Pet Food Market Trends / Natural / Organic Pet Food
on May 15, 2013

Market update: The premium petfood shopper survives

Natural, organic and gourmet products keep consumers willing to pay higher prices for their pet's food in the US

According to Packaged Facts’ US Pet Market Outlook, 2012–2013, despite any money-saving tradeoffs pet owners may be making, premium products remain a fact of life in the US pet market, as do premium product shoppers. As of 2010, US households earning US$70,000 or more account for 51% of the aggregate pet market expenditure and Packaged Facts believes these consumers are footing the lion’s share of the bill for premium pet products. Generally speaking, better-off pet owners are also more likely to have been less affected by the recession and to be recovering more quickly.

Pet owners’ desire  for premium products influences their channel and brand choices. In Packaged Facts’ September 2011 Pet Owner Survey, close to one-third of pet product buyers (30%) agreed that “I prefer to shop at pet product retailers that offer the best products available, even if they are more expensive,” and almost one-quarter (23%) agreed that “I prefer to shop at pet product retailers that offer natural/organic and other specialty brand products.” Taken with the trend toward a more price-conscious shopper, these findings suggest growing polarization in the pet market—toward the upper and lower ends, and away from the middle.

Because there’s no set definition for “premium,” it’s difficult to say just how much of the market is premium, but Packaged Facts estimates that premium products account for approximately two-fifths of US pet product sales. In their March 2011 report, Pet Food in the US, 9th Edition, they calculated that 10% of…

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