Marketers and retailers can get all the details here.
Fast-growing segments in the treats market
Where sales may have fallen off since the pandemic
Effects of fewer people working from home and inflation
Building on analyses presented in previous editions of this report, this fully updated fifth edition breaks out historical and projected retail sales from 2017 through 2027 across four categories of treats and chews segmented by dogs and cats: indulgent treats, rawhide/long-lasting chews, functional treats/chews, and dental treats/chews. The report also explores competitive strategies of key players, trends in marketing and new product development, and retail dynamics including the e-commerce boom and omnichannel marketing. Featuring exclusive data from Packaged Facts’ Surveys of Pet Owners, the report examines purchasing trends by product type and brand, as well as attitudes and demographic characteristics of pet treats and chews purchasers. The report also features multi-year MRI-Simmons data profiling pet treat purchaser demographics and product preferences.
See the blog on Pet Treats
Pet treats and chews have experienced what can only be described as phenomenal growth in the past several years, exceeding overall pet industry growth in both 2020 and 2021 with double-digit increases driven by pandemic-driven demand and correspondingly high purchase rates. This growth continued in 2022, but although sales remained robust, a significant portion of the dollar increases was driven by the inflationary conditions that impacted nearly every corner of the US economy. Pet treat and chew marketers had to overcome the challenge of many pet owners being unable to afford even basic necessities, let alone discretionary products. Packaged Facts’ May 2023 survey showed that 25% of pet owners were very concerned about the rising prices of pet treats, with an additional 32% indicating they were somewhat concerned, and 17% had cut back on pet treat spending.
Despite the dampening effect of inflation, the pet treat market has quite a few advantages when it comes to stimulating growth. The central role pets play in most households and pet owners’ continued focus on pet health and wellness are key drivers of pet treat market growth. Treats help solidify the pet-owner bond, and many pet owners rely on functional treats as part of their pets’ health and wellness routines. Other factors contributing to treat market success include an increase in cat treat usage and price points, in synch with the industry-wide trend of premiumization, as well as humanization, natural/organic ingredients, limited ingredient formulations, and made and/or sourced in the USA products. Pet Treats and Chews in the U.S., 5th Edition provides detailed analysis of the many product types in high demand, and examines how marketers are responding to the issues of the day including e-commerce, product safety, and transparency.
Sales Growth Continues to Accelerate
Sales growth in pet treats has historically outpaced that of the broader pet food market and pet supplies in general, but recent growth has been both fueled and tempered by prolonged inflationary conditions. Soaring prices for pet food and treats have resulted in sales value growth with little to no volume advancement, and as pet owners weather inflation-related economic challenges, the more discretionary category hasn’t fared as well as pet food.
Another factor hampering growth is the continued march of e-commerce. Treats are frequently an impulse purchase made when pet owners are shopping for other items, and online shopping does not lend itself to this kind of “see it, buy it” behavior to the degree in-store shopping does. In the positive column, pet owners grew even closer to their pets during the pandemic, establishing more generous treat-giving behaviors and routines that should continue to benefit the market, including on the cat side of the aisle.
Pet Owners Rely on Pet Treats & Chews
Pet owners give their pets treats and chews for a variety of reasons:
- functional benefits, where treats are intended to address specific conditions or enhance wellness; for example, dental treats or treats that contain nutritional supplement ingredients
- entertainment, as is the case with edible long-lasting chews or treats placed in dispensers that can be played with
- training, with treats rewarding pets for good behavior
- bonding and expressing affection, as treat time plays an important role in the relationship
Whatever the case, treats and chews are firmly established as part of the pet market. However, marketers of treats and chews face a range of factors that could impact the category’s immediate and future prospects, with some trends encouraging growth and others presenting challenges to overcome.