Pet food’s resilience is being tested as never before

According to a report, the industry is facing inflation-weary pet owners and a decline in the dog population.

In the previous edition of this report, Packaged Facts was already tracking the impact inflation was having on pet food spending and projecting what its continued impact would be. We now know that although pet food maintained its double-digit growth into 2023, much of this growth was fueled by higher prices rather than by this market’s historical growth driver, premiumization. Pet food’s resilience is being tested as never before, with a inflation-weary pet owners and a decline in the dog population among the prime challenges this market is experiencing.

In the previous edition of this report, Packaged Facts was already tracking the impact inflation was having on pet food spending and projecting what its continued impact would be. We now know that although pet food maintained its double-digit growth into 2023, much of this growth was fueled by higher prices rather than by this market’s historical growth driver, premiumization. Pet food’s resilience is being tested as never before, with a inflation-weary pet owners and a decline in the dog population among the prime challenges this market is experiencing.

Bright spots like fresh pet food and wellness-focused formulations are heartening, but the chinks in pet food’s armor are showing. Packaged Facts survey results from September/October 2023 show that nearly one-third of pet owners had switched pet foods in the past 12 months, and among these, 32% of dog owners and 28% of cat owners had traded down to lower-priced options. As inflation levels off but higher prices remain, time will tell if pet owners will continue turning to more value-focused options or if a focus on pets as family and pet health and wellness will be enough to bolster sales of premium products. Packaged Facts projects that sales of dog and cat food will grow from $51 billion in 2023 to nearly $73 billion in 2027, reflecting a compound annual growth rate of nearly 10% for the period, betting on pet owners’ continued investment in their pets’ health and well-being in the form of high-quality pet foods.

Featuring in-depth analysis of these and other factors contributing to the changes this market is experiencing, this completely revised 17th edition of Packaged Facts’ Pet Food in the US provides historical and projected overall sales (2017-2027), as well as separate sales tracking and projections for dog and cat food. The report also examines trends by form (dry, wet, semi-moist, frozen/refrigerated, and freeze-/air-dried), ingredients, and product claims across the full retail spectrum including online retailers, mass-market outlets, the pet specialty channel, and other channels. Relying on survey data from Packaged Facts’ proprietary March 2023 and September/October 2023 Surveys of Pet Owners, as well as MRI-Simmons Summer 2023 consumer study, Pet Food in the US provides a detailed look at pet owner sentiment and pet food usage by type, marketer, and brand. Other topics of discussion include cross-market trends; consumer expenditures; market opportunities; mergers and acquisitions; channel trends including e-commerce and omnichannel; and new product and marketing trends—all presented through the lens of the current economic environment.

 

 

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