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.

What's the state of the global petfood industry?

Despite petfood recalls in the US, problems with chicken jerky treats from China and the still-stumbling economy -- especially in Europe -- the global petfood industry seems to keep humming along. For example, a new report from Research and Markets shows the nearly 200 US-based petfood manufacturers (including huge multinationals like Mars and Nestle Purina) earn a total annual revenue of about US$47 billion.



Even in Western Europe, with its reeling economies, petfood sales are increasing. "No crisis in the Italian pet supplies industry" proclaims a headline in online magazine, citing data from the 2012 ASSALCO-Zoomark report showing sales of dog and cat food grew 2.1% in 2011 and reached 1.604 million Euro (US$2.015 million), including snacks and treats. (ASSALCO is the Italian pet trade association.)

Similarly, also has an article saying "The French petfood market does not know the crisis," though it does not contain any data or information that really backs up that statement, other than the fact that pet ownership in France has remained fairly stable. Citing a report from Animal Distribution, the article says 25% of French families own dogs while 28% own cats.

It will be interesting to see if petfood growth continues -- or any growth happens -- this year considering the current Eurozone economic crisis. Yet growth is continuing in the US, in spite of a sluggish recovery, and most industry experts expect growth to continue to soar in so-called developing petfood regions like Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia, especially markets like China.


What do you think? Petfood Industry will be publishing an article soon on the state of the global petfood industry. You can contribute your insights and experiences by answering two basic yet possibly profound questions:
  • What is the single biggest or best opportunity for the global petfood industry at this time?
  • What is the single biggest or most important challenge for the industry at this time -- and what should organizations in the industry do to meet that challenge?


If you'd care to address either or both questions, please respond in the comments section below. (You need to register and sign in to comment; registration to the site is free.) Thank you, in advance, for your input!

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