5 fastest-growing pet food opportunities globally

For future success in the global pet food market, look to fast-growing areas such as cat food, treats, wet food, the Asia-Pacific region and e-commerce.

Photo by Andrea Gantz
Photo by Andrea Gantz

While global pet food sales reached U.S.$91.1 billion in 2018 and have increased at a 6 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) since 2013, according to Jared Koerten, head of pet care for Euromonitor, five key drivers account for much of the growth and offer opportunities for pet food market success.

  1. Cat food. Volume growth globally measured at more than 2 percent CAGR from 2013-2018, while value sales also increased at 5 percent CAGR, Koerten said, attributing rising cat ownership of nearly 6 percent CAGR since 2013. In countries like China and South Korea, cat ownership growth came closer to 30 percent.
  2. Pet treats. Global sales of dog treats have increased nearly 6 percent CAGR since 2013, with cat treats at 9 percent CAGR. Though global cat treat sales are relatively low, only about U.S.$2 billion in 2018, their growth is even more robust in some regions such as Asia-Pacific, which saw a 23 percent CAGR from 2013-2018.
  3. Wet pet food. Typically selling at higher prices, wet food values sales growth has outpaced that of volume sales, with increases of 4 to 5 percent CAGR for both dog and cat food. This segment is even increasing its share in markets like Brazil, where dry food has traditionally dominated, Koerten said.
  4. Asia-Pacific. Described by Koerten as the “next frontier,” absolute sales of dog food in this region are projected to increase nearly U.S.$4 billion through 2023, compared to U.S.$7 billion for the rest of the world. Cat food sales are projected to also show strong growth in Latin America through 2023, but not quite as strong as Asia at U.S.$2 billion, compared to about U.S.$3 billion for all other regions outside those two.
  5. E-commerce. Its growth has far surpassed that of all other retail channels at more than 25 percent CAGR from 2013-2018, compared to less than 5 percent CAGR for warehouse clubs, variety stores, pharmacies, pet superstores and pet shops. According to Euromonitor, online sales of dog and cat food reached nearly U.S.$9 billion in 2018 and now have a 10 percent share of global sales.
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