13 most purchased cat, dog food attributes in 2022

Some of the most purchased pet food attributes related to environmental concerns and ingredient quality.

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In a survey by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), pet owners reported purchasing dog and cat foods with certain attributes in 2022. While there were some differences among dog and cat owners, many trends held for both pet foods. Julie Springer, market research analyst for APPA, shared the results of the survey during her presentation at Global Pet Expo on March 22 in Orlando, Florida, USA. Some of the most purchased pet food attributes related to environmental concerns and ingredient quality.

Top dog, cat food attributed purchased in 2022

Environmentally friendly packaging – Pet owners want to know that the bag their dog or cat’s food came in won’t linger in a landfill for centuries or end up floating in the Pacific Ocean.

  • Dog – 11%
  • Cat – 14%

Human-grade ingredients – Humanization of pet food is a dominant trend in the industry and pet owners want ingredients in their pets’ food that they might find in their own.

  • Dog – 14%
  • Cat – 12%

Clean label ingredients – Some pet owners avoid dog and cat foods with synthetic ingredients or complicated formulations.

  • Dog – 10%
  • Cat – 12%

Functional ingredients – Dog and cat owners seek out pet foods made with components that have nutritional value and health benefits.

  • Dog – 12%
  • Cat – 11%

Novel/exotic proteins – These pet food ingredients are made from other sources of amino acids than livestock species conventionally used in pet food

  • Dog – 9%
  • Cat – 9%

Sustainably sourced ingredients – Sustainable sourcing of ingredients involves agricultural practices that don’t diminish the potential for future generations to live at a quality of life equal or better to what people experience now.

  • Dog – 9%
  • Cat – 8%

Locally sourced ingredients – Reducing the distance that ingredients have to travel causes less pollution from transportation, while benefiting nearby economies.

  • Dog – 7%
  • Cat – 6%

Non-GMO food – Genetic modification of crops concerns some pet owners.

  • Dog – 6%
  • Cat – 7%

Superfood ingredients – While hard to define, superfoods include fruits and vegetables known to contain phytonutrients and other chemicals that benefit health beyond basic nutrition.

  • Dog – 6%
  • Cat – 7%

Ancient grains – Ancient grains are those crops that haven’t undergone intense selective breeding or hybridization within the past few centuries.

  • Dog – 3%
  • Cat – 3%

Plant-based – Pet owners may choose plant-based pet foods because of animal welfare or environmental concerns.

  • Dog – 5%
  • Cat – 5%

Ethically sourced – The welfare of farmers and other people involved in the production process is also important to some pet owners.

  • Dog – 6%
  • Cat – 7%

Vegan – Pet owners who eat vegan diets may want to maintain their ethical standards when purchasing pet food too.

  • Dog – 1%
  • Cat – 1%
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