Euromonitor International estimated petfood spending at US$12.41 billion in 2000, measured in current prices, and says spending grew even in the recession to US$17.7 billion in 2008 and US$18.5 billion in 2009.
The market's growth is attributed to more than just a rising number of households owning dogs and cats, as these numbers have stabilized to an estimated 75 million cats and 85 million dogs in the US.
One reason for the growth in petfood spending is the economy. “A Broadway show is really expensive for many people,” said Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, science adviser to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “But, for a couple of bucks you can buy a bag of treats for your dog or give them an extra scoop of food and feel good about yourself.”
Continued growth in petfood spending is also attributed to the humanization of pets. According to Paula Flores, head of global pet-care research at Euromonitor, as cats and dogs have become more important members in American families, this has driven premium petfood sales.