In the previous edition of this report, Packaged Facts was already tracking the impact inflation was having on pet food spending and projecting
what its continued impact would be. We now know that although pet food maintained its double-digit growth into 2023, much of this growth was fueled by higher prices rather than by this market’s historical growth driver, premiumization. Pet food’s resilience is being tested as never before, with a inflation-weary pet owners and a decline in the dog population among the prime challenges this market is experiencing.
Bright spots like fresh pet food and wellness-focused formulations are heartening, but the chinks in pet food’s armor are showing. Packaged Facts survey results from September/October 2023 show that nearly one-third of pet owners had switched pet foods in the past 12 months, and among these, 32% of dog owners and 28% of cat owners had traded down to lower-priced options. As inflation levels off but higher prices remain, time will tell if pet owners will continue turning to more value-focused options or if a focus on pets as family and pet health and wellness will be enough to bolster sales of premium products. Packaged Facts projects that sales of dog and cat food will grow from $51 billion in 2023 to nearly $73 billion in 2027, reflecting a compound annual growth rate of nearly 10% for the period, betting on pet owners’ continued investment in their pets’ health and well-being in the form of high-quality pet foods.
Featuring in-depth analysis of these and other factors contributing to the changes this market is experiencing, this completely revised 17th edition of
Packaged Facts’ Pet Food in the US provides historical and projected overall sales (2017-2027), as well as separate sales tracking and projections for dog and cat food. The report also examines trends by form (dry, wet, semi-moist, frozen/refrigerated, and freeze-/air-dried), ingredients, and product claims across the full retail spectrum including online retailers, mass-market outlets, the pet specialty channel, and other channels. Relying on survey data from Packaged Facts’ proprietary March 2023 and September/October 2023 Surveys of Pet Owners, as well as MRI-Simmons Summer 2023 consumer study, Pet Food in the US provides a detailed look at pet owner sentiment and pet food usage by type, marketer, and brand. Other topics of discussion include cross-market trends; consumer expenditures; market opportunities; mergers and acquisitions; channel trends including e-commerce and omnichannel; and new product and marketing trends—all presented through the lens of the current economic environment.
Scope of the Report
Pet Food in the US, 17th Edition analyzes the retail market for dog and cat food in the United States. The full retail spectrum is quantified, including Internet sales, mass-market outlets, pet specialty stores (chains and independents), and other channels. The report divides the market into two categories:
Dog Food, subdivided into four forms: dry, wet (aka “canned”), frozen/refrigerated (aka “fresh”), and semi-moist.
Cat Food, also subdivided into four forms: dry, wet (aka “canned”), frozen/refrigerated (aka “fresh”), and semi-moist.
This report also discusses freeze-dried and air-dried formulations, and meal toppers and other pet food add-ins.
Though discussed in context of the market as a whole, pet food sold through the veterinary channel and non-medical petcare service providers is excluded from the market sizing estimates and is instead included in the market sizing for those channels as presented in Packaged Facts’ annual
U.S. Pet Market Outlook and in its new Veterinary Services in the US reports.
The information contained in this report was obtained from primary and secondary research. Our consumer analysis draws mainly on two sources:
Packaged Facts data: The Packaged Facts consumer data cited in this report reflect online surveys with a sample of approximately 1,600 pet owners that are census representative on the primary demographic measures of age, gender, geographic region, race/ethnicity, presence or absence of children in the household, and income up through the $100K+ income bracket. This discussion features data from our March 2023 and September/October 2023 surveys.
MRI-Simmons data: MRI-Simmons surveys are booklet-based and fielded on an ongoing basis. The study releases cited in this discussion represent roughly 12-month data roll-ups, with the survey releases named based on the season in which the fielding ended, rather than calendar years or standard seasonal periods. Field dates for the most current Summer 2023 survey were May 2022 through July 2023. As reflected in textual discussion and in the corresponding table or figure titles, therefore, MRI-Simmons Summer 2023 survey release data are best described as 2022/23 figures, and so on with historically trended data. MRI-Simmons survey releases represent exceptionally large sample sizes that are representative of the national population. For the MRI-Simmons Summer 2023 study release, the sample size was 51,028 adults, including 25,595 dog or cat owners, 19,439 dog owners, and 12,211 cat owners.
Our primary research also includes interviews with pet market experts and participation in pet industry events including the American Pet Products Association’s Global Pet Expos, Petfood Industry/Watt Publishing’s Petfood Forums, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council’s Pet Industry Leadership Summit, and the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) VMX Veterinary Conferences and Media E-Commerce Summits, The analysis also reflects on-site examination of retail and service provider venues and Internet canvassing.
Secondary research includes information- and data-gathering from consumer business and trade publications including Pet Age, Pet Business, Pet Product News International, Petfood Industry, and Veterinary Practice News; company profiles in trade and consumer publications; annual reports of companies in the pet market; and information culled from Packaged Facts’ extensive pet market research database and report collection. Our estimates of market size and company performance are based on reported revenues of pet product manufacturers, retailers, and pet services providers; background sales data from syndicated sales-tracking sources; surveys of independent and chain pet store retailers; government data including U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Surveys; and figures from other market research sources.