Interzoo report: Global pet food industry is strong, growing

Pet food data shared during the largest international pet trade show highlighted ongoing strength and growth in many countries and regions around the world.

Interzoo 2024 Entrance
Debbie Phillips-Donaldson

The German pet care market has surpassed the 7 billion Euro (US$7.55 billion) for the first time. In Italy, a pandemic bump in pet population has sustained. Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing pet care market globally, with markets like Indonesia and Vietnam experiencing double-digit growth in pet food sales.

These data points, all from sessions and press conferences during Interzoo 2024 in Nuremberg, Germany, May 7-10, highlight the ongoing strength of the global pet care and pet food markets, with growth projected to continue.

German, Italian and European markets

During its Interzoo opening press conference, ZZF, organizers of the show, presented data from ZZF and IVH on the German and global pet food markets. In Germany, pet food sales accounted for a major share of the overall pet care market, reaching 4.495 billion Euros (US$4.85 billion) in 2023. Those sales were in brick-and-mortar outlets; the data separated out online pet care sales (1.316 Euros, or US$1.42 billion) without breaking it into product categories.

In fact, 63% of pet food sales in Germany happened in food retail outlets, which included drugstores and discounters, according to ZZF/IVH. The pet specialty trade accounted for the remaining pet food sales.

Worldwide, Eastern Europe is among the top-growing regions for pet care, registering an 8.8% increase. Euromonitor International projects four Western European countries — Germany, U.K., France and Italy — to be among the top pet care growth markets through 2029.

For Italy specifically, Assalco, the country’s pet product association, shared data during its own press conference, showing that dog and cat food sales reached 3 billion Euros (US$3.24 billion) in 2023, a 13.4% increase from 2022, which itself registered a 12.1% rise. The country’s 65 million pets (including dogs, cats, fish, pet birds and small mammals) has remained stable since pandemic gains.

As in many European countries, cats are more popular in both Germany and Italy.

Southeast Asia: Explosive growth

The Asia-Pacific pet care market is expected to experience 7% compound annual growth (CAGR) through 2028, according to Javier Munoz, senior research analyst for Euromonitor. Overall, the region (excluding China) reached US$2.8 billion in pet care sales in 2023, with pet food accounting for 90% of that.

In terms of China, pet food sales are soaring, projected to reach US$3.5 billion by 2028, representing about 8% CAGR. Other countries, like Indonesia at about 14% and Vietnam at about 15%, are expected to grow even faster in pet food sales, though starting from smaller bases.

Feeding of commercial pet food is also increasing rapidly, hitting nearly 80% for dogs and more than 60% for cats in Singapore. Malaysia has about the same rate of commercial cat food feeding, while in Indonesia, about 40% of dogs are fed commercial dog food. Lower rates in other countries highlights the growth potential for pet food in the region.

Petfood Forum Europe 2024: Latest pet food research

On May 6, preceding Interzoo, Petfood Forum Europe 2024 featured 10 pet food experts covering new product design concepts, research on novel proteins such as insects and microbials, as well as other popular ingredients like probiotics, postbiotics, yeast and yeast derivatives. Other sessions addressed mineral bioavailability in vegan and vegetarian dog food, climate change’s impact on the European pet food supply chain, a new thermal pet food process using extrusion and its effects on resistant starch and gut health in dogs.

Nearly 300 pet food professionals from throughout Europe and the world attended Petfood Forum Europe, including leading industry suppliers who sponsored the conference.

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