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Sydney, Australia:

In a triumph of the Davids versus the Goliaths, Pet Barn tops the list of dedicated pet food retailers in Australia with the strongest brand recall awareness by pet owners ahead of nearest competitor Pet Stock with both specialist retailers ranking higher than general FMCG stores and giants of distribution, Coles and Woolworths.

The results stem from a myBrandHealth online survey panel conducted in July 2021 of 1,200 Australian respondents aged 18 years and over whom were asked about brand recall, recognition, brand loyalty, and purchase intention of a total of 14 retailers of pet food and pet accessories.

For unprompted brand recall, 59% of the online panel named Pet Barn as top of mind, followed by Pet Stock at 27%, Coles 18%, Woolworths 16%, and Pet Circle 13%.

The result is a win for specialist retailers of pet food with their brands in the minds of consumers at the top of the marketing funnel and forming a critical component of sales generation and brand affinity.

However, when the survey measured brand recognition, the pendulum swung in favour of mass FMCG retailers Coles at 84%, followed by Woolworths at 79% with Pet Barn 77%, eBay 57%, Pet Stock 55%, Amazon 54%, Pet Circle 34%, and My Pet 27% other notable rankings.

Brand trial is highest for the big two FMCG retailers; Coles 61% and Woolworths 55%, followed by Pet Barn 38%, Pet Stock 21%, Pet Circle 14%, My Pet 9%, and Amazon 8%.

“Despite the hype and concerted efforts of increasing distribution of global online retailers eBay and Amazon in Australia, this market is dominated by the ‘big two’ supermarkets as well as dedicated pet food retailer with both in-store and online offers,” said Neil Stollznow, Director at SMP Surveys.

“Pet Barn is, without doubt, the most successful of the dedicated pet food retailers but there is strong competition from Pet Stock, Pet Circle, and My Pet Warehouse.”

“This indicates that owners of pets are thinking first and foremost about specialist retailers to fulfill their pet food shopping needs and bodes well for marketers of these brands in their battle for mindshare, particularly when you see such stiff competition from the two largest FMCG mass retailers,” Stollznow added.

Brand loyalty was measured via an Adoption Index which showed that Coles has the strongest affinity with pet food shoppers at 15.5% followed by Woolworths 13.2%, Pet Barn 8.8%, Pet Stock 4.6%, eBay 3.2%, Pet Circle 3.3%, My Pet 2.1%, and Amazon 2.0%.

“The findings show a consistent lead for Coles over Woolworths but given the dynamics of the marketplace I’d expected to see changes with consumer behaviour as a result of the new alliance between Woolworths and Petsure set to introduce their digital start-up focused on the pet care market,” Stollznow said.

The survey also captured household income and additional demographic data including, Gender, Household Income, Work Status, Education, and Geographic Location useful for the development of strategic sales and marketing plans.

Other findings of the pet market are:

  • 56% of Australians own a pet
    • Though this may be a ‘shared’ household pet
  • Of those that own a pet (56%)
    • 69% own a dog
      • More likely to be owned by those aged 18 to 29 years
    • 47% own a cat
    • 20% own both a dog and a cat
    • 12% own fish
    • 10% own a bird
      • More likely to be owned by women

To discuss the results of this survey, contact Neil Stollznow, Director SMP Surveys at or call + 61 412 200 235.

About this survey

Research participants were surveyed online in July using the online access panel of Pureprofile. Quotas were set to ensure representativeness across age, each state, and territory. The results are statistically significant and able to be generalised across the wider population of Australian adults aged 18 years and over. To qualify the respondents had to have cruised in the past 5 years or intend to take a cruise in the next 5 years.