The coronavirus outbreak had a significant effect on the development of the online sales channel. The increase applies primarily to everyday items such as food and cosmetics, but also to medical and protective products particularly popular during this period. We devoted our text to them: Mask prices surge due to coronavirus epidemic.
However, as it turns out, in fear of a decrease in the availability of selected items, consumers began to hoard products not only for themselves but also for their pets, especially shortly after the first major restrictions were announced. This has an impact on the availability of products and their prices. How has the pandemic changed the industry?
Dog food prices
The first phenomenon we observed is the numerous price fluctuations of dog food that appeared at the beginning of March. This shows that sellers in the early stages of the epidemic actively reacted to changes in demand and adjusted their prices to remain competitive. The above observations are visible in the chart below illustrating the prices of Royal Canin Adult Labrador Retriever 12kg food.
Another significant phenomenon is the large price differences that have appeared in the food category, as well as the general increase in the prices of such items. Increased demand meant that some sellers decided to take advantage of the shortage of goods from the competition and in a period of panic sold their products more expensive.
To take a closer look at price differences during this period, we compared the prices of Royal Canin Adult French Bulldog 9kg on March 12 and April 2. April prices are much higher, and the difference between the cheapest offer and the most expensive is very high as well. It can also be seen that the foods available at the lowest prices (marked with a blue and brown line in the chart below) sold out very quickly.
Prices of specialized dog food
Price fluctuations concern not only the most popular products but also specialized ones, intended for animals with health problems. Here the differences are even greater – in one of the stores, there was a sharp increase in prices at the time of introduction of restrictions related to the epidemic. Some sellers have most likely concluded that consumers, for fear of limited availability, will not save on buying food that determines their pet’s health. Thus, the price range of Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Hepatic HF16 6kg food around March 20 amounted to as much as PLN 38.
Animal food – shortages
Consumers’ fears are definitely not unjustified – the sudden increase in demand meant that there was a shortage of popular foods. In the chart below they are presented in the form of a broken line on the example of Brit Care Adult Large Breed Lamb & Rice 12kg. However, you can also notice the quick sell-off of goods after their price drops. This indicates that buyers have remained sensitive to the attractiveness of the offer despite limited availability.
Prices of products for cats
Interestingly, in the case of cat food, prices did not change so rapidly, and the products did not sell out so quickly. Nevertheless, the pandemic also played a role in this market, causing a general increase in prices and limited availability of the items. This is seen in the following two charts for the sale of Cat Chow Adult Special Care Sterilized Chicken 15kg and Royal Canin Sterilized 7+ 10kg.
Price changes, however, apply not only to cat food but also to cat litter. Here the increases are much more rapid, which is visible in the chart below illustrating the prices of Cats Best Eco Plus Original 10l litter. Perhaps this is due to the fact that cat food can be quite easily replaced with e.g. cooked meat. Lumping litter is a necessity product and in its absence, no DIY solution will work.
For the analysis we used data from the most popular shops on the Polish market as an example. We noted the same occurrences on other large European markets.
Price monitoring of the pet food industry
The tools available in the Dealavo platform provide very detailed and valuable knowledge about almost every industry and category. They allow reliable monitoring of prices and product availability in selected stores, as well as efficient data tracking for specific periods. As a result, you can follow the market situation on a regular basis and understand the mechanisms that govern it much better.
If you would like to learn more about the possibilities of monitoring prices on the Internet, please contact us. We will show you the functions of our platform and help you choose solutions that will provide you with reliable and the highest quality key data for business development in your industry.