Roughly half of all Italian households have a dog or cat, according to the National Association of Manufacturers for Food and Care of Companion Animals (ASSALCO), and the increased importance of those pets to their families makes the petfood business in Italy a solid opportunity for US petfood manufacturers.
In 2013, Italians spent â‚¬1.7 billion (US$2.3 billion) to feed their domestic animals, and imported â‚¬6 million (US$8.11 million) in petfood from the US. Dry dog food is the leading import, followed by wet cat food, according to country data. Demand for imported pet snacks and treats also exceeds local production.
Italy is already the third-largest importer of petfood from the US, behind the UK and the Netherlands.