Packaged Facts’ sixth edition of “Natural, Organic and Eco-Friendly Pet Products in the U.S.” explores how natural pet products are becoming increasingly common in mass-market channels while trying to remain true to their pet specialty channel roots.

A decade ago, organic, eco-friendly and natural pet foods were still primarily the province of smaller outfits selling through the pet specialty channel. Today virtually all major and mid-level pet market players offer at least some natural or eco-friendly products. The growth of the natural pet market correlates in part with the growing number of natural players exclusive to the pet specialty channel. But it is incursion by companies centered in the mass market, via line extension or acquisition, that has brought the pet industry’s largest competitors onto the natural playing field, where ongoing experimentation and expansion promises to keep them firmly entrenched.

Human food trends in pet food market

“Natural, Organic and Eco-Friendly Pet Products in the U.S.” also examines how the growth of the natural pet food market is fueled in part by human food trends. The environmental, safety and social concerns that are important to US consumers when purchasing products for themselves frequently also influence their pet product purchases, so the perennial strong performance of organic, eco-friendly and natural products on the human side—where these trends are much further along—suggests solid market growth potential for pet. Another human/pet market driver is the demand for increased transparency in product content and composition. At the same time, product safety is a growing factor given the many recalls of the past few years.