5 pet food companies top US online sales growth in 2020

Of those consumer goods shifting online, IRI ranked pet supplies highest with online sales now making up 45.5% of the total.

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(Artem Samokhvalov | shutterstock.com)
(Artem Samokhvalov | shutterstock.com)

Two themes of the economic response to the ongoing pandemic have been e-commerce and pets. People ordered online and stayed home with pets, creating strong demand for pet adoptions, pet products and e-commerce platforms. Among other consumer products, analysts with Information Resources Inc. (IRI) Consulting examined how the pandemic influenced dog, cat and other pet food brands’ U.S. sales in the report “2020 Trends and Emerging Growth Pockets.” Overall, consumer products with strong e-commerce presences performed better than those limited to conventional retail outlets. Products that already saw sales shifting into e-commerce continued to move towards online sales. Of those consumer goods shifting online, IRI ranked pet supplies highest with online sales now making up 45.5% of the total. That share resulted from a 15.9 share percentage point change. Pet food demand exemplified this with growth in online sales of shelf stable diets. Online sales for some companies operating in the pet food sector grew by triple-digits, with Freshpet increasing 186%, CJ Foods by 167% and Tyson Foods by 97%.

Pet food online sales in 2020

Pet food companies occupied three of the top five spaces among 10 brands ranked highest for dollar sales growth in e-commerce during the year ending Nov. 29, 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

1.            Purina US$316

2.            Scott US$184

3.            Royal Canin US$177

4.            Starbucks US$174

5.            Hill’s Science Diet US$171

Leading product claims in 2020

While people worried about their families, their pets and their own health in 2020, the pandemic seems to have increased the number of consumer products making certain product claims. IRI analysts noted an more use of marketing language related to product origins, sources of protein, immune boosting and calming. For pet products, advertising the use of turmeric increased.

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