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.

Sales of natural and organic petfood, pet supplements grow

From a natural products standpoint, the animal nutrition market was a mixed bag in 2010, though still showing overall growth. So says the August issue of Nutrition Business Journal, which shows US sales of natural and organic petfood grew "only" 4%, the "the lowest category growth ever recorded," according to a summary of the issue's reports.


The summary also says pet supplements grew 6% in 2010 but "suffer from a lack of significant new product development," while other natural and organic pet supplies had "another banner year." According to Nutrition Business Journal, the total animal nutrition market -- defined by the publication as including those three categories of natural and organic petfood, pet supplements (not including animal feed supplements) and natural and organic pet supplies -- increased 5% to US$3.2 billion last year.


Unfortunately, you can't access the articles in the issue unless you have a paid subscription or pay US$199.99 to US$299.99 to download the issue. (The discrepancy in pricing is because, believe it or not, it seems to change each time I access the page! Perhaps NBJ is testing different prices?) The NBJ site does offer the opportunity to download a free sample issue, but there's no guarantee which issue you'll receive.


However, you can access one animal nutrition article for free: "Natural pet food brands jockey to fill Pet Promise's void" opines on which other natural petfood brands might replace Pet Promise as leader in the natural products market. (According to the article, the Nestle Purina brand "had long controlled the lion's share of shelf space for petfood at natural retail, and the brand reached $22 million in sales in 2008, according to NBJ estimates.")


Also available for free access is a gallery of top animal nutrition trends from the issue. (Thanks to Daryll C of the Petfood Industry Professionals group on Linked In for sharing this.)


To compare NBJ's 2010 data on natural and organic petfood, Packaged Facts' latest data goes only through 2009 for natural petfood, which showed US sales of US$1.5 billion in all retail channels that year. For the 52 weeks ending in April 2010, natural petfood sales declined 2.4%, but that was only in US supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers (excluding Walmart at that time). Packaged Facts projected natural petfood to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.6% between 2009 and 2014, ending up at US$2.5 billion that year.


According to SPINSscan natural data from SPINS Inc., a market research and consulting firm for the natural products industry, sales of petfood in US natural supermarkets grew 3.5% in 2010 to reach US$54 million, Packaged Facts says. (That 3.5% growth figure is in line with NBJ's data as well as overall petfood industry growth.)


For organic petfood, Packaged Facts reported data from the Organic Trade Association showed 2009 US sales of US$85 million, representing 10% growth from the previous year.

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