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Pet Food Supply Chain vs the Perfect storm

Updated: Nov 19, 2021

Canadians love pets. In 2020, more than half of us shared our home with an estimated 16 million dogs and cats.

Mr Hobbes

If you are one of those pet owners you've probably noticed pet food prices have been going up.

A bag of treats that cost $9.49 in September 2020 might cost $9.99 now. A large bag of dry dog food formulated to relieve dry skin might cost $79.99 in 2021 rather than last September's $75.99.

Pet food prices have climbed about 5% to 18% over the last year. Not that big of a deal for some, but if you're on a fixed income, like so many pet owners are, it is a big deal

If you spend $1000 a year on pet food that increase could be an additional $180 annually. Obviously, the more food your pet eats the higher that number.

Pet owners are not only seeing prices rise, but they're also experiencing shortages as well.

What's happening? No surprise here. The pandemic.

Initially, shortages may have been the result of people "stocking up" on pet food because of the lockdowns. Similar to the hoarding of toilet paper.

Ports and production facilities have been temporarily closed because of COVID. Some facilities switched production to manufacturing PPE or hand sanitizer.

You couldn't even rely on the Suez Canal to keep things moving. The freighter that was stuck for about a week last March was just one more disruption.

The pandemic continues to disrupt supply chains around the world. Those disruptions and the rising cost of raw materials are pushing manufacturing costs up.

On top of that many retail outlets don't keep a lot of stock on hand. Instead, they rely on regular deliveries from suppliers. If there's no warehouse full of stock nearby there's no buffer when the supply chain slows or breaks because of world events. Almost like a perfect storm

It's going to take time to untangle the supply chain.

Meanwhile, pet food producers are taking the heat for rising costs.

Insiders defend the industry saying the retail price has gone up because manufacturing costs are up but the profit margin has stayed the same.

Lack of stock has become such an issue one major pet food supplier posts regular "updates" almost like an apology, for its customers.

If all that isn't enough pet ownership is on the rise, trending if you will.

It's been reported Canadians 18 to 24 years old are the most likely to have purchased a pet since the start of the pandemic.

Some reports say pet ownership has increased 18% since COVID.

That's good news for Dogs and Cats in shelters. About half of them are being adopted out.

So, are we cat people or dog people in Canada. The splits are almost fifty-fifty, but the dogs have a slight lead

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