What a relief! We made it through this difficult year. As the latest data from Euromonitor International shows, the petfood industry has weathered the economic storm better than most and is even still growing. Euromonitor says global sales of dog and cat food will reach US$52 billion this year, up from US$49 billion in 2008.

The year over year growth, however, was just .6%, quite a decline from the heady rates of recent years. According to Euromonitor's projections, the industry will need to cope with that slower growth for a while longer.

Crashing to earth?

From 2004 through this year, global sales of dog and cat food grew nearly 30% overall ( Figure 1 ). But Euromonitor predicts global sales will grow just 13% over the next five years, with high growth regions like Eastern Europe and Latin America crashing to earth, at least relative to the stratospheric heights they enjoyed the previous five years. Only Asia Pacific will grow slightly more through 2014 than it did the previous five years.

The decline becomes clearer when you compare compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) for dog and cat food ( Figure 2 ). Two years ago, when Euromonitor looked back at the previous five years (2002-2007), it measured CAGRs such as 7% globally and for Western Europe, 24% for Eastern Europe, nearly 16% for Latin America and nearly 5% for North America.

In just two years, CAGRs (2004-2009) fell to 5% globally, 15% for Eastern Europe, 12% for Latin America and a huge drop to just under 3% for Western Europe. Only North America stayed the same.
Projecting the next five years, Euromonitor says global and North America CAGR will be only 2.5%, with Eastern Europe falling to just under 8%, Latin America to just under 4% and Western Europe and Australasia to downright scary rates below 1%. Asia Pacific's CAGR will grow slightly, from just under 3% now to 3.2% through 2014.

Silver linings

Still, some growth is better than none. And with reports of strong US pet trade shows this fall and robust preliminary numbers from 2010's global events such as Victam Asia and Interzoo, we can truly look forward to the new year.