Global Pet Food Industry

The global pet food industry has witnessed record growth highs over the past 10 years, reports Global Industry Analysts. The pet food sector is among the fastest-growing sectors within the food industry. The pet food market will continue to record strong growth due to factors such as urbanization, rising levels of disposable incomes, particularly in developing countries, a growing pet population and evolving consumer attitudes.

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the health benefits of a nutrient-dense diet not only for themselves but also for their pets. This trend has fuelled market growth in the organic pet food segment and points to vast potential for pet food manufacturers ready to adapt to meet changing consumer demand for healthier food products.

Key Segments

  • Dry pet food represents a larger segment than wet pet food, in large part due to the lower prices of dry food products, reports Global Industry Analysts. In developed markets, dry pet food demand continues to rise due to its convenience and better pricing as well as consumer awareness as to the health advantages of dry food over wet food.

  • Fresh pet food is benefiting from increasing consumer awareness as to the health benefits of fresh food. Pet owners are opting for fresh food to encourage optimal pet health. Fresh food is not exposed to high heat during the production process, boosting the food’s natural nutritional content. Raw diets are promoted for their ability to lessen allergies and as a way of treating gastrointestinal ailments. Demand for fresh pet food is also being fuelled by product innovation facilitated by technology advances. Other factors driving fresh pet food market growth include consumer concern regarding food safety following pet food recalls, convenience and strong growth in the natural/organic market segment.

Industry Leaders

Leading players operating in the global pet food market include Royal Canin, Nestle Purina, Mars, Procter and Gamble, Agrolimen, Del Monte Foods, Total Alimentos, Nutriaria Alimentos and Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

Regional Market Share

  • Developing markets, including Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, should see rising product availability in the pet foods sector encourage consumers to give their pets prepared food, reports Global Industry Analysts. Consumer spending will, however, depend on the macroeconomic climate in these regions. In other emerging markets (such as Brazil and China), rising levels of disposable income are expected to push consumers to opt for prepared food.

  • Changing consumer trends show that pet owners are spending more than ever before on their pets. Manufacturers are adapting their product range to appeal to owners of older pets by marketing food based on its ability to improve immunity or address kidney health issues, for example. Owners in developing markets like India are following Western trends, are purchasing tortoises and reptiles, creating demand for specific pet food.

  • Euromonitor International estimates dog food sales were up by 4% in terms of value and 1% in terms of volume in 2011, mostly due to increased consumer confidence and rising pet ownership rates. Humanization of pets is also expected to stimulate market growth as it fuels prices, thereby boosting value sales to a higher rate than volume sales.

  • Demand for cat food pushed value sales up 3% in 2011, reports Euromonitor International. Cat food sales in terms of volume saw a 1% increase in the same year. Though the cat population was in decline for two years, cat ownership rates picked up again. This, combined with the fact that cat owners are spending more on caring for their cats, is expected to continue driving demand for cat food products.

Market Outlook

Pet food sales are forecast to continue growing as pet owners respond to premium food offerings, new products and high availability combined with good exposure at retail level, according to research from Global Industry Analysts. Demand will also be driven by pet owners caring for older pets and manufacturers catering to their specific needs. Consumers will continue opting more for natural remedies to avoid giving their pets pharmaceuticals, boosting demand in this sector.

Pet food manufacturers are expected to continue growing their product ranges to cater to pets with special needs, including grain-free pet foods, condition-specific functional foods and foods for weight loss.