US pet food sales bank on power of top global players

Top pet food companies in the US contributed strong product development and market presence, helping US pet food account for 34% of global sales.

Global Pet Numbers 1603 Pe Tglobal

The ongoing dominance of US-based pet food companies atop the Top Pet Food Companies Database and annual report is a key reason the US continues to lead global pet food sales. While most of these companies, especially the two largest (Mars Petcare and Nestlé Purina PetCare), sell their products globally, their robust performance in the US definitely contributes to that market’s strength.

Among the 11 top-growing large brands of dry dog food in the US mass market channel in 2015, seven belonged to Mars or Nestle, according to Packaged Facts; the others were part of Ainsworth Pet Nutrition or Sunshine Mills, both among the 20 largest pet food companies globally. 

In the US pet specialty channel, brands under Mars and Nestlé—the latter through its Merrick and Zuke’s divisions—have spearheaded new product introductions in the fast-growing freeze-dried pet food category, GfK reported. Those brands were joined by one from WellPet, also one of the 20 largest companies.

All this product development and market presence from top companies helped US pet food sales reach US$30.27 billion in 2015, a 3% increase over 2014. Sharing this data during Global Pet Expo in March 2016 in Orlando, Florida, USA, David Sprinkle of Packaged Facts projected 2016 sales to rise 3.3% to US$31.26 billion, with continuing growth each year climbing to 4.9% by 2020.

The 2015 US sales accounted for a large share of the US$70 billion global pet food market, though it should be noted the global figure is from GfK, which pegged US sales at only US$24 billion. That is still about 34% of the global market and more than all of Europe (US$20 billion) combined.

In US pet specialty, pet food sales reached US$13.1 billion in 2015, up 4% over 2014, reported Maria Lange of GfK at Petfood Forum 2016. The growth was driven by dollar sales increases rather than volume, with a 4.7% rise in sales offset by a 1.3% decline in poundage.

Other drivers of pet food sales in US pet specialty last year included continuing premiumization (though Lange also reported a move toward natural value-priced pet foods), ongoing robust growth of grain-free pet foods and the rapid increases in the freeze-dried category, particularly for products combining kibble and freeze-dried.

Page 1 of 704
Next Page