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Pet Food Industry Statistics 2021: Market Share & Trends
The popularity of pets grows every year, and the industry has seen a boom since COVID-19 has impacted the world. If you own any kind of pet, there’s a good chance that you’ve spent a lot of money on pet food. Vet care, exercise, and lots of attention are all significant parts of pet ownership, but providing them with food is a necessary part of ensuring your pet thrives.
If you’re just curious or considering investing in the pet food market, we’ll go over the statistics and trends of this industry. We hope this helps you understand where things stand currently and how the numbers will be projected in the near future.
Some Pandemic Pet Facts
We’re going to start with a few interesting facts and statistics regarding the pet food industry before we delve into the market information.
According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), the effect of the pandemic has dramatically increased everything pet-related.
COVID-19 clearly has changed the pet, and therefore, the pet food industry, which has impacted the market.
Pet Owners by Age
And then there’s the age of the more recent pet owner to consider. This also can have an effect on the pet food market.
The Millennials (the generation of people born between 1981 and 1996) are currently the most numerous pet owners at 31%, Baby Boomers (the generation born between 1946 and 1964) are sitting at 29%, Gen X (1965 to 1980) follows at 26%, and finally, Gen Z (1997 to 2012) round out the rest (about 14%).
The Millennials are the generation to watch as it’s believed they will drive the growth in the pet industry more than the other age groups. Investment banking company Morgan Stanley expects that 65% of Millennials will bring a new pet home within the next 5 years.
Current Pet Food Statistics
The APPA has found that dog and cat food are fairly expensive. In 2020, dog owners spent approximately $260 on dog food and $76 on treats, while cat owners spent $230 on cat food and $60 on treats.
Pet Food Processing has found that 41% of cat owners and 43% of dog owners purchase premium pet food. Additionally, according to Packaged Facts, 69% of Millennials are buying natural and organic pet food.
Lastly, SPINS found that 73% of Gen Zers and 68% of Millennials prefer to spend more money if the products are environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Morgan Stanley has projected that the pet food industry will see upwards of $275 billion by the year 2030.
Pet Food Industry U.S. Statistics
According to the APPA and the 2020 pet industry sales:
- In the U.S. market in 2020, $103.6 billion was spent overall on pets.
- Within that amount, $42 billion was spent on pet food and treats.
In 2021, the estimated sales in the U.S.:
- It is estimated that $109.6 billion will be spent on pets.
- Pet food and treats are estimated at $44.1 billion.
This means that over the next year, there will be an estimated increase of $6 billion across the entire pet industry (5.8% increase in one year) and $2.1 billion in pet food and treats (5% increase in one year).
Pet Food Industry Worldwide Statistics
How do the statistics for pet food stack up globally? Petfood Industry found that the pet food market worldwide had grown from $74.6 billion in 2019 to about $75.5 billion in 2020. It is thought the growth slowed due to COVID-19 but is expected to recover starting in 2021 and should reach $88.5 billion by 2023. Over the period from 2021 to 2024, an increase is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) at about 5%.
The largest region globally in the pet food market is unsurprisingly North America, which makes up 38% of the total market in 2019. The second-largest region was Western Europe, which held 22% of the market, and the Middle East came in as the smallest region in the market.
Pet Food Company Data
We’ve had a look at the industry of pet food, so now we’ll examine the top pet food companies.
Credit: Petfood Industry
|Mars Petcare Inc. (U.S.)||$18,085,000,000|
|Nestlé Purina PetCare (U.S.)||$15,422,000,000|
|J.M. Smucker (U.S.)||$2,937,500,000|
|Hill’s Pet Nutrition (U.S.)||$2,525,000,000|
|General Mills (U.S.)||$1,694,600,000|
|Diamond Pet Foods (U.S.)||$1,500,000,000|
|Spectrum Brands/United Pet Group (U.S.)||$951,000,000|
|Agrolimen SA (Spain)||$900,000,000|
|Unicharm Corp. (Japan)||$822,000,000|
|Simmons Pet Food (U.S.)||$800,000,000|
Credit: Petfood Industry
These statistics show that Mars Petcare Inc. and Nestlé Purina PetCare are quite ahead of the competition. Mars includes the global brands Pedigree, Whiskas, Royal Canin, and Waltham Center. Nestlé Purina includes brands such as Fancy Feast, Dog Chow, Beneful, and Purina Pro Plan.
What Is Driving the Pet Food Market?
Understanding what motivates the consumer can help further comprehend and anticipate the market trends. Some of what drives the market in the pet food industry has been touched on already.
1. Increasing Numbers of Pet Ownership
As previously discussed, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the industry. The fact that there has been an increase in not only pet ownership but in the amount of money being spent on pets demonstrates the importance of the pet food industry.
2. Organic and Natural Pet Food
And, as already mentioned, the Millennial generation is driven by a need for organic and natural food for their pets. Since Millennials are the largest age group as pet owners, this is a trend that will also be an important one in this market.
3. Dry Food Is the Most Popular
The ease of storage and lower price of dry food has made it the most popular form of pet food. This, of course, means that the largest share in the pet food market is dry pet food.
4. The Number of Dog Owners Is Increasing
Dogs are in the largest growing market as the most adopted pet, making the dog food industry a significant part of the pet food industry. The American Veterinary Medical Association conducted a survey in 2016 that found that there were almost 77 million dogs, as compared to just over 58 million cats, in American households.
The pet industry has grown exponentially and will continue to grow. When you look at the numbers, it’s easy to see that pets have become essential members of the family, and the response will always be providing them with the best care, and consequently, the best food possible.
Catering to the younger generation of pet owners is key. Personalized diets and foods for pets are driving the market. A lot of the traditional pet foods are being replaced with healthier foods made up of easy-to-understand ingredients. This includes more made-to-order and fresh options that might cost more, but today’s consumers don’t mind footing the bill. Pets are well-loved, and keeping them healthy is a small price to pay.
Featured Image Credit: Yuriy Golub, Shutterstock
Kathryn was a librarian in a previous lifetime and is currently a writer about all things pets. When she was a child, she hoped to work in zoos or with wildlife in some way, thanks to her all-consuming love for animals. Unfortunately, she’s not strong in the sciences, so she fills her days with researching and writing about all kinds of animals and spends time playing with her adorable but terribly naughty tabby cat, Bella. Kathryn is hoping to add to her family in the near future – maybe another cat and a dog.
- Some Pandemic Pet Facts
- Pet Owners by Age
- Current Pet Food Statistics
- Pet Food Industry U.S. Statistics
- Pet Food Industry Worldwide Statistics
- Pet Food Company Data
- What Is Driving the Pet Food Market?
- Final Thoughts