Tuesday, November 18 , 2014
natural food category, which has been driving the petfood market for over 10
years, continues to spawn trends that rise and fall on much shorter timeframes—challenging manufacturers and retailers to keep pace while making a profit, according to GfK's latest data.
latest point-of-sale data from GfK’s pet specialty store panel in the US
shows that sales of gluten-free dog and cat food have already begun to plateau,
posting 39.2% growth from January through August 2014, as compared to 91.2% for
the same period in 2013. By contrast, freeze-dried food recorded a 43.8%
sales rise in that timeframe (similar to 46.9% in 2013), while the
controversial refrigerated/frozen category saw a lift of 17% (consistent with
17.5% in 2013).
GfK pet retail panel includes neighborhood shops and superstores alike,
representing over 11,000 pet specialty outlets in the US. GfK captures and
reports dozens of metrics—from pounds sold to new products introduced—covering more than 350 manufacturers and over 22,000 SKUs.
the freeze-dried, refrigerated/frozen and gluten-free categories accounted for
over US$566 million in sales in the first eight months of 2014, more than
double the US$243 million they posted in the same time frame in 2012.
Gluten-free remains the heavyweight in pure dollars, though, representing US$450
million in sales, versus US$71 million for refrigerated/frozen food and US$45
million for freeze-dried.
food is still the category "to beat" in dog and cat food, according to GfK, accounting for 79% of
all new items introduced from January through August 2014, and for US$3.3 billion
in sales during the same time frame—two-thirds of all petfood sales (US$4.9
billion total). Both natural sales figures represent upticks from the same time
period in 2013.
of natural food that appeals to pet specialty retailers is the
higher-than-average price points these SKUs command, says GfK. Natural dog and cat foods
(including treats) sell for US$2.55 per pound on average, compared to the average
of US$2.18 per pound for all petfoods in general. The price per pound for
freeze-dried dog and cat items is essentially six times higher than the average
price for all categories (US$11.51 per pound versus US$2.18). Refrigerated/frozen
food, meanwhile, is more than double the average price per pound (US$5.11 versus US$2.18).
remains pretty much the only game in town when it comes to high-growth dog and
cat food items,” said Maria Lange, senior product manager of GfK’s retail and technology team, which manages the pet specialty panel. “Dog and cat owners
have shown a willingness to pay extra for emerging benefits—such as
gluten-free and freeze-dried—that often mimic the ones seen in human food.
Manufacturers and retailers need to give their customers access to the latest
talked-about SKUs while keeping actual sales dollars in perspective; categories
posting the highest growth and capturing the most headlines may still be minor
forces when it comes to meeting revenue targets.”
the refrigerated/frozen food category has been beset by negative media stories
about recalls and Salmonella risks, sales have continued to grow (at about 17%
to 20% annually) over the last four years. And, despite the added burden
of installing refrigerators and freezers and culling expired items, the
percentage of outlets—neighborhood and superstores—carrying
refrigerated/frozen food has grown from 65% in 2011 to 75% in 2014.
Monday, November 17 , 2014
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