In the latest evidence that natural alternatives are driving the petfood market, GfK data for the past year show a 28 percent spike in grain-free food sales at US pet stores. Through its Retail and Technology division, GfK tracks sales in more than 11,000 US pet outlets, including national and regional chains, as well as neighborhood pet shops.
Overall, US$1.7 billion was spent on grain-free pet products at pet outlets over the year from September 2012 to September 2013, and account for about one-third of all new pet items introduced each month. In the past year, the number of grain-free pet products has grown 33 percent, to more than 3,500 on shelves currently - about 2,300 for dogs versus nearly 1,200 for cats.
Dog items also account for the vast majority of grain-free sales: US$1.4 billion in the past year from September 2012-13, compared to US$322 million for cat products. Additionally, consumers pay roughly 45 percent more for grain-free products.
"We see the growth of grain-free foods - and natural pet products generally - as part of a larger trend toward humanization of pets," said Maria Lange, senior product manager of GfK's Retail and Technology team. "Consumers are clearly comfortable splurging on pets they see as valued family members, not just everyday animals. We see brands like Blue Wilderness, Natural Balance and Taste of the Wild leading the way; and we expect other outgrowths of the natural trend to emerge in the coming months."
5 small steps would streamline information on petfood ingredients to help communicate with pet owners
Tomato pomace has the potential to provide additional nutrition and health benefits
With the availability of quality ingredients declining, perhaps we need to explore this category
See the full results of the survey sent to the Petfood Industry audience on sustainability.
Learn about more companies and how they are lending a helping paw and claw to their own cause campaigns
For more about sustainability in petfood, watch Jan Hoijtink's Petfood Forum 2010 PowerPoint, "Corporate social responsibility: from whim to a matter of strategy."
Public meetings invited comments and provided updates
It gives more direct control to CVM in establishing and maintaining ingredient definitions
The mid-year meeting addressed several regulatory matters affecting petfoods
While petfood shoppers continue to show strong brand loyalty, pet products have not been immune to the store brand swing
Read more of Dr. Mukund Parthasarathy's insights on the changing petfood retail market and how it affects petfood manufacturers large and small
There's a disconnect between consumers' confidence in petfoods and their knowledge of what makes the foods nutritious
--- Thank you for your patience ----
If you have any issues logging in or any other need feel free to contact us.