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Pet Food Market Trends / Natural / Organic Pet Food
On February 6, 2017

How pet specialty stores drive US pet food market growth

The rise of premium pet food in the US over the past 10 years has helped grow the pet specialty channel and vice versa.

Pet food sales in the US pet specialty channel reached US$13.1 billion in 2015, or about 43 percent of the overall US$30.27 billion pet food market, according to data from GfK and Packaged Facts. With sales growth of only 1.2 percent in mass market outlets (supermarkets, mass merchandisers, some club and dollar stores), the US pet food market’s overall 3 percent increase was driven mainly by the robust 4.7 percent growth in pet specialty.

GfK tracks US pet food sales in three sub-channels: pet retailers (chain stores and independent pet shops), veterinary clinics, and farm and feed. By far, pet retail stores account for the majority of those sales: US$8 billion, a 60 percent share of pet specialty and 26 percent of the overall US market.

In an October 2016 webinar, “Emerging pet food specialty retail trends to watch,” Maria Lange, business group director of GfK’s pet specialty practice, presented US pet store data for pet food sales as well as trends driving those sales. (She’ll provide an update during Petfood Forum 2017.)

Premium pet food all the way

It’s no surprise that the trends and product categories getting the most buzz – natural, grain-free, limited ingredients, raw frozen, freeze-dried, dehydrated, novel proteins, small breeds, mixers and toppers – all fall under the premium pet food umbrella. Indeed, as part of a particularly beneficial and symbiotic relationship, the rise of premium pet food in the US over the past five to 10 years has…

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