Confidence in future high among pet food executives

A first-quarter survey conducted by Petfood Industry and Communications For Research indicates a positive industry outlook among pet food industry executives.

(DrAfter123 |
(DrAfter123 |

Petfood Industry magazine has partnered with Communications For Research Inc. to begin researching and reporting on the confidence level of industry executives within pet food markets each quarter. For the first report, data was collected from February 5, 2020 through February 29, 2020 from pet food industry executives in a variety of business functions and job roles.

Editor's note: The majority (two-thirds) of expectations data was collected before worsening new coronavirus (COVID-19) conditions and the dramatic stock market decline, and likely did not have an effect on the conclusions reported. We believe it is still relevant to report first-quarter impressions in order to provide a baseline for the rest of the year, particularly in light of the potential ongoing economic effects of COVID-19.

Pet food executives say they feel positive about their business

Overall, pet food industry executives feel quite positive about current business conditions. Close to 50% feel that business conditions are above average, and only 3% of executives feel the present conditions are below average. Executives report optimism around continuing consumer demand within the industry as well as feeling optimistic about new product introductions, ingredients and technologies driving growth and expansion.

They are also extremely positive about the future of business conditions, with almost 60% expecting better business conditions in six months and close to 90% expecting increased opportunities for growth and expansion. Many expect growth in global markets as well as in e-commerce and additional points of distribution.

DCM concerns

This quarter, executives were also asked about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s ongoing investigation into canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and grain-free products. A slight majority — just over 50% — of executives feel that FDA’s public announcement about DCM related to grain-free pet food was not a good strategy. Executives believe it wasn’t based on sufficient research, it was reported too early and FDA should not have named pet food companies or brands. 

Executives are divided about how FDA’s announcement affected grain-free pet food sales, with about one-third feeling it decreased sales, one-third undecided and one-third feeling it didn’t decrease sales. A strong majority doesn’t really expect FDA’s announcement to decrease future grain-free sales, with about two-thirds expecting future grain-free sales to remain stable or increase.

We are continuously in communication with executives to gather opinions on business conditions in the pet food industry as well as research relevant topics and trends.

The next Petfood Industry Confidence Index report is expected to publish in the July 2020 edition of Petfood Industry magazine.


Would you like to be part of the Index? Get qualified.


2 top concerns of pet food businesses in 2020

Petfood Industry Confidence Index survey respondents were asked, “In the coming year, will production activities in your pet food business be hampered?” Find out what they said.

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