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.
Pet Food Market Trends

Petfood Forum highlights positive numbers for petfood market and its future

Among 2,000 pet owners surveyed online in March, 72% agree that their pets have a positive impact on their physical health, and 79% agree their pets have a positive impact on their mental health, according to Packaged Facts.


Out of many interesting and impressive numbers emanating from Petfood Forum last week, those data, delivered by David Sprinkle, publisher and research director for Packaged Facts, stood out -- not least because they served as a precursor to the closing keynote by Bob Vetere, president of the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) and American Pet Products Association, who spoke about key areas of research HABRI is focusing on to scientifically validate the benefits of pet ownership for humans.


Sprinkle, Vetere and other speakers presented many noteworthy numbers, including:


  • HABRI Central, HABRI's online research portal, has identified and cataloged over 16,000 studies, articles, books, videos, datasets, etc. on the human-animal bond, Vetere said.
  • US petfood sales will grow 5% this year to reach over US$21 billion, Sprinkle said, characterizing the future of the market as a "two-thirds full glass" because of flat mass market performance.
  • Sprinkle also presented research from Experian Marketing Services and the Simmons National Consumer Survey with some eye-popping numbers on emerging US consumer segments: for example, pet owners age 18-34 are 56% more likely and Hispanics are 76% more likely than the overall population to buy puppy food; Hispanics are also 66% more likely to own four or more dogs.
  • Brazil now has the fourth largest pet population in the world and the second largest number of cats and dogs owned, according to Madalena Spinazzola, strategic planning and corporate manager for Premier Pet, a petfood manufacturer in Brazil (citing data from Euromonitor).
  • In volume (tonnage), the size of the Brazilian petfood market has doubled from 2000 to 2012, up to over 2 million tons, Spinazzola said.
  • Euromonitor itself was represented at Petfood Forum by Paula Flores, head of its pet care research team, who noted that through 2016, 66% of global GDP growth will be generated in emerging markets as 88% of the world's population will be living in those markets and their annual disposable income is rising rapidly.
  • Speaking of GDPs, Michael Johnson, VP of marketing for Chuck Latham Associates, noted during his keynote for Petfood Workshop: World of Ingredients that if the US pet care industry were its own country, it would have the 74th largest GDP in the world (at US$53 billion).
  • Another interesting data point from Johnson: eight cents of every dollar spent in the US is spent in Walmart.


Finally, Petfood Forum itself included more than 1,330 participants (from over 30 countries) and 257 booths, both records.


Popular Stories