,000 VIP fragrance for dogs
- a $10,000 designer dog bridal veil
- and a $3.2 million diamond-studded dog collar
Has the premiumization of pet food gone too far?
Some experts say yes. “We have reached a brick wall in terms of raising pet food prices,” wrote Seth Mendelson, group publisher and editorial director for Pet Business. “The last thing the industry wants to do is make potential pet owners question whether they can afford an animal.”
As pet brands continue to use ingredients of better quality, prices are bound to go up. But considering only 10% of pet owners fall under the ‘affluent’ category, something’s got to give. While the fact that consumers want the best for their four-legged friends continues to shape the industry, pet brands must keep in mind that consumers, even the filthy rich ones, still place a heavy importance on value.
As per David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts, “Among those consumers who strongly agree that their pet is part of the family, 44% strongly agree that they look out for lower prices, special offers and sales on pet products.”
Moral of the story? While pet parents are happy to splurge every once in a while, they likely aren’t going to spend $11,000 a year on pet food. Green Pantry seems to realize this as everything else on their site is affordably priced, with the ultra-luxury cat food being a one-off. Smart move.
Follow her at @D_isforDayana