U.S. Pet Market Focus: Pet Food Update, 2021
As the quintessential pet product staple – and bolstered by the global resources of dominant participants including Nestlé Purina, Mars, General Mills (Blue Buffalo), and Colgate-Palmolive (Hill’s Science Diets) – the pet food market has not just weathered COVID-19, it has thrived. In fact, the effects of the pandemic and a corresponding surge in pet care spending fast-forwarded pet food industry investment, product development, marketing, and retailing, accelerating existing trends likely to invigorate the business for years to come.
Scope and Methodology
U.S. Pet Market Focus: Pet Food Update
provides a numbers-focused update on retail sales and segmentation across the U.S. market for commercial dog and cat food. This retail scope spans the full brick-and-mortar and e-commerce spectrum, including mass-market outlets, pet specialty stores (pet superstores, other pet specialty chains, and independents), other specialty channels that sell pet food, and the internet. Veterinary sector sales of pet food are noted in context, as are pet treats; the latter are covered separately in Packaged Facts’ Pet Treats and Chews report (November 2021). Food products for pets other than dogs or cats are not addressed by this report.
The information contained in this report was obtained from primary and secondary research. Primary research includes proprietary online consumer polls of U.S. adult pet owners (age 18+), conducted on an ongoing basis by Packaged Facts, to measure purchasing patterns and attitudes regarding pet products and services. These surveys include approximately 2,000 pet owners and are based on national, online research panels that are census representative on the primary demographic measures of age, gender, geographic region, race/ethnicity, and household income. The main surveys cited in this report were conducted between February 2021 and September 2021, thereby capturing COVID-19 pandemic impacts.
The pet ownership and pet owner demographic data draw on trended MRI-Simmons National Consumer Study data through the Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 releases; field dates for the latter were August 2020 through August 2021, thereby capturing COVID-19 pandemic impacts.
Secondary research includes information- and data-gathering from consumer business and trade publications, including
Pet Food Processing
Pet Product News International
; 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 segmentation draw on various sources: background sales data from syndicated sales-tracking sources; reported revenues of pet product manufacturers, retailers, and pet services providers; 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 providers.
Packaged Facts projects U.S. retail sales of pet food (dog and cat) at $37.1 billion in 2021, up 6.4% from $34.8 billion in 2020. Sales are projected to reach $47.9 billion in 2025, equating to a robust 6.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Separately, pet food sales through the veterinary sector are estimated at over $1.5 billion.
Dollar sales growth in the pet food market can primarily be attributed to:
The pet care spending boom and new pet adoption in the wake of COVID-19.
The intertwined rapid acceleration of online sales driven by Chewy.com and Amazon.com, whose swift advances have been more than offsetting the resultant drag on brick-and-mortar sales.
Pet food premiumization, which remains a growth driver as pet owners continue to trade up to pricier products; these include brands that were formerly pet-specialty-exclusives (but are now available in mass channels) and fresh pet food options including refrigerated and freshly prepared.
For more information on the U.S. pet food market, including dog food and cat food, be sure to read the full report
which includes market sizing and projections, data on channel choices, pet population trends, and much more. U.S. Pet Market Focus: Pet Food Update, 2021,