Pathfinder – Global dog and cat food trends

September 2018

Executive summary

  • Humanization has been a key trend in the global dog and cat food sectors for years. Pets are increasingly seen as family members in the developed markets, and this trend is also becoming widespread in the emerging markets.
  • As a consequence, pet owners increasingly buy premium food that is customized to their pet's breed and age. They also take into account their pets' health, allergies, level of fitness and general wellbeing and therefore increasingly invest in pet dietary supplements and functional foods.
  • The markets in North America and Western Europe are relatively mature but still offer opportunities, especially through premiumisation. However, global growth in the dog and cat food sectors is expected to be driven by Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Eastern Europe as more consumers abandon table scraps and enter the market of prepared pet food for the first time.
  • Germany is the world's top importer and exporter of dog and cat food. Canada is the eighth- largest exporter in the world, and its main market is the United States (US$228.1 million in exports in 2017).
  • From March 2017 to March 2018, there were 8,238 pet food products launched in the world, with the most introductions occurring in the dog snacks and treats category.

Introduction

Around the world, pet ownership is on the rise. In developed countries with ageing populations, many consumers are turning to dogs and cats for companionship. On the other end of the age spectrum, younger consumers are staying single or childless longer and view pets as a good alternative. In some developing countries, the improving economic situation makes it easier for an increasing number of households to own a dog or a cat.

There has also been an enormous cultural shift in the way people view their canine and feline companions. No longer relegated to the garden, pets have become present in all aspects of owners' lives, even on social media. In the most developed markets, pet "parents" are taking this trend to a whole new level, with products such as dog houses that are miniature versions of owner's houses, dog "beer" to celebrate special moments, or the first television channel for dogs. According to Sainsbury'sFootnote 1, in the United Kingdom (UK) nearly a third of respondents (31%) say their dog or cat's health and wellbeing is of greater concern to them than their own.

In 2017, the global pet care industry was valued at US$ 116.6 billion, with consumers spending most of that amount (US$ 84.5 billion) on pet food. Dog and cat food, which is the focus of this report, makes up 95% of the pet food industry, and both sectors are projected to grow at compound annual growth rates of above 6% up to 2022. The global retail market for dog and cat food has also registered positive overall performance in recent years in a number of non-traditional markets for pet food including Brazil, Russia and Mexico. The "other pet food" category, which includes food for other animals such as birds and fish, has been on a declining trend for years.

2017 global pet care industry
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  • Global pet care: US$116.6 billion
    • Pet food: US$84.5 billion
      • Dog food: US$50.6 billion
      • Cat food: US$29.8 billion
      • Other pet food: US$4.1 billion

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

Trade overview

Globally, the major dog and cat food importers are located in Western Europe and North America, with the exception of Japan. Germany has been for a long time the world's biggest importer of dog and cat food, and has recently positioned itself ahead of France as the world's largest dog and cat food exporter. In 2017, Canada was the eighth-largest exporter of dog and cat food.

In 2017, Canada exported US$525.3 million worth of dog and cat food. The United States is still the number one destination, with a share of almost half of total Canadian dog and cat food exports in 2017, but its share is declining. Russia follows, receiving 7.7% of Canadian dog and cat food exports in 2017. All other countries receive less than 5% of Canadian dog and cat food exports, but some destinations are growing at strong rates, including South Korea (with a compound annual growth rate of 46.1% over 2013-2017), France (36.9%), Hong Kong (35.2%), Spain (21.2%) and New Zealand (2.8%).

World's major dog and cat food importers (US$ millions)
Country 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17 Share % in 2017
World 10,804.3 11,318.7 10,727.9 11,034.7 12,390.8 3.5 100.0
1. Germany 1,010.2 1,138.4 1,069.1 1,078.3 1,196.8 4.3 9.7
2. United States 663.8 690.9 765.3 780.0 842.9 6.2 6.8
3. United Kingdom 842.5 797.0 779.7 735.5 838.9 −0.1 6.8
4. France 549.5 534.5 578.0 650.0 680.4 5.5 5.5
5. Canada 643.2 658.5 630.0 623.1 669.7 1.0 5.4
6. Japan 780.5 730.8 657.7 641.0 618.9 −5.6 5.0
7. Italy 623.8 675.7 585.2 567.7 612.3 −0.5 4.9
8. Belgium 535.8 577.5 510.8 543.1 555.7 0.9 4.5
9. Netherlands 323.7 434.7 415.8 439.4 530.5 13.1 4.3
10. Poland 195.4 223.2 199.4 214.6 436.9 22.3 3.5

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Harmonized System (HS) Code: 230910

World's major dog and cat food exporters (US$ millions)
Country 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17 Share % in 2017
World 11,394.5 12,220.8 11,368.7 11,546.4 13,008.1 3.4 100.0
1. Germany 1,153.6 1,422.1 1,281.2 1,408.0 1,598.8 8.5 12.3
2. France 1,523.6 1,640.1 1,507.3 1,363.8 1,442.3 −1.4 11.1
3. United States 1,364.4 1,318.6 1,287.2 1,315.4 1,382.0 0.3 10.6
4. Thailand 891.9 962.6 962.1 1,014.5 1,126.3 6.0 8.7
5. Netherlands 834.9 979.4 844.3 818.9 999.8 4.6 7.7
6. China 733.9 708.1 675.2 667.8 779.4 1.5 6.0
7. Poland 301.8 335.4 306.8 347.3 672.9 22.2 5.2
8. Canada 405.0 460.9 497.5 474.2 525.3 6.7 4.0
9. Belgium 520.2 571.5 544.5 519.6 523.6 0.2 4.0
10. Hungary 526.8 564.0 497.7 465.6 486.3 −2.0 3.7

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

HS Code: 230910

Top destinations for Canadian dog and cat food exports (US$ millions)
Country 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17 Share % in 2017
World 405.0 460.9 497.5 474.2 525.3 6.7 100.0
1. United States 248.7 277.8 310.6 252.6 228.1 −2.1 43.4
2. Russia 24.8 29.3 21.2 28.5 40.4 13.0 7.7
3. Japan 16.6 18.6 18.2 20.4 23.5 9.2 4.5
4. Hong Kong 6.8 12.3 11.3 15.7 22.7 35.2 4.3
5. France 4.9 7.7 11.4 9.8 17.3 36.9 3.3
6. South Korea 3.6 5.3 7.3 11.4 16.2 46.1 3.1
7. Mexico 12.0 13.0 11.9 11.9 15.7 7.0 3.0
8. New Zealand 9.2 11.2 11.2 11.4 14.9 13.0 2.8
9. Spain 5.6 6.4 8.4 11.3 12.0 21.2 2.3
10. Taiwan 7.4 7.6 7.6 8.1 10.6 9.4 2.0

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2018.

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

HS Code: 230910

Retail sales and trends

General trends

Pet "parents" are looking for better quality products and now believe that the food they give to their pets should be as good as the food that they consume themselves. Tightening regulations globally for human food and beverages is also impacting pet food, highlighting the importance of food safety for humans and animals alike.

Premiumisation

The humanization of pets drives a major global trend towards super-premium products, focusing on quality ingredients, including a greater interest in nutrients and protein, as well as claims related to social and ethical concerns, such as animal welfare and environmental sustainability (Euromonitor International, 2018). Innovations go from human-grade quality food to exotic flavours. In March 2016, for example, Blue Buffalo launched Bayou Blend dog treats featuring alligator and catfish protein.

Health and wellness

Global trends which characterize the human food market have also trickled down to pet food in several markets, including the adoption of a wider notion of pets health and wellness, as shown by the diverse dieting regimes and the vast array of popular functional pet claims associated to foods that are allegedly good for digestion, for the skin, for the teeth, etc. (Euromonitor International, 2018).

The seniorisation trend tackles the fact that pets are living longer and have specific needs in terms of more functional foods.

Focus on proteins

Protein-rich diets are at the forefront. Grain-free diets are said to feed the dogs or cats "inner animal", reconnecting them to their wild ancestors and helping them to keep a good health and weight. Grain-free has become mainstream in the U.S. and is gaining popularity in other regions. New and more exotic protein sources, such as venison and boa, are also on the rise. On the other side of the spectrum, a number of vegan pet food products have also been launched, often containing ancient grains (such as amaranth) and superfoods/superfruits (such as cranberries).

Plant proteins are becoming widely popular within pet food formulations, including sweet potato, lentils, tapioca, quinoa and pea. Algae are also being studied as a source of protein. New product development efforts include a hemp-based therapeutic dog product under the form of pet chews which is being distributed by a B.C. medical marijuana company (True Leaf Pet) in pet stores across New Zealand.

Insect proteins are also generating interest and, according to Euromonitor International (2018), they will remain a key trend in the coming years. As indicated in a recent article, when cultural barriers don't stand in the way, pet owners may accept insect-based ingredients in dog and cat food. Even in regions where taboos about eating insects are present, such as in the U.S. or Europe, many pet owners have witnessed their dogs and cats hunting insects and are therefore more eager to accept these as a novel protein source in dog and cat food, even if they are squeamish about eating insects themselves. Green Petfood Sensitive Insect Dog, for example, is a product launched in Germany containing rice and insect as the sole animal protein source and positioned as the perfect food for dogs with a sensitive digestive system.

Mission-based marketing

Pet owners are interested in supporting pet food manufacturers that have demonstrated a commitment to social causes and organizations. The so-called mission-based marketing is one of the strongest trends in dog and cat food according to a pet food industry analystFootnote 2. Consumers want to know what a pet food company stands for ideologically (Petfoodindustry.com, 2018).

Traditional and emerging markets for pet food

In 2017, the global pet food market was worth US$84.5 billion. The traditional, most mature markets are located in Western Europe and North America. Together, they made up 66.1% of global value sales, driven mostly by premium and niche products. These markets should maintain a good performance in the coming years, especially in North America where pet "parents" tend to splurge on their pets, with a trend towards customisation (Euromonitor International, 2018).

Over the 2013-2017 period, the fastest growing regions for pet food sales were Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Asia Pacific, and these regions also hold the best growth prospects for 2018-2022. In these regions, many consumers will be entering the market of prepared dog and cat food for the very first time in the coming years or trading up to better quality products.

Pet food retail sales in the world, by region and category – Value sales in 2017 and historical compound annual growth rate 2013-2017 (%) for total pet food
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Pet food retail sales in the world, by region and category in US$ millions
Dog food Cat food Other pet food CAGR* 2013-2017 for total pet food
North America 22,255.0 9,537.2 987.9 3.7%
Western Europe 10,486.8 10,616.6 1,897.8 1.7%
Latin America 8,254.5 1,997.3 505.1 12.5%
Asia Pacific 5,266.5 2,989.6 324.7 9.1%
Eastern Europe 2,175.4 3,363.3 168.1 10.3%
Australasia 1,676.2 987.4 153.7 1.7%
Middle East and Africa 500.7 271.8 35.2 9.1%

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

Largest markets in Western Europe and North America[1] for pet food – Retail sales (US$ millions)
Country 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-17 Share % in 2017 CAGR[f] % 2018-22
United States 26,842.2 27,489.5 28,509.3 29,682.0 31,084.2 3.7 36.8 4.4
United Kingdom 4,540.8 4,704.5 4,855.4 4,854.0 4,809.1 1.4 5.7 2.6
Germany 3,784.8 3,911.3 4,042.9 4,117.8 4,206.1 2.7 5.0 2.4
France 3,882.2 3,909.1 3,956.5 4,022.5 4,085.0 1.3 4.8 2.8
Italy 2,702.6 2,728.5 2,797.4 2,864.0 2,926.1 2.0 3.5 3.6
Canada 1,467.5 1,517.3 1,573.1 1,623.6 1,695.9 3.7 2.0 4.4
Spain 1,226.6 1,245.8 1,270.3 1,300.5 1,340.3 2.2 1.6 4.2
Netherlands 981.3 1,006.6 1,033.9 1,050.7 1,072.6 2.2 1.3 2.4
Belgium 615.4 632.7 652.2 673.8 696.9 3.2 0.8 4.6
Austria 537.9 559.6 582.6 604.8 626.2 3.9 0.7 2.7

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

1: North America refers here to Canada and the U.S only; Mexico is included as part of the Latin American region.

f: Forecast

Australia is one of the top mature markets outside of Western Europe and North America, while in the Asia Pacific region, the majority of sales are currently concentrated in Japan, which is also relatively mature.

In terms of emerging markets, Brazil and Russia remain key players with very large markets that have been growing at good pace in recent years. China's growth has been impressive at a compound annual growth rate of 35.0% over 2013-2017. In Mexico, another large market, consumer education on pet nutrition has been driving growth of the premium and therapeutic pet foods segment. India, on the other hand, remains one of the smallest markets, but the growth forecasts are very positive, as more and more people abandon table scraps.

Most emerging markets for pet food are characterized by a large dog and cat population, comparatively resilient economies, generally increasing levels of consumer prosperity and spending, and demographic shifts which support higher incidences of pet ownership (Euromonitor International, 2018). Moreover, many of these markets have a low percentage of pets that are already eating prepared food, which means that there is still an untapped potential for dog and cat food sales. For example, in China, prepared food accounted for only 2.6% and 7.3% of dog and cat nutrition respectively in 2017, and the corresponding figures are even lower for India. By contrast, in a mature market such as Germany, these figures stand at 92.0% and 68.2%.

Largest markets for pet food in other parts of the world – Retail sales (US$ millions)
Country 2013 2017 *CAGR % 2013-17 Share % in 2017 CAGR[f] % 2018-22 Prepared dog food , 2017 (% of total) Prepared cat food, 2017 (% of total)
Brazil 3,408.0 5,193.8 11.1 6.2 10.6 38.9 29.1
Japan 3,533.9 3,717.1 1.3 4.4 1.7 91.2 91.2
Russia 1,752.1 2,941.5 13.8 3.5 7.9 15.1 29.1
Australia 2,288.9 2,432.4 1.5 2.9 3.5 44.8 68.9
Mexico 1,479.5 2,078.8 8.9 2.5 8.3 28.0 63.0
China 502.3 1,668.4 35.0 2.0 28.9 2.6 7.3
Colombia 494.8 952.7 17.8 1.1 14.7 26.4 25.8
Argentina 403.2 946.2 23.8 1.1 17.9 39.1 68.1
Chile 527.8 917.3 14.8 1.1 12.4 47.7 67.3
Thailand 552.2 858.5 11.7 1.0 11.5 22.7 33.1

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

f: Forecast

Fastest growing emerging markets for pet food – Retail sales (US$ millions)
Country 2013 2017 *CAGR % 2013-17 Share % in 2017 CAGR[f] % 2018-22 Prepared dog food , 2017 (% of total) Prepared cat food, 2017 (% of total)
China 502.3 1,668.4 35.0 2.0 28.9 2.6 7.3
Argentina 403.2 946.2 23.8 1.1 17.9 39.1 68.1
India 109.0 239.8 21.8 0.3 15.3 2.5 1.1
Colombia 494.8 952.7 17.8 1.1 14.7 26.4 25.8
South Korea 432.4 795.8 16.5 0.9 6.6 44.6 40.0
Chile 527.8 917.3 14.8 1.1 12.4 47.7 67.3
Russia 1,752.1 2,941.5 13.8 3.5 7.9 15.1 29.1
Ukraine 155.8 248.2 12.3 0.3 8.6 0.5 9.8
Thailand 552.2 858.5 11.7 1.0 11.5 22.7 33.1
Romania 291.7 452.8 11.6 0.5 13.0 23.4 21.2

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: compound annual growth rate

f: Forecast

Note: Some markets, such as Singapore, have registered stronger growth, but are still negligible in terms of market size and therefore have been omitted from this table.

Other interesting emerging markets, not mentioned in the previous table, combine a market value of at least US$200 million and a 2013-2017 compound annual growth rate of over 5%. These are Peru, Taiwan, South Africa, Poland and the Czech Republic.

Expenditure on pets

Expenditure on pets (food, health care, and other) vary widely from country to country, even within the same regions. For example, as shown on the table, dog owners in Singapore spend 230 times more on prepared food for their dog than dog owners in Vietnam.

Countries with the highest consumer expenditure on dog food
Country US$ per dog (2017) CAGR* % 2013-17
Singapore 415.6 3.8
Norway 399.9 4.1
Hong Kong 360.6 4.0
United Arab Emirates 230.6 12.3
Austria 338.2 3.3

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Countries with the lowest consumer expenditure on dog food
Country US$ per dog (2017) CAGR* % 2013-17
Vietnam 1.8 10.7
Philippines 2.6 5.3
Egypt 3.8 21.9
China 6.2 20.8
Ukraine 6.4 19.8

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

This is also reflected in the quality of products chosen by consumers. Generally speaking, consumers in North America, Western Europe and Asia-Pacific tend to prefer premium over lower priced brands, while consumers in Latin America and Easter Europe still tend to feed their pets with mid-priced products.

Yet, growth in Latin America is being led by premiumisation, particularly in the dog food sectors of Brazil and Mexico, as consumers gradually start to view their pets as children and become more aware of diseases that result from poor nutrition, and consequently are willing to spend more on food. In Asian countries, there is a clearly marked preference towards imported premium products with added functionality.

Finally, premiumisation has been historically a more prominent trend in the dog food sector, but the cat food sector is starting to catch up.

Retail sales of dog and cat food by price platform and region in 2017 (US$ millions)
Region Economy Mid-priced Premium Premium therapeutic Premium non-therapeutic
North America 2,472.0 7,122.4 16,769.3 1,763.4 14,559.1
Western Europe 2,609.5 7,036.3 8,077.5 806.9 5,501.2
Asia-Pacific 751.5 2,925.3 3,588.2 215.2 1,462.2
Latin America 2,858.6 5,288.7 1,810.4 178.6 994.9
Eastern Europe 2,090.8 2,162.8 1,081.4 62.2 432.9
Australasia 199.4 722.6 1,457.5 N/A N/A
Middle East and Africa 139.8 339.9 249.3 N/A N/A

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

N/A: Data not available

Retail sales by category and lifecycle

Dog food is the leading subcategory in pet food products, followed by cat food, and both subcategories will register significant growth in the coming years. By contrast, the subcategories for other types of pet food have been on a declining trend since 2013, including bird, fish and small mammal/reptile food.

The growing popularity of pet dietary supplements (over-the-counter products intended to complement the diet and usually purchased on the advice of a vet or pet specialist) shows how much importance dogs and cats have taken in their owners' life. Pet healthcare products (which include over-the-counter anti-parasitics, skincare, dental care, etc.), despite a negative performance between 2013 and 2017, are also expected to drive growth of the pet care category.

Historical and forecast global retail value sales of pet food and other pet care products, by type of pet
US$ millions and period growth (%) – Current prices – Fixed 2017 exchange rates
Category 2013 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017 2018 2022 CAGR* % 2018-2022
Dog food 47,205.0 49,913.2 1.4 55,192.7 69,172.3 5.8
Cat food 28,281.5 28,959.9 0.6 31,420.4 39,436.6 5.8
Other pet food 4,431.0 3,954.4 −2.8 4,165.7 4,642.5 2.7
Bird food 1,367.9 1,178.6 −3.7 1,234.0 1,381.8 2.9
Fish food 1,256.7 1,086.4 −3.6 1,148.8 1,277.9 2.7
Small mammal/reptile food 1,806.4 1,689.4 −1.7 1,782.9 1,982.8 2.7
Pet healthcare 4,298.2 4,147.4 −0.9 4,423.9 5,399.1 5.1
Pet dietary supplements 1,298.2 1,396.4 1.8 1,517.1 1,883.4 5.6

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Dog and cat food products can be bought in many forms, the top being dry food and wet canned food. Dry food is generally less expensive, and has a longer shelf life in comparison to wet food. In 2017, global dry dog food sales reached US$33.1 billion, while wet dog food sales were US$8.4 billion.

Known as man's best friends, dogs are the most humanized animals and they increasingly share their owner's life in a growing number of countries. As a result, premium food led the sales in both categories.

Dog treats and mixers also performed very well. Treats are fed as a reward or indulgence while mixers are fillers whose essential function is to make meals more bulky. They differ from dry food in that they are positioned as a complement to wet food rather than as a complete meal.

Historic global retail value sales of dog food, by category
US$ millions and period growth (%) – Current prices – Fixed 2017 exchange rates
Category 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Dog treats and mixers 7,264.2 7,640.8 7,534.9 7,898.7 8,395.8 3.7
Dog mixers 94.2 94.7 84.9 84.1 85.4 −2.4
Dog treats 7,170.0 7,546.0 7,450.0 7,814.6 8,310.4 3.8
Dry dog food 31,942.1 32,042.6 29,882.5 30,597.2 33,128.1 0.9
Economy 6,074.8 5,953.4 5,260.3 5,177.8 5,667.3 −1.7
Mid-priced 11,570.6 11,350.3 10,197.8 10,184.4 11,042.1 −1.2
Premium 14,296.7 14,738.8 14,424.5 15,234.9 16,418.7 3.5
Wet dog food 7,998.7 8,206.0 7,804.4 7,959.4 8,389.3 1.2
Economy 1,616.1 1,601.9 1,421.0 1,405.3 1,415.9 −3.3
Mid-priced 3,103.0 3,102.1 2,818.8 2,785.6 2,931.1 −1.4
Premium 3,279.6 3,502.0 3,564.6 3,768.6 4,042.4 5.4
Total dog food 47,205.0 47,889.4 45,221.9 46,455.4 49,913.2 1.4

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Forecast global retail value sales of dog food, by category
US$ millions and period growth (%) – Current prices – Fixed 2017 exchange rates
Category 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 CAGR* % 2018-2022
Dog treats and mixers 9,091.6 9,649.7 10,257.1 10,916.2 11,635.9 6.4
Dog mixers 91.6 92.1 93.3 94.4 95.7 1.1
Dog treats 8,999.9 9,557.6 10,163.8 10,821.8 11,540.2 6.4
Dry dog food 37,084.0 39,220.1 41,465.8 43,843.8 46,353.2 5.7
Economy 7,064.1 7,397.6 7,739.9 8,104.9 8,473.8 4.7
Mid-priced 12,350.3 13,026.6 13,744.8 14,518.3 15,352.7 5.6
Premium 17,669.6 18,795.9 19,981.1 21,220.7 22,526.7 6.3
Wet dog food 9,017.2 9,483.9 10,000.8 10,558.9 11,183.2 5.5
Economy 1,489.9 1,526.4 1,565.7 1,603.3 1,640.2 2.4
Mid-priced 3,133.0 3,276.3 3,437.0 3,617.2 3,831.6 5.2
Premium 4,394.3 4,681.2 4,998.0 5,338.5 5,711.4 6.8
Total dog food 55,192.7 58,353.7 61,723.6 65,319.0 69,172.3 5.8

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Cats are gaining popularity, particularly in more densely populated areas. Typically seen as less demanding than dogs, they are considered good companions. Gourmet products for cats are key to driving growth as cat owners are also increasingly feeding their cats with premium food (figures for premium cat food recently outperformed mid-priced cat food). Treats and mixers also registered interesting growth, but mixers still remain a niche category.

Historic global retail value sales of cat food, by category
US$ millions and period growth (%) – Current prices – Fixed 2017 exchange rates
Category 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Cat treats and mixers 1,535.5 1,679.2 1,706.3 1,837.3 1,975.1 6.5
Cat mixers 0.3 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.5 13.6
Cat treats 1,535.2 1,678.9 1,706.1 1,837.0 1,974.5 6.5
Dry cat food 13,017.8 13,063.7 12,005.4 12,384.5 13,375.8 0.7
Economy 2,294.1 2,278.7 2,067.3 2,012.4 2,161.2 −1.5
Mid-priced 5,349.6 5,312.8 4,765.2 4,875.8 5,275.0 −0.4
Premium 5,374.2 5,472.2 5,172.9 5,496.3 5,939.6 2.5
Wet cat food 13,728.3 13,946.7 12,676.8 12,923.5 13,609.0 −0.2
Economy 2,071.6 2,054.6 1,653.9 1,672.0 1,776.3 −3.8
Mid-priced 6,316.6 6,341.4 5,666.9 5,641.7 5,838.4 −1.9
Premium 5,340.0 5,550.7 5,356.0 5,609.7 5,994.3 2.9
Total cat food 28,281.5 28,689.6 26,388.5 27,145.3 28,959.9 0.6

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Forecast global retail value sales of cat food, by category
US$ millions and period growth (%) – Current prices – Fixed 2017 exchange rates
Category 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 CAGR* % 2018-2022
Cat treats and mixers 2,180.1 2,347.0 2,516.3 2,690.2 2,876.7 7.2
Cat mixers 0.8 1.0 1.3 1.7 1.9 24.1
Cat treats 2,179.3 2,346.0 2,514.9 2,688.5 2,874.8 7.2
Dry cat food 14,522.7 15,429.6 16,422.0 17,468.7 18,598.6 6.4
Economy 2,319.1 2,419.2 2,523.1 2,622.4 2,714.8 4.0
Mid-priced 5,733.5 6,099.6 6,516.2 6,965.0 7,472.3 6.8
Premium 6,470.0 6,910.8 7,382.7 7,881.4 8,411.6 6.8
Wet cat food 14,717.6 15,467.0 16,269.1 17,078.9 17,961.3 5.1
Economy 1,892.2 1,957.5 2,029.2 2,098.0 2,167.4 3.5
Mid-priced 6,263.4 6,546.1 6,870.3 7,209.7 7,593.2 4.9
Premium 6,562.1 6,963.4 7,369.6 7,771.2 8,200.7 5.7
Total cat food 55,192.7 58,353.7 61,723.6 65,319.0 69,172.3 5.8

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Dry food offers higher convenience while wet food tends to be marketed as a delicious treat. Wet food is also easier to swallow.

Products are also often positioned according to the age of pets. Senior pet food has been gaining popularity in recent years. Senior dogs and catsFootnote 3 have specific needs, and more affluent consumers take these very seriously by acquiring food specifically formulated to help them cope with physical changes, such as joint problems or arthritis. Food targeting senior dog and cats makes up the most significant share of retail sales in many countries, with notable exceptions, such as India. An example of dog food products per lifecycle in selected markets is presented in the table of the next page.

Dry dog food and wet dog food products by lifecycle in key markets, 2017 (% breakdown)
Description of this image follows.
Description of above image
Country Dry dog food Wet dog food
Puppy Adult Senior Other Puppy Adult Senior Other
Australia 11.4 14.5 59.2 70.5 12.4 7.1 17.0 7.9
Brazil 18.3 18.1 34.2 26.2 21.2 21.1 26.4 34.5
China 35.9 32.0 50.4 49.2 11.4 14.8 2.3 4.0
Colombia 23.0 14.3 30.0 23.8 7.3 2.0 39.8 60.0
France 12.2 8.4 40.6 44.6 9.5 7.3 37.7 39.8
India 55.5 62.7 41.2 29.2 1.9 N/A 1.4 8.1
Japan 8.6 3.0 41.3 43.3 39.2 40.6 10.9 13.1
Mexico 18.5 16.0 44.8 25.0 5.2 2.2 31.6 56.8
Thailand 22.5 21.4 60.7 59.7 0.3 1.1 16.5 17.8
United States 17.0 10.7 15.6 16.8 4.9 5.5 62.4 67.1

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018.

N/A: Not available

Note: "Other" refers to all the food that has no life stage clearly indicated on the package.

Distribution channels

Most pet owners around the world still buy prepared food for their pets in grocery stores, especially in supermarkets and hypermarkets. The other main channels used are specialized outlets such as pet superstores and pet shops.

The most promising opportunity in the pet food sector is e-commerce, as pet food sales have more than doubled through this channel between 2013 and 2017, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 24.9% during that period. In May 2018, Amazon launched in the United States its own line of dog food, called Wag, announcing that it would allow users to create special profiles for their pets, making the selection and buying of pet foods and other pet products even easier and less expensive (FoodProcessing.com, 2018).

Main outlets for global distribution of dog and cat food (% of total sales)
Channel 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Store-based retailing 91.1 90.4 89.4 88.1 86.5 −1.3
Grocery retailers 49.6 48.9 47.7 46.4 45.4 −2.2
Mixed retailers 6.3 6.3 6.7 6.7 6.4 0.4
Non-grocery specialists 35.2 35.2 35.0 35.1 34.7 −0.4
Pet superstores 12.9 13.3 14.2 14.2 13.6 1.3
Pet shops 14.4 14.0 12.9 13.0 13.4 −1.8
Home improvement and gardening stores 4.8 4.8 4.9 5.0 4.7 −0.5
Non-store retailing 3.4 4.0 4.8 6.2 7.9 23.5
Internet retailing 3.2 3.8 4.7 6.0 7.8 24.9
Non-retail channel 5.6 5.6 5.8 5.7 5.6 0.0
Veterinary clinics 5.6 5.6 5.8 5.7 5.6 0.0
Total store, non-store and non-retail 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Company shares

Mars and Nestlé clearly dominate the global dog and cat food landscape, competing with each other, far ahead from other competitors. The internationally known brand Pedigree by Mars Inc. leads the dog food sector, followed by Blue Buffalo (Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc) and Purina Dog Chow (Nestlé SA). Mars also leads the cat food sector with its emblematic Whiskas.

Top twenty global players in the dog food sector and their market share (% breakdown)
Company 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Mars Inc 22.5 25.5 25.0 24.7 24.2 1.8
Nestlé SA 18.5 18.2 18.3 17.9 17.3 −1.7
Colgate-Palmolive Co 5.3 5.3 5.5 5.5 5.3 0.0
JM Smucker Co, The N/A N/A 4.6 4.4 4.2 N/C
Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc N/A N/A 3.1 3.3 3.4 N/C
Ainsworth Pet Nutrition 0.3 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 35.1
Neovia N/A N/A N/A 0.8 1.0 N/C
WellPet LLC 0.7 0.7 0.8 0.8 0.8 3.4
Grandfood Industria e Comercio Ltda 0.7 0.7 0.6 0.6 0.8 3.4
Agrolimen SA 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.0
Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc 0.0 0.8 0.8 0.7 0.7 N/C
Empresas Carozzi SA 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.5 5.7
Freshpet Inc 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.5 25.7
Unicharm Corp 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.0
Mogiana Alimentos SA 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.4 −5.4
Nature's Variety Inc 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 10.7
Shanghai Bridge Petcare Co Ltd 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.3 31.6
Tyson Foods Inc 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.3 N/C
Charoen Pokphand Group 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3 10.7
Solla SA 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.0
Private label 11.7 11.5 11.3 10.9 10.6 −2.4
Others 37.1 33.6 26.2 25.6 26.6 −8.0

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

N/A: Not available

N/C: Not calculable

Top twenty global players in the cat food sector and their market share (% breakdown)
Company 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 CAGR* % 2013-2017
Nestlé SA 30.1 30.3 31.7 31.4 30.8 0.6
Mars Inc 25.6 27.4 26.1 26.0 26.4 0.8
Colgate-Palmolive Co 4.4 4.4 4.6 4.5 4.4 0.0
JM Smucker Co, The N/A N/A 3.7 3.4 3.2 N/C
Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc N/A N/A 1.0 1.2 1.3 N/C
Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc 0.0 1.2 1.1 1.1 1.1 N/C
Unicharm Corp 0.7 0.7 0.8 0.9 0.9 6.5
Agrolimen SA 0.9 0.9 0.8 0.9 0.9 0.0
Vitakraft Pet Care GmbH & Co KG N/A N/A 0.4 0.4 0.4 N/C
WellPet LLC 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 7.5
Maruha Nichiro Holdings Inc 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.0
Neovia N/A N/A N/A 0.3 0.4 N/C
Nisshin Seifun Group Inc 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.0
Inaba Pet Food Co Ltd 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3 10.7
Grandfood Industria e Comercio Ltda 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 10.7
Ainsworth Pet Nutrition N/A 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 N/C
Bolton Group, The 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.0
Charoen Pokphand Group 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.0
Nippon Pet Food Ltd 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.0
Empresas Carozzi SA 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2 18.9
Private label 11.1 11.2 10.8 10.5 10.2 −2.1
Others 24.7 21.3 16.4 16.5 17.3 −8.5

Source: Euromonitor International, 2018

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

N/A: Not available

N/C: Not calculable

Top five global brands in the dog food sector and their market share (% breakdown)
Brand Company Share % in 2017
Pedigree Mars Inc 11.4
Blue Buffalo Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc 3.4
Purina Dog Chow Nestlé SA 3.3
Royal Canin Mars Inc 3.0
Hill's Science Diet Colgate-Palmolive Co 2.8

Source: Euromonitor, 2018

Top five global brands in the cat food sector and their market share (% breakdown)
Brand Company Share % in 2017
Whiskas Mars Inc 11.9
Purina Friskies Nestlé SA 8.4
Purina Fancy Feast/Gourmet Nestlé SA 7.6
Purina Felix Nestlé SA 4.0
Kitekat Mars Inc 3.5

Source: Euromonitor, 2018

Pets' welfare is a major concern for both the industry and pet owners. Most manufacturers seem to have in place a scheme for donating and partnering with pet rescue and adoption centers as well as promoting stray pet adoption. This is also relevant for raising brand profile, particularly in less developed markets. For example, in 2017 in China, Pedigree organized a nationwide event for a public charity, "Help and Treat Homeless Animals". The brand also sponsored the first charity ambulance exclusively for homeless animals in China (Euromonitor International, 2018).

Nestle's Purina Petcare is said to have more than 500 scientists on staff, including food scientists, nutritionists and veterinarians, while Mars conducts a series of studies via its Waltham Centre to understand the ways in which interaction with animals can benefit the lives of individuals and communities.

As consumers are seeking out natural and human-grade foods, they also expect the same transparency in the manufacturing process of dog and cat food as in their own diets. The most educated pet owners want to be able to discuss their ingredient sourcing with manufacturers.

Product launch analysis

From March 2017 to March 2018, a total of 8,238 products were launched in the world. The most popular category was dog snacks and treats with 2,787 products launched, followed by cat food wet (1,694) and dog food wet (1,165). There were a lower number of launches in the dry products category, with the lowest number of launches in the cat snacks category.

Some 2,959 products contained ingredients with an animal original (according to ingredient claims), compared to 2,751 products with vegetable-based ingredients, 1,490 nutritional, 1,385 sugar-based and 632 soy-derived.

Number of products launched in the world, by region
Description of this image follows.
Description of above image
  • Europe: 3,757
  • Asia Pacific: 2,150
  • North America: 990
  • Latin America: 872
  • Middle East and Africa: 469

Source: Mintel, 2018

Consumers increasingly want highly functional and natural products for their pets. Once considered as a premium, natural products are rapidly becoming part of the mainstream.

"Functional pet" claims associated with pet food products
Number of launches by region between March 2017 and March 2018
Functional pet claim Europe Asia Pacific North America Latin America Middle East and Africa
Pet - adult 2,203 516 248 408 188
Skin and coat 714 613 108 191 105
Digestion and urinary tract 735 642 77 193 74
Non specific (functional pet) 578 667 111 197 105
Teeth and tartar prevention 557 476 137 226 88
Immune system 540 441 45 95 92
Joints, bones and muscles 425 478 64 106 109
Pet - junior 263 190 48 105 60
Eyesight 192 188 20 64 46
Slimming 199 132 30 35 17
Heart and cardiovascular system 155 116 26 46 22
Weight and muscle gain 164 67 47 37 32
Pet - senior 85 139 6 9 14
Brain and nervous system 74 124 13 26 11

Source: Mintel, 2018

Other top claims associated with pet food products
Number of launches by region between March 2017 and March 2018
Functional pet claim Europe Asia Pacific North America Latin America Middle East and Africa
No additives/preservatives 1,691 703 395 200 134
Vitamin/mineral fortified 994 492 273 203 150
Low/no/reduced allergen 784 265 460 55 45
Low/no/reduced sugar 580 78 9 13 15
All natural product 230 137 120 82 30
High/added protein 182 300 117 60 20
Low/no/reduced fat 323 248 39 20 21
Wholegrain 92 71 48 31 4
GMO free 128 50 34 21 10
Organic 94 38 42 5 4

Source: Mintel, 2018

The trend towards protein-rich products is clear in recent pet food products launches.

Nutritional component (listed on pack) of pet food products
Percentage of products launched between March 2017 and March 2018
Description of this image follows.
Description of above image
Nutritional component Percentage of products launched
Protein 91%
Moisture 77%
Fat 74%
Ash 61%
Vitamin E 32%
Vitamin D3 30%
Vitamin A 26%
Calcium 26%
Phosphorus 23%

Source: Mintel, 2018

Top protein types contained in pet food products
Number of launches by region between March 2017 and March 2018
Protein type Europe Asia Pacific North America Latin America Middle East and Africa
Vegetable protein 718 88 0 8 71
Poultry protein 174 7 0 0 9
Pea protein 52 28 101 1 3
Soybean proteins 48 96 3 24 4
Potato protein 39 27 29 3 2
Chicken protein 66 10 0 5 1
Soy protein concentrates 2 8 17 47 6
Beans 8 64 0 5 0
Plant protein 29 30 0 1 5
Meat protein 26 17 0 9 3
Fish collagen 0 51 0 0 0
Textured soy protein 0 0 4 38 0
Pork protein 30 8 0 4 0
Isolated soy protein 2 20 6 7 1
Vegetable protein isolate 15 9 0 0 7
Vegetable protein concentrate 4 2 0 12 3
Salmon protein 18 2 0 0 1
Sheep protein 20 0 0 0 0
Hydrolyzed chicken protein 6 4 0 8 0
Pork protein isolate 0 0 0 17 0
Turkey protein 12 2 0 0 1
Beef protein 11 0 0 1 1
Pig collagen 0 10 2 1 0
Mange-tout protein 0 12 0 0 0
Fish proteins 9 2 0 0 0
Duck protein 8 1 0 0 1

Source: Mintel, 2018

Top cereals contained in pet food
Total number of launches between March 2017 and March 2018
Cereals Number of launches
Cereals 1,567
Corn 1,094
Rice 1,066
Wheat flour 870
Maize gluten 652
Wheat 613
Wheat gluten 400
Rice flour 290
Starches and dextrins 256
Potato starch 252
Corn starch 251
Barley 213
Soybean flour 208
Brown rice 193
Rice bran 188
Cassava starch 182

Source: Mintel, 2018

Top vegetables contained in pet food
Total number of launches between March 2017 and March 2018
Vegetables Number of launches
Carrot 973
Beetroot pulp 751
Vegetables 740
Vegetable by-products 737
Peas 627
Potato 409
Spinach 331
Sweet potato 316
Soybean 257
Alfalfa 215
Tomato 192
Chicory roots 176
Pumpkin 173
Cassava 145
Chickpea 110
Broccoli 95

Source: Mintel, 2018

Ingredient preparation of pet food products
Percentage of products launched between March 2017 and March 2018
Description of this image follows.
Description of above image
Ingredient preparation Percentage of products launched
Extract 26%
Dry 18%
Meal 18%
Powdered 15%
Anhydrous 14%
Pulp 10%
Mixed 10%
Fish Oil Derived 8%
Hydrolysed 8%
Preserved 6%

Source: Mintel, 2018

Even though products marketed in the pet food sector primarily target the owners through claims, functional ingredients and appealing packages, manufacturers also need to ensure that their products will be appetizing to the pets that will consume it. Research is being made that can help manufacturers develop and innovate in that sector. According to a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, dogs and cats use sensations, such as appetizing smells, to build their mental understanding of the world and form memories, and that holds true for pet food. Dogs and cats love variety and the smells and textures of a new food can help fulfill the animals' mental need for novel experiences.Footnote 4

New product examples

Grain Free Fish Luau Dry Dog Food
Company Tiki Pets
Brand Tiki Dog Aloha Petites
Country United States
Country of manufacture Canada
Date published February 2018
Launch type New product
Price in US dollars 17.99

Tiki Dog Aloha Petites Grain Free Fish Luau Dry Dog Food is suitable for small dogs and is said to provide big nutrition in bite size kibbles with the followings: high quality protein with real herring as the first ingredient, plus flavorful chicken liver; nutrient-rich superfoods like coconut, salmon oil, and ground whole flaxseed; omega 3 fatty acids to support healthy immune system; grain-free carbohydrate sources like whole peas and lentils; and omega 6 fatty acids for skin and coat health. This gently-baked product is easy to eat, does not contains white potatoes, and retails in a 3.5-pound (lbs.) resealable bag, featuring the Facebook logo.

Meat Flavored Liquid Dog Snack
Company Internet Pet Comércio de Produtos para Animais
Brand Dog's Wine
Country Brazil
Country of manufacture Brazil
Date published February 2018
Launch type New packaging
Price in US dollars 6.21

Dog's Wine Petisco Líquido para Cães Sabor Carne (meat flavoured liquid dog snack) is now available in a newly designed packaging. The product contains no grapes or alcohol, has been inspected by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, and retails in a 250 millilitre (ml) pack.

Pure Kangaroo Complete Food for Adult Dogs
Company Interquell
Brand Happy Dog
Country Germany
Country of manufacture Germany
Date published November 2017
Launch type New variety/range extension
Price in US dollars 3.94

Happy Dog Känguru Pur Alleinfuttermittel für Ausgewachsene Hunde (Pure Kangaroo Complete Food for Adult Dogs) is made exclusively with 100% animal protein from pure kangaroo, plus vitamin E to support the immune system. This supreme product for sensitive dogs is free from grains, soy, sugar, preservatives and colours, and retails in a 400 gram (g) pack.

Chicken, Vegetables & Herbs Soup for Pets
Company Sernea Enterprises
Brand Robust
Country India
Country of manufacture India
Import Status Not imported
Date published October 2017
Launch type New variety/range
Price in US dollars 2.50

Robust Chicken, Vegetables & Herbs Soup for Pets is said to be easy to prepare, features high digestibility, and can be prepared by adding boiling water. It is positioned as a healthy alternative and has been prepared from fresh vegetables, real chicken and herbs and is said to delight the taste buds of pets. It also comes with the goodness of oats offering high soluble fibre, which improves digestion and boosts immunity. It is suitable for dogs, cats, senior adult dogs and dogs with illnesses. The product retails in a 100g pack with five servings and featuring the Facebook and Twitter logos.

Crunchy Dog Food for Miniature Dachshund 13 Years and Up
Company Unicharm
Brand Unicharm Pet Best Balance
Country Japan
Country of manufacture Japan
Date published March 2018
Launch type New packaging
Price in US dollars 9.87

Unicharm Pet Best Balance Crunchy Dog Food for Miniature Dachshund 13 Years and Up has been repackaged. This dog food suitable for miniature dachshund and Pembroke Welsh corgi, has been developed with veterinary nutritionists in the United States and comes with crunchy, thin diced chicken kibbles made with easy-to-digest ingredients. The product contains the following nutrition: a balanced content of calcium and phosphorus for healthy bones and teeth; omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat; twice more glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate to support the back and joints; dietary fibre to aid in digestion; and added vitamin C and 2.5 times more vitamin E to maintain everyday health and the immune system.

Chicken Sauce for Dog and Cat Food
Company Nutrello
Brand Nutrello
Country Colombia
Date published December 2017
Launch type New packaging
Price in US dollars 2.30

Nutrello Salsa Saborizante para Aplicar al Alimento Seco Pollo (Chicken Sauce for Dog and Cat Food) has been repackaged with an updated design. This product has been made with natural, fresh ingredients, enhances the flavor, improves the texture, and facilitates the consumption of dry food. It is suitable for all ages and breeds and retails in a 280g pack with a degradable label.

For more information

International Trade Commissioners can provide Canadian industry with on-the-ground expertise regarding market potential, current conditions and local business contacts, and are an excellent point of contact for export advice.

For additional intelligence on this and other markets, the complete library of Global Analysis reports can be found on the International agri-food market intelligence page, arranged by region.

Resources

Pathfinder – Global dog and cat food trends
Global Analysis Report

Prepared by: Josique Lorenzo, Market Analyst

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (2018).

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