Pet Food Market – Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 – 2026)

 The global pet food market was at USD 96,893 million in 2020 and is projected to register a CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period. The COVID-19 exerted a negative impact on the supply chains. Owing to the restrictions in the movement of raw materials, the pet food industry suffered initially in terms of supply and cash flow.

 However, the demand for the pet food segment has witnessed a steady growth in many parts of the world as people are adopting more pets with the growing desire for companionship. Players in the market have shifted their focus from retail stores to e-commerce platforms by increasing their investments in developing their own websites.
In 2020, North America is the largest geographical segment of the market studied and accounted for a share of around 37.6% of the overall market. The pet food industry is one of those industries, which has been performing well, despite the economic downturn. The world’s largest pet food markets are the United States, United Kingdom, France, Brazil, Russia, Germany, and Japan. 
The pet food market in the United States showed continuous growth in 2019, despite the maturity and impressive scope of the pet industry. In 2019, a continued surge in pet product e-commerce delivered modest gains, while the overall market was strengthened by the phenomenal growth in pet food sales through mass channels.

Over the long term, the premiumization and humanization trend are expected to remain the key drivers for the market growth in the forecast period. Due to the rising pet humanization trend worldwide, there is a growing interest of pet owners over their pet health and nutrition, which in turn is boosting the sales of organic, premium and custom-made products over the study period.

Key Market Trends

Rising Trend of Pet Humanization

Pet humanization has received a lot of attention in mainstream media over recent years globally. The shift in pet ownership to parenting has been a very crucial and defining trend in the pet food market, more so in the developed countries. Over one-third of the households in the developed countries owns a pet. A study conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), under the National Pet Owners Survey (2019-20), revealed that more than 85 million households in the United States had one or more pets, with a major percentage of dogs being found in the homes. Thus, increasing pet humanization is anticipated to drive the pet food industry.

Also, nowadays pets are considered a part of the family. The growing human-animal bond, which defines consumers’ willingness to spend for their pets. Therefore, consumers are now becoming aware of their pet health and are buying pet food rich in nutritional value to maintain the health and welfare of their beloved pets. 
Nowadays, pet owners are not just looking for basic food products, but for the food which are local, or natural, or have digestive or other specific benefits.

Additionally, the pet humanization trend has led to an increase in health consciousness and has generated demand for pet food free of sugars, grains, dyes, and other chemical additives. Hence, with the emerging pet humanization and premiumization trend, pet food demand is expected to grow furthermore in the coming years.

North America Dominates the Market


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Increasing pet humanization and pet ownership, the emergence of private label store brands, and growing urbanization accompanied with increased disposable incomes are some of the major driving forces propelling the growth of the North American pet food market. The market is driven by heavy influences from human nutrition, which is driving research to better and safer food for pets that have high nutritional and dietary benefits.
 Additionally, locally-sourced products and ethically-sourced products are propelling the market, due to the local manufacturers expanding their presence in the domestic market. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), national pet owners survey 2019-20, 63.4 million households are owning dogs as pet animals which is about 74.6% of the total pet-owning households in the country. This is coupled with the rising focus of the dog owners to purchase healthy and nutritious foods for their pets is helping to drive the sales of different types of dog foods in the country.

Pet owners are preferring functional treats more, compared to other treats, as these functional treats are adding health benefits to their pets, in addition to their daily diets. Owing to this trend, major players in the market are developing new functional treats in order to meet the pet owner’s demand. For instance, in 2019, Hill’s Pet Nutrition launched its new range of functional dog treats that are specifically designed to maintain dogs’ weight, mobility, food allergies, and dental problems.

Competitive Landscape

The Global Pet Food Market is consolidated with the top global players occupying a major share in the market. The competition in the market is driven by consumer loyalty. Since pets would crave for the same kind of food every time during any particular growth stage, gaining market share of competitors is very tough in the market. 
The major players in the Global Pet Food Market are: Mars, Inc., Nestle Purina Petcare Company, Colgate-Palmolive Company (Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc.), The J.M. Smucker Company (Big Heart Pet Brands, Inc.), and Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc., among others.

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