Demand for pet treats and gifts is set to rocket this Christmas as a result of the estimated 3.2 million households* who welcomed in a new pet during lockdown.  

Tesco is already gearing up for what it believes will be the biggest ever Christmas for pets and predicts that demand for products to spoil cats and dogs is set to grow by 25 per cent compared with last year’s festive season.

In readiness for the extra demand, the supermarket is launching its first range of plant-based pet treats.

Other seasonal pet treats, available at Tesco this Christmas, include mince pies, pigs in blankets and even macarons for dogs, pet calendars and stockings.

There are also dog biscuit making kits which allow the whole family to get involved with some fun in the kitchen whilst spoiling their prized pets.

Tesco Pet Category buyer Amelia Austin said:

As lockdown progressed we saw demand for pet food and toys rise month by month and this Christmas is set to be the biggest ever for cats and dogs.  

“Last year we noticed a third of shoppers who bought items from our Christmas pet range didn’t buy anything from our wider pet range, suggesting they were picking up a gift for a friend or family member’s cat or dog. With pet gifting being a huge trend, we expect this to rise again this year.  

“Another growing trend is the humanisation of pets, as we all increasingly consider our cats and dogs to be part of the family, which has led to a 16 per cent increase in premium pet food sales.” 

Tesco is now offering plant-based gluten-free and gut-friendly pet treats made by Scrumbles, an ethical pet food start up company formed by Jack Walker and Aneisha Soobroyen who, two years ago, went on Dragon’s Den but turned down an investment offer of £60,000.

The decision has paid off as the Scrumbles range has since seen success tapping into the growing market for premium quality pet products that fit perfectly with the trend for humanisation of pets.

Jack Walker, of Scrumbles, said:

“The increase in pet ownership is being driven by Millennial pet parents who are increasingly conscious about giving their cats and dogs natural, high-quality food that is not only healthier but also good for the planet.  

“Amongst the treats being launched are Scrumbles Freeze Dried ‘Pures’ which, in a first for the Tesco, are suitable for both dogs and cats and are made from 100 per cent British chicken or salmon.”  

Nicole Paley, Deputy Chief Executive of the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association, advises:

“We have been tracking the pet population for decades and one of the unanticipated outcomes of the pandemic has been the growth in pet ownership.  

“Almost 60 per cent of UK households are now enjoying the incredible bond we have with our pets and the mental and physical health benefits this brings. Pets are important family members and rarely missed off the gift list, we expect it will be a very big Christmas for pets this year!” 

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