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Pet Food News / Pet Food Market Trends
On November 14, 2013

Data from GfK show 28 percent spike in grain-free petfood sales

From September 2012 to September 2013, US$1.7 billion spent on grain-free pet products

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."

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April 2015

The April 2015 issue of Petfood Industry looks at different pet food markets around the world. Read about Sojos, a US company which aims to transform the lives of pets through raw pet food. As these specialized diets become increasingly popular in the dog and cat food markets, learn how such trends are carrying over into bird and small animal food. Plus, see how pet food companies in Russia are reacting and reconsidering production strategies in the wake of rising prices due to exchange rate fluctuations.

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