Dog food brand usage 2013-2021; Premium up, standard down

Over time, some dog food and treat brands have grown faster than others, while some have declined in usage rate among U.S. pet owners.

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Andrea Gantz | WATT Global Media
Andrea Gantz | WATT Global Media

Over time, some dog food and treat brands have grown faster than others, while some have declined in usage rate among United States pet owners. David Sprinkle, publisher and research director for Packaged Facts, shared data on the rise or fall of specific brands during his presentation at Petfood Forum 2021. Overall, kibble remained a nearly ubiquitous product in U.S. dog owners’ homes, with approximately 94% of U.S. dog owners using kibble consistently for the past decade, while wet or canned dog food increased from 35% to 38%.

“Dry is an enormously successful product format, and has been for decades,” he said. “I don't know that any human food product has anything near that.”

Dog food and treat brands’ usage rates

From the spring of 2013 to spring 2021, dry dog food varieties from Blue Buffalo, Purina One and Hill’s Science Diet have increased in usage rate, according to retail data Sprinkle collected from MRI Simmons. Blue Buffalo increased from 3% of dog owners using the products to 8.9%. Purina One grew from 4.6 to 8%. Hill’s increased from 4.8% to 6.9%.

Blue Buffalo has really come to the top,” he said. “Purina One is doing very well for itself, with its premium positioning within the mass market. You can see that Hill’s has gotten some new steam, in part due to the dilated cardiomyopathy situation, a bit of a pendulum swing back to scientific positioning, rather than natural.”

During that same period, usage rates in the U.S. declined for Pedigree, Beneful, Purina Dog Chow and Kibbles ‘N Bits. Pedigree decreased from 10.7% to 7.7%. Beneful dropped from 13.1% to 6.1%. Purina Dog Chow declined from 8.6% to 6.1%. Kibbles ‘N Bits decreased from 8.7% to 5%.

“A lot of your old school, mainstream dog food brands have actually been flat at best, if not losing share,” he said.

The past decade also saw fluctuations in dog treat usage rates in the U.S. Between spring 2011 and spring 2021, Milk-Bone dog biscuits declined from 21% of dog owners using the product to 18%. At the same time, Milk-Bone Treats increased from 7% to 12%. Beggin’ Strips declined from usage by 19% of U.S. dog owners to 11%. Meanwhile, Greenies increased from 4% to 10%, and Blue Buffalo dog treats reached a 7% usage rate.

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