Global market research firm GfK has learned that there are more than 2,000 pet specialty retail outlets in Canada, but says this marketplace is lacking in basic sales metrics and trend data. To fill that void, GfK says it will expand its point-of-sale (POS) specialty data collection to Canada and provide benchmark data to empower retailers and manufacturers.

GfK categorizes pet food on more than 30 criteria, such as gluten free, limited-ingredient diet, seasonal products, grain free, and breed size. The firm’s POS data representing more than 11,000 pet specialty outlets in the US shows that

  • Sales of grain-free pet food increased by 23.9% in 2014
  • 8 in 10 of all new pet food products introduced last year in the US were considered “natural”
  • The average price per pound for natural pet food products increased by 5% in 2014

“By capturing sales data nationwide and plumbing it for trends and insights, GfK will invigorate the pet specialty marketplace in Canada,” said Louis McCann, president and CEO of PIJAC Canada. “The ability to know what is selling across the country, how others are pricing key products, and which categories are growing fastest will lead to smarter decisions for retailers and manufacturers alike. With its global expertise in POS panels, GfK is the perfect firm to provide this crucial service to our industry.”

GfK’s Canadian universe study showed that Ontario accounts for more than one-third (835) of 2,063 total pet specialty outlets. GfK’s study excludes mass merchants and grocery stores. Other provinces with a large number of pet stores include:

  • Quebec: 425
  • British Columbia: 343
  • Alberta: 249