Brussels, 21 June 2021 - Today, the European Pet Food Federation (FEDIAF) releases its annual overview of the pet population and pet market in Europe. A staggering 88 million households (38%) benefit from pet ownership and the pet food industry has grown 2.8% and is now worth 21.8 billion.
Pets are also being rewarded for their companionship throughout the pandemic with 21.2 billion spent on services and products, 1.5 billion more than the previous year and an increase of 7.6%. This equates to 9.2 billion spent on accessories and 12 million on services.
Raquel Izquierdo de Santiago, FEDIAF Secretary General, explains: “2020 was an extremely challenging year. At a time when so many of us were concerned about our health and faced social restrictions, it is reassuring that 88 million European households, approximately 202.4 million people*, benefitted from the love and companionship of a pet.”
“In addition to this much-appreciated friendship, research has proved that animal ownership has alleviated some of the detrimental psychological effects of lockdowns and social restrictions. Research undertaken during the pandemic has shown 74% of pet owners believe their pet has helped their mental health and 86.5% agreed their animals had provided emotional support**.”
* The average household size in Europe is 2.3 members (https://www.statista.com/statistics/1231406/average-household-size-in-europe/). With 88 million households owning a pet, this equates to 202.4 million people
** Human-animal relationships and interactions during the Covid-19 lockdown phase in the UK: Investigating links with mental health and loneliness, PLOS ONE Scientific Journals, Research among 5323 pet owners, September 2020. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0239397
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