Adventures in Pet Food

Debbie Phillips-Donaldson, editor-in-chief of Petfood Industry, shares her insights and opinions on all things pet food, addressing market trends as well as news and developments in pet nutrition, food safety and other hot topics for the industry.
Petfood Forum News

Petfood Forum 2023 began with an opening reception at KC Live! in the Power & Light District.

| Wheat Photography

Petfood Forum and Petfood Essentials 2023 by the numbers

More than 3,700 pet food professionals from around the world convened in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, last week (May 1-3) for Petfood Forum and Petfood Essentials 2023. (Disclosure: My company, Watt Global Media, owns and operates these events, and I’m one of the hosts and organizers.)

Whether or not you attended Petfood Forum or Petfood Essentials (a focused seminar preceding Petfood Forum), you may find the following, random data points interesting—mainly because they’re a reflection of the strength and dynamism of the global pet food industry.

  • 44%: jump over Petfood Forum 2022 attendance registered by those 3,700+ participantsa record for the conferencesignifying not just the industry’s growth but also the return to some level of normalcy after the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 43: countries represented among the participants.
  • 371: exhibiting suppliers at Petfood Forum, a 14.5% increase over 2022.
  • 80: new exhibitors, again speaking to the allure of the market thanks to its continuing growth.
  • 26: pet food experts presenting their insights, research and experience as Petfood Forum speakers.
  • 14: Tech Talks delivered on the exhibit hall floor by suppliers explaining their latest research or services.
  • 12: research abstracts presented by students in pet food-related academic programs.
  • 4: lunch n’ learn sessions, including a panel discussion led by the Pet Food Institute, two explanatory sessions from the Association of American Feed Control Officials and a networking event for a new Women in Petfood Leadership program.
  • 1: editions of Women in Petfood Leadership events (the lunch n’ learn was the inaugural one).
  • 12.5%: return on value (vs. return on investment) for connecting with pet owners’ values, according to David Allison, May 2 keynote and founder of the Valuegraphics Project. In other words, if your marketing or communication speaks to those consumers’ values, your sales will be 12.5% higher.
  • 4: rules for leading people through crises, challenges and changes, from Mary Kelly, Ph.D., May 3 keynote speaker.
  • US$801: annual retail sales per U.S. household for dog food and treats in 2022, up from US$681 in 2021, an 18% jump, according to David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts, during his presentation.
  • US$560: annual retail sales per U.S. household for cat food and treats in 2022, a 15% increase over 2021’s US$488.
  • US$45.7 billion: global sales of premium pet food in 2022, up from US$40.5 billion in 2021, according to Mark Strobel, senior research manager with Euromonitor International, presenting during Petfood Essentials on May 1. That represents 12.8% growth.
  • 15%: increase in economy-priced pet food sales worldwide from 2021 to 2022. Mid-priced pet food sales rose 10.7%.
  • 49%: leap in Petfood Essentials attendance over 2022, perhaps due to this year’s theme: alternative pet food formats.



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