In Tokyo, a surge in the demand pet parenting and pet-related products mirrors the growing trend of treating pets as beloved family members. From dog biscuits crafted by renowned human snack makers to innovative pet hygiene solutions, the Japanese pet market is evolving to cater to the evolving needs of pet owners.
Unicharm Corp., a wellness care product manufacturer, and Morinaga & Co., a major confectionery producer, have teamed up to introduce Gran-Deli Marie Biscuits for dogs. These delightful canine treats, launched on September 4, are an extension of Morinaga’s beloved Marie biscuit brand. Carefully formulated to ensure the well-being of dogs, these biscuits maintain the shape and design of the human Marie biscuits, albeit in a smaller, dog-friendly size of about 3 centimeters in diameter. The treats come in three flavors: milk, cheese, and sweet potato.
Recent research by Unicharm reveals a growing trend among people in their 20s and 30s who seek to share snacks with their dogs. As the demand for biscuit-type dog snacks rises, it appears that pet owners are looking for ways to humanize their pets and integrate them more deeply into their families. The desire to make their furry companions happy through tasty foods and enjoyable experiences is driving this shift. Previously, dogs were often fed human food leftovers, but today, specific dog foods designed for canine health and preferred flavors are gaining popularity. The variety of available pet treats continues to expand.
According to research firm Intage Inc., the pet food market reached 373.5 billion yen (approximately $2.5 billion) in 2022 and shows no signs of slowing down. Notably, the pet treat market has experienced remarkable growth, with dog snacks increasing by 7.8% since 2017. Cat delicacies have seen an even more significant surge, rising by 97.2% over the same period. This robust market growth has motivated various companies to invest in the development of innovative pet snack products.
Simultaneously, Daio Paper Corp., renowned for its flagship brand Elleair, announced its entry into the pet care market with the “Elleair Pet Kimiomoi” series. This diverse lineup includes 31 new items for both dogs and cats, featuring canine pull-up diapers, color-changing cat litter for monitoring feline health, and animal-safe wet wipes. These products hit the store shelves on September 22.
Daio Paper President Yorifusa Wakabayashi emphasized the company’s commitment to the pet care business, positioning it as the third pillar of their enterprise alongside hygiene paper products and human diapers. With an ambitious annual domestic sales target of 10 billion yen by fiscal 2025, Daio Paper Corp. aims to expand its presence beyond Japan’s borders, underscoring the industry’s potential for further growth and innovation.