This report covers the US pet food industry and consumer extensively. Find out what pet owners want when looking to satisfy their pets (consumer data), alongside a deep analysis of market performance and strategies for brands to compete.

Below, we provide the report scope, summarize the key areas covered, and offer handpicked insights from the report itself.

Report Scope

Mintel defines the pet food market as food and treats for household pets, including cats, dogs, small animals (eg hamsters, rabbits), fish, reptiles, and birds. Food for dogs and cats may be dry, wet/canned, semi-moist, or in the form of treats. The following segments will be included in this Report:

  • Cat food
  • Dog food
  • Other pet food (eg hamsters, birds, guinea pigs, reptiles)
  • Pet treats

Key Areas Covered

  • Pet food shoppers’ preferred retailers and the reasons for selecting them.
  • Purchase incidence of different types of food, treats, and toppers and key factors that guide selection.
  • Pet owner behaviors revolving around treating and feeding.
  • Pet owner interest in a range of premium food and treat concepts.
  • Pet owner attitudes toward value, health, and environmental impact.
  • Pet food sales and market share trends and the key factors influencing them.
  • Trends in pet food and treat innovation.

Pet Food Market Outlook

  • 2023: The historically strong pet food industry has been affected by two years of steep price hikes and a difficult economic climate, causing some pet owners to switch to cheaper pet food brands and types.
  • 2024-2025: Moderating inflation will help stabilize the growth of pet food and treats. Pet owners will still seek out items that benefit their animals’ health and wellbeing.
  • 2026-2028: Sustainability will challenge pet food makers to effectively respond to pet owners’ expectations of both sustainable and nutritious/palatable food.

US pet food market size in 2023 is estimated at $41.86bn, a change of 11.4%. Find 5-year historical and 5-year forecasted data, alongside analysis, in the full report.

Pet Food Consumer Behavior

First, they have to like the food. The top factor in purchasing pet food for consumers overall is the requirement of the pet to enjoy the bowl put down for them. This indicates the importance that owners place upon their pet’s perspective, and so the key role that appetite appeal plays in pet food marketing and product development.

Interestingly though, newer pet owners place slightly less value on palatability. It’s quality over appeal for newer pet owners. The newer the ownership, the more the focus is on all-natural ingredients, and brands are already responding to calls for all-natural / a reduction in artificial additives. Going a step further, when we look at pet owners’ main food retailers, we see that specialty store shoppers are also more likely to focus on quality and less so on pet taste appeal.

Pet Food Market Opportunities

Mintel observes that innovators are exploring functional benefits in the pet treats and snacks segment. This report reveals promise in food, too. Better Kibble is one example, providing gut health and immunity claims with their product lines. Looking ahead, functional claims may continue as owners seek broader wellness for their pets (as well as themselves), and brands can increase engagement by differentiating in this way.

Rising prices are impacting consumer choices in 2023. This is shown in private label gaining market share in every segment of the pet food category. Major retailers are also upgrading their pet food and treat lines, allowing pet owners to save without sacrificing quality. In fact, some four in 10 pet owners say they’d consider switching to a lower-priced alternative, presenting an opportunity to make further market share gains.

For a complete breakdown of opportunities in the pet food industry, buy the full report. Alternatively, you may be interested in our other pet food market research.

Brands Discussed

Brands are discussed within the scope of the report (above), and include innovation, successful marketing/advertising strategies, and market share of brands. Our expert looks at the rise of functional claims in pet food (eg Better Kibble, Rachel Ray Nutrish), fresh pet food’s expansion into retail (eg Nom Nom/PetSmart), and much more.

Additional Features Included in Your Report

Different Digital Formats: PDF for conveniently sharing with your team, PowerPoint for quickly including in your presentation, as well as an Excel Databook.

Mintel’s Clients Portal: Our portal offers instant access to actionable analysis and trends pieces relevant to your industry that are published almost daily. You can also browse for more market research reports.

Expert Analysis

In this report, leading food/retail analyst John Owen delivers insight into the US pet food market in 2023.

The market is feeling the impact of inflation and economic uncertainty, but pet owners are still committed to feeding their pets the best.

John Owen - Associate Director Food and Retail


John Owen
Associate Director, Food and Retail

Table of Contents

    • Key issues covered in this Report
  1. Executive Summary

  2. Consumer Insights

    • Consumer fast facts
    • Primary pet food retailer
    • Graph 1: primary pet food retailer, 2023
    • Graph 2: primary pet food retailer, by age, 2023
    • Graph 3: primary pet food purchase location, by primary pet food retailer, 2023
    • Reasons for selecting primary pet food retailer
    • Graph 4: reasons for selecting pet food retailer used most often, 2023
    • Graph 5: reasons for selecting pet food retailer used most often, by primary pet food retailer, 2023
    • Dog food/treats purchased
    • Graph 6: dog food/treats purchased, 2023
    • Graph 7: incidence of daily treating among dog treat purchasers, by years of experience as a dog owner, 2023
    • Cat food/treats purchased
    • Graph 8: cat food/treats purchased, 2023
    • Graph 9: cat food/treats purchased, by years of experience as a cat owner, 2023
    • Pet food purchase factors
    • Graph 10: pet food purchase factors, 2023
    • Graph 11: Pet food purchase factors – Net – any pet, by years of experience as a pet owner, 2023
    • Graph 12: pet food purchase factors – NET – any pet, by primary pet food retailer, 2023
    • Pet feeding behaviors
    • Graph 13: pet feeding behaviors – mixing dry and wet, by species, 2023
    • Graph 14: pet feeding behaviors – wet as primary food, by species, 2023
    • Graph 15: pet feeding behaviors – people food/making food, by species, 2023
    • Attitudes toward pet food
    • Graph 16: attitudes toward pet food – interest in concepts, by primary pet food retailer, 2023
    • Graph 17: attitudes toward pet food – economizing, by personal financial status, 2023
    • Graph 18: attitudes toward pet food – economizing, by years of experience as a pet owner, 2023
    • Graph 19: attitudes toward pet food – sustainability, by age, 2023
  3. Competitive Strategies

    • Launch activity and innovation
    • Graph 20: ethical/sustainability claims in pet food and treat launches, 2017-23
    • Marketing and advertising
    • Opportunities
    • Graph 21: pet food multi-outlet private label market share, by segment, 2022-23
  4. The Market

    • Market context
    • Market drivers
    • Graph 22: Consumer Price Index change from previous period, 2020-23
    • Graph 23: personal assessment of financial health, 2022-23
    • Market size and forecast
    • Market segmentation
    • Graph 24: segment share of total pet food sales, 2023
    • Graph 25: total retail sales of pet food, by segment, at current prices, 2018-23
    • Market share/brand share
  5. Appendix

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

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Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted. Our reports are available to download in PDF and PPT formats.

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