HelloFresh Launches Dog Food as Consumers Splurge on Pet Meals

HelloFresh The Pets Table

Consumers may be cutting back on food spending for themselves amid inflation, but few are willing to subject their furry friends to the same sacrifices, and HelloFresh is seizing on this continued demand for premium pet food with its latest launch.

On Tuesday (Aug. 1) the meal kit company announced its new dog food subscription, The Pets Table, promising “human-grade” meals as part of the firm’s push to become the top “fully integrated food solutions group” in the world.

“We’re thrilled to introduce The Pets Table and bring a healthy, convenient solution for pet parents,” Laurent Guillemain, CEO of The Pets Table and former CEO of HelloFresh’s United Kingdom business, said in a statement. “By leveraging HelloFresh’s world-class direct-to-consumer proficiencies, the company is uniquely positioned to disrupt the market with a high-quality, yet affordable alternative to the pet food category.”

The move enables the meal kit provider to reach consumers in an area where they are still willing to splurge. PYMNTS research reveals that, even when consumers are making significant cutbacks, they are still willing to pay a premium for pet food.

According to data from the study “Consumer Inflation Sentiment Report: Consumers Cut Back by Trading Down,” for which we surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. consumers, 47% of all shoppers have switched to a less expensive merchant for at least one grocery product. Yet while 33% have traded down when it comes to their personal care products, and 32% have downgraded on their snacks, only 19% of grocery shoppers have switched to less expensive merchants for pet food and supplies.

Additionally, consumers are more accustomed to using digital channels to purchase pet food than to purchase their own meals.  Findings from the PYMNTS study “Changes in Grocery Shopping Habits and Perception,” for which we surveyed more than 2,400 U.S. consumers, revealed that only 27% of those who purchase pet supplies primarily do so in physical stores. This share is far lower than the cross-grocery-category average of 44%.

In fact, pet supply subscriptions are performing very well relative to other kinds of product subscriptions, per data from the study “Subscription Commerce Readiness Report: The Loyalty Factor,” created in collaboration with sticky.io, for which PYMNTS surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. consumers with retail product subscriptions in April.

The results revealed that the pet supply industry’s Index scores — a measure that takes into account 56 subscription features relating to shopping convenience, comfort and trust, ongoing customer relationships, payment types and more — is 10% above the overall product subscription average.

Throughout this year, HelloFresh has been looking for ways to drive revenue outside of its core meal kit offering, including expanding its ready-to-eat businesses, Factor and Youfoodz. In the past, the company has been successful at driving adoption of its non-meal-kit options, at least in the United States.

“We’ve put the whole weight of our direct-to-consumer competencies behind the rollout of Factor in the U.S.,” HelloFresh CEO Dominik Richter told analysts on the company’s last earnings call in April. “This has propelled us to become the largest direct-to-consumer ready meal provider in the [U.S.] over the course of only two years.”