Market forecast

Total U.S. sales of petfood and supplies are expected to grow at the annual average rate of 7.3% in
current dollars and increase 4.7% per annum after adjusting for inflation during 2007-12.

Sales are forecast to rise 42% in current dollars and increase 26% in constant dollars during 2007-12. This compares to a rise of 53% in current dollars and an increase of 34% in constant dollars during 2002-07.

Followings are the forecasts for the major segments in the petfood and supplies market.

Dog food

Dog food sales are expected to rise at an annual rate of 7.5% in current terms and increase 4.9% in
constant terms during 2007-12.

Sales are forecast to rise 43% and increase 27% in constant dollars during 2007-12. This compares to a rise of 52% and an increase of 33% in constant dollars during 2002-07.

Cat food

Sales are forecast to rise 38% and increase 22% in constant dollars during 2007-12. This compares to a rise of 42% and an increase of 25% in constant dollars during 2002-07.

Sales are forecast to rise 45% and increase 28% in constant dollars during 2007-12. This compares to a rise of 63% and an increase of 42% in constant dollars during 2002-07.

Forecast factors

Actual sales could deviate from Mintel's forecast, depending on the following factors:

• Willingness to pay premium prices for organic and all-natural petfood: Some pet owners believe that organic and all-natural products are better for both their pets and the environment, and are worth paying higher prices. There are a growing number of petfood products on the market targeting pet owners with this mindset. Most of these products carry higher price tags. Should there be an increase in pet owners' willingness to pay a premium for "healthier" petfoods, then actual sales are likely to be higher than the forecast.

• Pet obesity trends/concerns: These trends could make the sales lower than anticipated. Pet owners may cut back on the amount of food given to pets due to higher rates of pet obesity. Alternatively, pet owners could seek out more products and services to alleviate a pet's weight, which would support the market.

• Successfully targeting ethnic population: The diversifying population could affect the forecast in unforeseen ways. Should category suppliers more effectively penetrate groups less apt to currently own pets like African Americans with programs that increase ownership levels among this group, sales could grow more than expected. Additionally, the Hispanic population could boost the petfood and supplies market. Data show that Hispanics have grown the market in dog ownership.

Mintel has used the SPSS time series package to forecast the market to 2012. SPSS correlates historic market size data with key economic and demographic determinants (independent variables), identifying those factors having most influence on the market. Using forward projections of these factors, a market size forecast is produced.