ROCKVILLE, Md., Sept. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — U.S. retail sales of dog and cat food approached $40 billion in 2021, up 15% from 2020, according to Packaged Facts’ recently released pet food in the U.S.A. United (September 2022). From 2017 to 2021, dog and cat food achieved a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11%.
Recent inflationary pet food prices have only partially driven this growth. If the pet food market isn’t holistic proof of tough times, it’s very hard to resist, as has been proven in the wake of COVID.
Double-digit sales growth in the pet food market – large and mature outwardly as it is – is driven by continued product premium, if not “super differentiation”. This long-standing trend is currently evident in the success of the fresh (chilled/frozen) pet food category. Fresh pet foods tend toward the human level in formulation and direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales in distribution, albeit now rapidly moving into bricks and mortar as well. This is a market revolution, not an evolution.
The graffiti of fresh pet food is a lot like a Times Square neon flashing billboard. Freshpet, the leading refrigerated pet food company, forecasts 2025 revenue in the $1 billion to $1.25 billion range. To seal the deal on the future of fresh produce, Mars launched its Cesar Fresh Chef refrigerated dog food line in December 2021, and acquired DTC’s fresh pet food company NomNomNow in January 2022.
More broadly, the “regular” formula does not reduce pet food sales growth. Only half of dog and cat owners use regular formula/adult pet foods, combined with the pet owner’s increased concern for the health and wellness needs of their pets.
In this context, pet food sales are benefiting from a renewed focus on premium, scientific diets and treats – partly in the wake of fear of dog food DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy), but more broadly due to increased awareness of pet health in this age of COVID.
Furthermore, the facts packaged indicate that 38% of dog owners and 36% of cat owners like the idea of pet food backed by scientific research. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, the leading veterinary clinical nutrition company with Hill’s prescription pet food, saw full-year net pet food sales increase 14% to $3.3 billion. An important point that Hill’s focuses on, and industry-wide buzzwords, is the microbiome.
One of the most striking aspects of the current wave of science-based pet foods, according to US Pet Food author Shannon Brown, is the overlap between the “natural” and “veterinary-designed” attributes of product placement, including in the DTC space. Vet’s Kitchen Cat and Dog Food – “Fresh. Healthy. Vet Approved” – represents this current innovative product.
About packed facts
Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, publishes market information on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer demographics, shopper insights, consumer financial products and services, consumer goods and retail, and pet products and services. Packed Facts also offers a full range of personalized search services. The reports can be purchased from our company’s website and are also available through MarketResearch.com.
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