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Pet Food - US - May 2015

“Although pet owners’ interest in premium pet food will contribute to some sales growth in 2015, the humanization trend is evolving beyond flavors to ensuring nutritional benefits, ingredient quality and manufacturing standards are as high as human food rather than transposing human food trends wholesale into pet food.”
– Amy Kraushaar, US Category Manager Food & Drink, and Foodservice

This report answers the following key questions:

  • Will the humanization of pet food trend continue?
  • Where are the innovation opportunities?
  • Is homemade pet food detracting from pet food sales?

Pet food sales remain essentially flat with slow projected growth for the future despite the ongoing humanization of pet foods in terms of flavor, ingredients and added benefits. The bright spot is pet treats, showing growth especially in the natural retail channel. Pet ownership, normally driven by households with children, has stagnated as Millennials delay marriage and childbirth. Natural, minimally processed, and “ancestral” products drove sales in the wet dog and cat food segments, but were offset by declines in dry dog and cat food, due to rising consumer concerns about real ingredients and “fillers”.

The perception that pets are members of the family will continue to define the humanization trend in 2015 and drive price increases in the pet food category in the future. Manufacturers should note that the pet food humanization trend translates into pet owners wanting the same quality and safety standards on pet food as on their own food. As far as nutrition is concerned, some pet owners express interest in foods that cater to pet-specific diets, such as what their pets would have eaten in the wild. This entails reformulating products to be without grains, artificial ingredients, or meat by-products. Consumer interest in pet food that meets human criteria for food health, safety and nutrition will drive pricing, particularly in the wake of ongoing concerns related to pet food recalls. Pet foods with specific attributes that mirror trending human foods, like gluten-free, organic, and locally sourced, may attract fewer pet owners.


 

 

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                • Executive Summary

                    • The market
                      • Pet food sales grow to $21 billion in 2014
                        • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of pet food market, at current prices, 2009-19
                      • Key players
                        • Purina, Big Heart remain category leaders
                          • Retail channels
                            • Figure 2: Total US retail sales of pet food, by channel, 2014
                          • The consumer
                            • 70% of households own any type of pet; dogs still most popular
                              • Figure 3: Any types of pets living in household, February 2015
                            • Pets’ flavor preferences, price are leading factors in purchase decision
                              • Figure 4: Purchase decision factors for pet food, February 2015
                            • Brand satisfaction high among pet owners
                              • Figure 5: Attitudes toward pet food brands, by demographics, February 2015
                            • Natural, meat-rich diets favored by pet owners, particularly Millennials
                              • Figure 6: Pet diets and nutrition, by generation, February 2015
                            • Dog owners see poultry and red meat as ideal ingredients, cat owners choose poultry and fish
                              • Figure 7: Top five ideal pet food ingredients, by pet, February 2015
                            • Product labels are a key information source
                              • Figure 8: Information sources for pet food buyers, February 2015
                            • Pet owners associate treats with love
                              • Figure 9: Pet treat behaviors, February 2015
                            • What we think
                            • Issues and Insights

                                • Will the humanization of pet food trend continue?
                                  • The issues
                                    • Insight: Consumers want human quality foods, not human diets, for their pets
                                      • Where are the innovation opportunities?
                                        • The issues
                                          • Insight
                                            • Is homemade pet food detracting from pet food sales?
                                              • The issues
                                                • Insight: Preparing homemade pet foods remains a niche practice among pet parents
                                                • Trend Application

                                                    • Trend: The Real Thing
                                                      • Trend: Patriot Games
                                                        • Trend: Prove It
                                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Sales and forecast of pet food
                                                              • Figure 10: Total US sales and forecast of pet food, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                              • Figure 11: Total US sales and forecast of market, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-19
                                                            • Pet food to reach $22.8 billion in 2019
                                                              • Figure 12: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of pet food market, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                            • Forecast methodology
                                                            • Market Drivers

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Medium sized households lead in pet ownership
                                                                  • Figure 13: Households, by presence of own children, 2003-13
                                                                • Unmarried Millennials drive premiumization
                                                                  • Figure 14: Population by generation, 2010-20
                                                                  • Figure 15: Population by generation, 2010-2020
                                                                • Lagging income growth, increasing meat prices limit premiumization
                                                                  • Figure 16: Median household income, in inflation-adjusted dollars, 2003-13
                                                              • Segment Performance

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Wet food, pet treats drive growth in category
                                                                    • Sales of pet food, by segment
                                                                      • Figure 17: Total US retail sales of pet food, by segment, at current prices, 2012 and 2014
                                                                      • Figure 18: Total US retail sales of pet food, by segment, at current prices, 2014
                                                                  • Segment Performance – Dry Dog Food

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Dry dog food loses share to wet food
                                                                        • Sales and forecast of dry dog food segment
                                                                          • Figure 19: Total US sales and forecast of dry dog food segment, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                      • Segment Performance – Wet Dog Food

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Wet dog food continues to grow
                                                                            • Sales and forecast of wet dog food segment
                                                                              • Figure 20: Total US sales and forecast of wet dog food segment, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                          • Segment Performance – Dry Cat Food

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Dry cat food loses ground to wet cat food
                                                                                • Sales and forecast of dry cat food
                                                                                  • Figure 21: Total US sales and forecast of dry cat food segment, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                              • Segment Performance – Wet Cat Food

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Wet cat food gains as consumers upgrade
                                                                                    • Sales and forecast of wet cat food
                                                                                      • Figure 22: Total US sales and forecast of dry cat food segment, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                                  • Segment Performance – Other Pet Food

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Other pet foods flat
                                                                                        • Sales and forecast of other pet food segment
                                                                                          • Figure 23: Total US sales and forecast of other pet foods segment, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                                      • Segment Performance – Pet Treats

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Premium products drive sales in pet treats segment
                                                                                            • Sales and forecast of pet treats
                                                                                              • Figure 24: Total US sales and forecast of pet treats segment, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                                          • Retail Channels

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Supermarkets lose traction to other retail channels
                                                                                                • Figure 25: Total US retail sales of pet food, by channel, at current prices, 2012 and 2014
                                                                                              • Supermarkets continue to struggle against other channels
                                                                                                • Figure 26: US supermarket sales of pet food, at current prices, 2009-14
                                                                                              • Warehouse clubs, specialty retailers dominate market
                                                                                                • Figure 27: US sales of pet food through other retail channels, at current prices, 2009-14
                                                                                              • Natural channel sales continue to grow steadily
                                                                                                • Figure 28: Natural supermarket sales of pet food, treats, and snacks, by segment, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks 2012 and 2014
                                                                                                • Figure 29: Whole Foods Market, “Dog Food, Tender & True Pet Food,” Digital Video, March 2015
                                                                                            • Leading Companies

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Sales gains related to pet food humanization slow
                                                                                                  • Manufacturer sales of market
                                                                                                    • Figure 30: MULO sales of pet food, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                                                                                                • Brand Share – Dry and Wet Dog Food

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Purina largest brand in dry and wet dog food
                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Pedigree, “Love a Shelter Pet: A Miranda Lambert Story (Short Version),” Digital Video, July 2014
                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Blue Buffalo, “Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula for Dogs,” TV Commercial, December 2014
                                                                                                    • Manufacturer sales of dry dog food
                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Manufacturer sales of dry dog food, 2014 and 2015
                                                                                                    • Manufacturer sales of wet dog food
                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Manufacturer sales of wet dog food, 2014 and 2015
                                                                                                  • Brand Share – Dry and Wet Cat Food

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Digital marketing fails to drive cat food sales
                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Purina, “Dear Kitten: Regarding the Big Game,” Digital Video, January 2015
                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Sheba, “Winter Fantasy,” Commercial, July 2014
                                                                                                      • Manufacturer sales of dry cat food
                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Manufacturer sales of dry cat food, 2014 and 2015
                                                                                                      • Manufacturer sales of wet cat food
                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Manufacturer sales of wet cat food, 2014 and 2015
                                                                                                    • Brand Share – Other Pet Foods

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Central Garden & Pet remains the largest other pet food company
                                                                                                          • Manufacturer sales of other pet food segment
                                                                                                            • Figure 39: MULO sales of other pet food, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2014and 2015
                                                                                                        • Brand Share – Pet Treats

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Pet treat buyers pair nutrition with indulgence
                                                                                                              • Figure 40: Pedigree, “Pedigree Dentastix Commercial: ‘Doggie Dentures’:15,” Commercial, June 2014
                                                                                                            • Manufacturer sales of pet treat segment
                                                                                                              • Figure 41: MULO sales of other pet treats, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2013 and 2014
                                                                                                          • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                                              • Cause marketing appears on labels
                                                                                                                • Refrigerated and frozen products position for freshness
                                                                                                                  • Pumpkin trends in dog food
                                                                                                                    • Treats couple indulgence with nutrition
                                                                                                                      • Holiday items include pets in festivities
                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – Pet Ownership

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • 70% of households own any type of pet; most households have 2
                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Types of pets living in households, February 2015
                                                                                                                          • Older Millennials, 35-54 year olds lead in pet ownership
                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Any pets living in household, by six age groups, February 2015
                                                                                                                            • Dogs remain most popular pet; cats, second in popularity
                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Types of pets living in household, by pet owners, February 2015
                                                                                                                              • Households with kids have highest pet ownership rates
                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Types of pets living in household, by children in household, February 2015
                                                                                                                            • The Consumer – Dog Foods Purchased

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Other brands lead in dry dog food purchases
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Packaged dry dog food purchases by brand, by demographics, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                • Pedigree, other brands lead wet dog food
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Wet/moist dog food purchases by number of packages or cans, by income, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                • Milk Bone leads in dog treats
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Dog biscuits or treats by brand, by demographics, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – Cat Foods Purchased

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • Other brands lead in dry food purchases
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 49: Packaged dry cat food purchases by type, by demographics, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                  • Friskies leads in wet cat food
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Wet/moist cat food purchases by brand, by demographics, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Whiskas Temptations
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Cat snacks or treats by brand, by demographics, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – Purchase Decision Factors for Pet Food

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Price, taste drive pet food purchase decision
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Purchase decision factors for pet food, February 2015
                                                                                                                                        • Millennials prefer natural/organic pet foods
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Purchase decision factors for pet food, by six age groups, February 2015
                                                                                                                                          • Taste factors prominently in both cat and dog owners’ purchase decisions
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Purchase decision factors for pet food, by pet, February 2015
                                                                                                                                            • Special formulations important for affluent pet owners
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 55: Purchase decision factors for pet food, by household income, February 2015
                                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – Pet Feeding Behaviors

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Brand loyalty is high among pet owners
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Attitudes toward pet food brands, by demographics, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                • Brand satisfaction lowest among young Millennials
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Attitudes toward pet food brands, by age, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                  • Middle-income pet owners most open to trying new brands
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 58: Attitudes toward pet food brands, by demographics, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – Pet Diets and Nutrition

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Pet owners look to natural, meat-heavy diets for nutrition
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 59: Pet diets and nutrition, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                        • Millennials most cautious about unnatural pet food
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 60: Pet diets and nutrition, by generation, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                          • Ingredient quality concerns increase with number of pets owned
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 61: Pet diets and nutrition, by number of pets owned, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                          • Households with children more discerning of their pets’ diets
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 62: Pet diets and nutrition, by presence of children in household, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – Ideal Pet Food Ingredients

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                            • Pet owners look to meat-heavy formulations
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 63: Ideal pet food ingredients, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                              • Cat owners favor poultry and fish, dog owners prefer poultry
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 64: Ideal pet food ingredients, by pet, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                                • Affluent pet owners lean toward rice, ancient grains over other grains
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 65: Ideal pet food ingredients, by six income groups, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                                • Millennials most interested in fruits and vegetables, but still prefer meat
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 66: Ideal pet food ingredients, by Millennials and Non-Millennials, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                                • The Consumer – Information Sources

                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                    • Pet owners rely on product labels, vets, and brands’ reputations to find new products
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 67: Information sources for pet food buyers, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                                      • Dog owners look to digital resources to learn about products
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 68: Information sources for pet food buyers, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                                        • Young pet owners use greatest number of sources to learn about pet food brands
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 69: Information sources for pet food buyers, by six age groups, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                                        • Pet owners with children utilize online, in-store information sources
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 70: Information sources for pet food buyers, by presence of children under 18 in household, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – Pet Treat Behaviors

                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                          • Pet owners use treats to demonstrate affection
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 71: Pet treat behaviors, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                                            • Daily pet treat usage highest among dog owners
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 72: Pet treat behaviors, by pet type, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                                              • Older consumers equate treats with affection
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 73: Pet treat behaviors, by six age groups, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                • Owners of multiple pets more interested in flavor
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 74: Pet treat behaviors, by number of pets, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                                              • Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Pet ownership strong among Hispanic consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 75: Types of pets living in household, by race, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hispanics slightly less interested in taste than other pet owners
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 76: Purchase decision factors for pet food, by Hispanic origin, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Ingredient quality, nutritional concerns rank highly among Hispanics
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 77: Pet diets and nutrition, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hispanics slightly more likely to see fruits and vegetables as ideal
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 78: Ideal pet food ingredients, by Hispanic origin, February 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Natural Channel Sales Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 79: Natural supermarket sales of pet food, treats, and snacks, by organic ingredienta, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks 2012 and 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 80: Natural supermarket sales of organic pet food, treats, and snacks, by segment, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks 2012 and 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 81: Natural supermarket sales of dog food, by packaging, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks 2012 and 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 82: Natural supermarket sales of cat food, by packaging, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks 2012 and 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 83: Natural supermarket sales of dog and cat food positioned as “raw”, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks 2012 and 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Other Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 84: Pet ownership, by type of pet, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 85: Packaged dry dog food purchases, by household income, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 86: Dry dog food purchases by type, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 87: Packaged dry dog food purchases by type, by age, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 88: Dry dog food purchases by type, by race, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 89: Dry dog food purchases by type, by household income, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 90: Dry dog food purchases by type, by presence of children, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 91: Packaged dry dog food purchases by number of pounds, by household income, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 92: Wet/moist dog food purchases, by age, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 93: Wet/moist dog food purchases, by household income, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 94: Wet/moist dog food purchases by type, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 95: Wet/moist dog food purchases by type, by age, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 96: Wet/moist dog food purchases by type, by race, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 97: Wet/moist dog food purchases by type, by household income, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 98: Wet/moist dog food purchases by type, by presence of children in household, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 99: Dog biscuits or treats purchases, by age, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 100: Dog biscuits or treats eaten, by age, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 101: Packaged dry cat food purchases, by age, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 102: Packaged dry cat food purchases by number of pounds, by age, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 103: Packaged dry cat food purchases by type, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 104: Packaged dry cat food purchases by type, by age, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 105: Packaged dry cat food purchases by type, by race, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 106: Packaged dry cat food purchases by type, by household income, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 107: Packaged dry cat food purchases by type, by presence of children in household, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 108: Wet/moist cat food purchases, by household income, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 109: Wet/moist cat food purchases by type, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 110: Wet/moist cat food purchases by type, by age, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 111: Wet/moist cat food purchases by type, by race, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 112: Wet/moist cat food purchases by type, by household income, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 113: Wet/moist cat food purchases by type, by presence of children in household, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 114: Wet/moist cat food purchases by number of packages or cans, by age, November 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 115: Cat snacks or treats usage, by age, November 2013-December 2014

                                                                                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                                                                                                                                  Pet Food - US - May 2015

                                                                                                                                                                                  £3,277.28 (Excl.Tax)