Driven by increased focus on pet health and the increasing impact of the human-animal bond, US sales of petfood will rise 16% between 2015â€“2018 to reach US$33 billion, according to Packaged Facts in "Pet Food in the US, 11th Edition."
Packaged Facts estimates petfood sales in 2013 were US$28 billion. The petfood category experienced much of its growth outside of the core mass market, particularly in channels like farm/feed, Internet and pet specialty. Sales are expected to remain relatively flat through the rest of 2014, though opportunities exist in the premium food sector as pet owners purchase these products to protect the health of their animal companions, according to the report.
"Looking ahead, the trick will be to find ways to grow this mature market, since at its current pace pet population growth is not sufficient to drive higher levels of market growth," said Packaged Facts research director David Sprinkle. "For several years much of the dollar growth in the petfood market has come from converting pet owners to higher priced foods as part of the humanization trend."
Premium petfoods will account for 42% of petfood sales in 2014, followed by regular petfood at 30% and value petfood at 12%, with treats comprising the remaining share of sales. On both the dog and cat sides of the market, the premium share of sales has expanded, mostly as a result of growth in the superpremium segment. Treats have also grown their share of the market, primarily due to the robust interest in treats among dog owners, many of whom have turned to functional treats as a way to ameliorate pet health conditions and promote overall wellness. Cat owners, on the other hand, have not proven as likely to indulge their pets in superpremium fare, and have also been slower to embrace functional treats, suggesting areas for market expansion as cat food and treat marketers continue to trend into premium and functional fare, with products and trends often crossing over from the dog side, according to the report.