US, France, Japan, Germany, Spain lead pet food sales

Together these countries may account for over 50 percent of all pet food sales.

(Minerva Studio,
(Minerva Studio,

The world’s largest pet food markets are in the United States, France, Japan, Germany and Spain, according to a report from The Business Research Company. Together these countries account for over 50 percent of all pet food sales.

Pet humanization and market growth

Increases in unit prices, as much as in sales volume, maintain market growth in countries such as these, according to the report. Where the pet food market might otherwise be reaching saturation, manufacturers have been able to boost it by taking advantage of a trend towards pet humanization. This trend allows pet food manufacturers to raise their revenues by offering grain-free and other premium products, concluded Business Research Company analysts.

France, Germany and the US are also in the top five countries for growth in the market, with growth rates of 6.7 percent in France and Germany and 4.6 percent in the US, stated the analysts. The fastest-growing market is in China, where sales are rising by 9.1 percent year over year.

In 2016, 14 percent of pet food launches in the US were positioned as indulgent or premium, according to the report. Mars’ Sheba Perfect Portions Pate, Nestle Merrick’s Purrfect Bistro Gourmet Shreds and Purina Fancy Feast Broths are examples of super-premium pet food products.

The global market for pet food has recently accelerated from 2.4 percent a year to 4.1 percent, a near doubling, stated the analysts. Factors other than pet humanization are in play in some regions, they said, including rising urbanization and disposable income in emerging countries such as China and India, and growing online sales of pet food.

Mergers and acquisitions in the pet food industry

The pet food market is moderately fragmented, wrote Business Research Company analysts. The top five competitors made up 20 percent of the total market in 2017. However, consolidation is proceeding: merger and acquisition activities in the pet food market have been at a high level in the last three years. J. M. Smucker Company, Pamplona Capital Management, Quadrant Private Equity, Spectrum Brands Holdings, Nestle Purina Petcare, and Rondo Foods are among companies that have completed major deals.

The Business Research Company background

The Business Research Company conducts competitor, market and consumer research on a range of industries globally. The company has offices in the UK, US and India and consultants in more than 20 countries.  The company uses secondary and investigative primary research. 

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