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Pet Food - US - March 2012

In spite of the recession and subsequently slow recovery, consumers continue to dote on their pets, making this category—if not quite bomb-proof—at least able to withstand the shellacking suffered by many other categories. The pet food market experienced sales of more than $18 billion in 2011, and is projected to reach sales of $21.2 billion by 2016.

This report examines the dynamics driving the pet food market, and takes a closer look at the following:

  • The exciting new opportunities to be found as consumers continue to educate themselves on what constitutes a ‘good’ pet food
  • How Baby Boomer demographics have the potential to depress the pet food market, though there may be salvation in the younger set
  • The manner in which competing products within the pet food space are having an impact on manufacturers
  • What segments continue to be hot and why, and why the natural supermarket channel is having an impact on pet food sales
  • How leading pet food companies are making their presence known, and which ones are feeling the pinch most
  • How today’s consumers think and feel when it comes to their pets.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer data
              • Advertising creative
                • Acronyms and terms
                  • Acronyms
                    • Terms
                    • Executive Summary

                      • Modest growth for mature $18 billion pet food market
                        • While innovations are declining, there remain opportunities
                          • Market drivers a mixed bag
                            • Competing influences leave consumers confused
                              • Dog food remains the top segment in this category
                                • Most dog food still purchased at supermarkets
                                  • Marketing and promotional efforts saw a twist in 2012
                                    • More than half of Americans have pets in their household
                                    • Insights and Opportunities

                                      • Groupon-style promotions for pets gaining ground
                                        • The hyper-educated consumer
                                          • Interest in vegetarian/vegan food picks up speed
                                          • Inspire Insights

                                              • Trend 1: Premiumization and Indulgence
                                                • Trend 2: Experience is All
                                                • Market Size and Forecast

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • Total U.S. retail sales remain relatively strong
                                                      • Sales and forecast of pet food
                                                        • Figure 1: Total U.S. retail sales of pet food, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                        • Figure 2: Total U.S. retail sales of pet food, at inflation-adjusted prices*, 2006-16
                                                      • Fan chart forecast
                                                        • Figure 3: Fan chart forecast of pet food, 2006-16
                                                      • Walmart sales
                                                      • Market Drivers

                                                        • Demographics suggest both positives and negatives
                                                          • Figure 4: Population, by age, 2006-16
                                                        • Organic food trends carry over to pet foods
                                                          • Poor economy leading to greater number of surrendered pets
                                                          • Competitive Context

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Lack of understanding around importance of quality pet food
                                                                • Concern over lack of certification and standards
                                                                  • For many smaller players, difficult space in which to compete
                                                                    • Pet food safety issues a concern, with potential to sicken owners
                                                                      • Bones and raw food diets gain in popularity
                                                                      • Segment Performance

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Dog food remains key segment in pet food category
                                                                            • Total U.S. retail sales of pet food
                                                                              • Figure 5: Total U.S. retail sales of pet food, by segment, 2009-11
                                                                          • Segment Performance—Dog Food

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Dog food sales benefiting from Americans’ continued love affair with dogs
                                                                                • Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of dog food
                                                                                  • Figure 6: Total U.S. retail sales of dog food, 2006-16
                                                                              • Segment Performance—Cat Food

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Sales of cat food appear to be relatively recession-proof
                                                                                    • Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of cat food
                                                                                      • Figure 7: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of cat food, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                                  • Segment Performance—Other Pet Food

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Other pet food sales have not fared well
                                                                                        • Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of other pet food
                                                                                          • Figure 8: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of other pet food, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                                      • Retail Channels

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Supermarkets remain the largest single shopping venue for consumers
                                                                                            • Total U.S. retail sales of pet food, by channel
                                                                                              • Figure 9: Total U.S. retail sales of pet food, by channel, 2009 and 2011
                                                                                            • Pet food sales at supermarkets and food stores
                                                                                              • Figure 10: Supermarket/food stores’ sales of pet food, at current prices, 2006-11
                                                                                            • Pet food sales at drug stores
                                                                                              • Figure 11: Drug stores’ sales of pet food, at current prices, 2006-11
                                                                                            • Pet food sales at other retailers
                                                                                                • Figure 12: Other retailers’ sales of pet food, at current prices, 2006-11
                                                                                            • Retail Channels—Natural Supermarkets

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Insights
                                                                                                  • Pet food sales in the natural channel
                                                                                                    • Figure 13: Natural supermarket sales of pet food at current prices, 2009-11*
                                                                                                    • Figure 14: Natural supermarket sales of pet food, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-11*
                                                                                                  • Natural channel sales by segment
                                                                                                    • Figure 15: Natural supermarket sales of pet food, by segment, 2009 and 2011*
                                                                                                  • Brands of significance
                                                                                                    • Organic pet food sales in the natural channel
                                                                                                      • Figure 16: Natural supermarket sales of pet food, by organic, 2009 and 2011*
                                                                                                  • Leading Companies

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Nestlé Purina the top company
                                                                                                        • FDMx sales of pet food by manufacturer
                                                                                                          • Figure 17: Manufacturer FDMx sales of pet food in the U.S., 2010-11
                                                                                                      • Brand Share—Dog Food

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Nestlé Purina brands in top place
                                                                                                            • Manufacturer and brand sales of dog food
                                                                                                              • Figure 18: Selected FDMx brand sales of dog food, 2010-11
                                                                                                          • Brand Share—Cat Food

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Nestlé Purina’s Fancy Feast the top brand for cats
                                                                                                                • Manufacturer and brand sales of cat food
                                                                                                                  • Figure 19: Selected FDMx brand sales of cat food, 2010-11
                                                                                                              • Brand Share—Other Pet Food

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • FDMx sales of other pet food saw decline
                                                                                                                    • Manufacturer and brand sales of other pet food
                                                                                                                      • Figure 20: Selected FDMx brand sales of other pet food, 2010-11
                                                                                                                  • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Pet food product launches for 2007-11
                                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Pet food product launches, by subcategory, 2007-11
                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Pet food product launches, by top 15 claims, 2007-11
                                                                                                                        • Figure 23: Pet food product launches, by top flavors, 2007-11
                                                                                                                        • Figure 24: Pet food product launches, by top five companies/top three brands, 2007-11
                                                                                                                        • Figure 25: Pet food product launches, by private label share, 2007-11
                                                                                                                      • Simple and natural/organic ingredients
                                                                                                                        • Products focused on healthful benefits
                                                                                                                          • Whimsy in the pet food aisles
                                                                                                                          • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                                            • Overview
                                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Purina/Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers television ad, 2011
                                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Purina/Purina Dog Chow television ad, 2011
                                                                                                                                • Figure 28: Freshpet/Vital Dog Food television ad, 2011
                                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Eukanuba/Eukanuba Breed Nutrition television ad, 2011
                                                                                                                            • Pet Ownership

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • More than half of respondents own pets; dogs are most popular
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Pet ownership, by type and number of animals, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Pet ownership, by type and number of animals, and by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Pet ownership by type and number of animals, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Pet ownership by type and number of animals, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2011
                                                                                                                              • Household Usage—Pet Food

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • Dog food
                                                                                                                                    • Wet/moist dog food used by 34% of respondents
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Wet/moist dog food usage, by household income, July 2010–September 2011
                                                                                                                                    • Dry dog food a key household item in most dog-owning households
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Dry dog food usage, by age, July 2010–September 2011
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Dry dog food, by household income, July 2010-September 2011
                                                                                                                                    • Dog biscuit/treat usage high among households with dogs
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Dog biscuit/treat usage, by household income, July 2010–September 2011
                                                                                                                                    • Cat food
                                                                                                                                      • Usage of packaged dry cat food almost universal
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Packaged dry cat food usage, by household income, July 2010–September 2011
                                                                                                                                      • Wet/moist cat food usage lower than that of dry food
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Wet/moist cat food usage, by household income, July 2010–September 2011
                                                                                                                                      • Cat treats/snacks used by less than half of respondents with cats
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Cat treat/snack usage, by age, July 2010–September 2011
                                                                                                                                    • Outlets Where Consumers Buy Pet Food

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • In-person and online pet food purchase behaviors differ greatly
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: In-person pet food purchase locations, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Online pet food purchase locations, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: In-person pet food purchase locations, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Online pet food purchase locations, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes toward in-person and online pet food purchases
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 45: In-person pet food purchase attitudes, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Pet Products, Services, and Promotions

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Opportunities exist to educate consumers on ways to find information
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Pet products, services, and promotions, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 47: Pet products, services, and promotions, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Attitudes and Behavior of Pet Owners

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • Pet owners are willing to listen to other sources of information
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Attitudes and behavior of pet owners, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 49: Attitudes and behavior of pet owners, by number of people in the household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Dog and Cat Owner Behavior

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Pet care seems dependent on age and income
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 50: Dog and cat owner behavior, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 51: Dog and cat owner behavior, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 52: Dog and cat owner behavior, by education level, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • Definitions of dog owners versus cat owners
                                                                                                                                                      • Pet food purchase behavior differs between dog, cat owners
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 53: In-person pet food purchase locations, by custom consumer groups, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Both dog and cat owners look for bargains
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 54: Pet products, services, and promotions, by custom consumer groups, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Dog owners, cat owners treat their pets differently
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 55: Attitudes and behavior of pet owners, by custom consumer groups, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                          • Dog and cat owner behavior toward pets
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 56: Dog and cat owner behavior, by custom consumer groups, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • SymphonyIRI/Builders—Key Household Purchase Measures

                                                                                                                                                          • Dog food
                                                                                                                                                            • Overview
                                                                                                                                                              • Dry dog food
                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer insights on key purchase measures—dry dog food
                                                                                                                                                                  • Brand map
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Brand map, selected brands of dry dog food, by household penetration, 2011*
                                                                                                                                                                  • Brand leader characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                    • Key purchase measures
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 58: Key purchase measures for the top brands of dry dog food, by household penetration, 2011*
                                                                                                                                                                    • Wet dog food
                                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer insights on key purchase measures—wet dog food
                                                                                                                                                                        • Brand map
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 59: Brand map, selected brands of wet dog food, by household penetration, 2011*
                                                                                                                                                                        • Brand leader characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                          • Key purchase measures
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 60: Key purchase measures for the top brands of wet dog food by household penetration, 2011*
                                                                                                                                                                          • Cat Food
                                                                                                                                                                            • Overview
                                                                                                                                                                              • Dry cat food
                                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer insights on key purchase measures—dry cat food
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Brand map
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 61: Brand map, selected brands of dry cat food, by household penetration, 2011*
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Brand leader characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Key purchase measures
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 62: Key purchase measures for the top brands of dry cat food, by household penetration, 2011*
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Wet cat food
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer insights on key purchase measures—wet cat food
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Brand map
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 63: Brand map, selected brands of wet cat food, by household penetration, 2011*
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Brand leader characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Key purchase measures
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 64: Key purchase measures for the top brands of wet cat food by household penetration, 2011*
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix: Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 65: Pet ownership by type and number of animals, by number of people in the household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 66: Types of pet in the household, by household income, July 2010-September 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 67: Which member of the household buys pet food, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 68: Wet/moist dog food usage, by age, July 2010–September 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 69: Wet/moist cat food usage, by age, July 2010–September 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 70: Cat treat/snack usage, by household income, July 2010–September 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 71: In-person pet food purchase locations, by number of people in the household, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 72: In-person pet food purchase attitudes, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 73: Pet products, services, and promotions, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 74: Attitudes and behavior of pet owners, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 75: Online pet food purchase locations, by custom consumer groups, December 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Del Monte Foods
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Food and Drug Administration
                                                                                                                                                                                          • National Football League Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Nestlé Purina Petcare Company
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Pet Food Institute (PFI)
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Pet Industry Distributors Association
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC)
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Procter & Gamble USA
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                                                                                                                                          Pet Food - US - March 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                          £3,277.28 (Excl.Tax)