That spending doesn’t seem to be waning: Expenditures
on pets are increasing exponentially in the U. S., according
to Pet Food Market in U.S.—Industry Outlook and Forecast 2017-2022, a recent market research report by Arizton Advisory & Intelligence. And because the pet food
category is recession-proof, its growth prospect remains
high, the report notes.
The good news for grocers is that more than 80% of
respondents who generally shop at pet-focused retailers
indicated they would buy a similar product from a grocery or discount store, according to American Nutrition,
a custom manufacturer of pet food and treats for branded
companies and retailers.
“The pet category is enormous and growing by approx-
Heeding the ‘Humanization’ Call
imately 4% every year, which equals about $2.5 billion
annually,” says Joe Toscano, director of industry and trade
relations for Nestle Purina. “The pet category is shopped
by almost three-fourths of all U.S. households … and it is
also the second-largest store trip driver, behind pharmacy
only. It is a well-known fact that pet specialty retailers are
losing trips, most likely due to the rise of e-commerce.
Grocery retailers tend to have shoppers in their stores
almost weekly. If retailers can show these consumers that
they have in-store what the consumer is making an extra
trip to pet specialty for, they can certainly win.”
Understanding trends driving the pet products cate-
gory can help retailers make sure the products they carry
make their stores destinations for pet owners. Here Win-
sight Grocery Business explores some of the hottest trends
driving category purchases.
Humanization is the overarching theme in the pet category today.
“People love their pets like family, and as consumers
become more judicious about what they themselves eat,
they tend to seek out ‘better-for-you’ foods for their pets
as well,” Toscano says. He notes this trend has sparked
growth in products made with limited ingredients and
real meat as the No. 1 ingredient, as well as items that are
natural and grain-free. “Pet parents are even looking for
healthier treat options, such as reduced calorie or those
that include dental benefits,” he adds.
That inclination to treat pets as people also is fueling a
move toward organic pet food, says Tom Wien, director
of marketing for Cardinal Pet. “Organic pet foods are one
of the fastest-growing categories in our industry today,
expected to increase by 14.6% annually through 2019,
according to research by Packaged Facts,” he says, noting
that a Morningstar report predicts the global market for
organic pet food will reach $13.14 billion by 2021.
Quarterly Pet Report
Sixty-eight percent of U.S.
households—some 85 million
families—own a pet, according
to the 2017-2018 National
Pet Owners Survey from
the American Pet Products
Association (APPA). Overall pet
industry spending came in at a
record high of $66.75 billion in
2016, up 10.7% over 2015, with
pet food alone accounting for
$28.23 billion, the APPA reports.