Small pet petfood market growing slowly but steadily
The trends dominating the cat and dog markets can also be seen in this “other” petfood category
In 2013, US pet owners boasted 116 million fish, birds, small animals and reptiles, according to the 2013 Packaged Facts report, Pet Populations and Pet Owner Trends in the US: Fish, Birds, Reptiles and Small Animals. Fish tanks could be found in 7.2 million homes and bird cages in 4.6 million households. Reptiles lived in 1.8 million US homes, and 2.5 million adults had pet rabbits. Given those numbers, it's clear that the small pet segment has a solid role to play in the overall petfood industry.
While growth in the "other" petfood category has been slow in response to the US economic recession, sales are expected to increase through 2017. In 2013, roughly $898 million came from sales of petfood for birds, small animals, fish, and reptiles and amphibians-just 2% growth from 2012 numbers, according to Packaged Facts' report, Pet Food in the US 10th Edition. However, growth is expected at 2.5% in 2014 and 3% the next few years, with sales topping $1 billion in 2017.
In 2012, 43% of the category's petfood sold was for birds, 32% was for fish, 16% was for small animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs and 9% was for reptiles, according to Packaged Facts. Further, according to the American Pet Product Association, the most popular pets found in households are freshwater fish (41.7% of pet-owning households), beating out both cats (22.7% of pet-owning households) and dogs (18.9%). Small animals can be found in 3.9% of households, birds come…