The global pet food market size was valued at USD 103,625 million in 2021. It is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 130,070 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 5% over the forecast period (2022–2030). Pet food includes food for pets like cats, dogs, birds, and other animals, typically sold in supermarkets, pet stores, etc. Over time, there has been a significant increase in demand for pet food due to the rising number of pet owners. The producers' research and studies have improved their understanding of pet nutrition. In keeping with this, they now provide goods that guarantee flavor and satisfy pets' dietary needs. Additionally, several pet food associations and federations have passed strict rules requiring manufacturers to create a pet food that is both safe and of the highest quality.
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The Trend of Pet Humanization
Pet humanization has gained extensive coverage in mainstream media worldwide in recent years. Research undertaken by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) as part of the National Pet Owners Survey (2019-20) revealed that more than 85 million households in the United States owned one or more pets, with dogs constituting a significant proportion of the pet population. Thus, it is projected that increased pet humanization would fuel the pet food market.
According to Pet Data, the adoption rate for dogs in China in 2018 was 11.8%, and the adoption rate for cats was 19.8%. Since the rise of the animal welfare movement in China, Pet Form, an organization that teaches and trains stray cats and dogs before releasing them to shelters, has assisted over 10,000 rescued cats and dogs in finding homes between 2011 and 2019. The consumer trend toward pet adoption has driven pet food premiumization, which is anticipated to expand the pet food products market over the forecast period.
Trend of E-Commerce
Globally, pet food has become one of the fastest growing categories online, next to infant and baby nutrition. Pet e-shops have a strong potential for growth and may well emerge as the second large distribution channel after physical retail stores. Mars Petcare, one of the leading brands for pet food in China, has teamed up with e-commerce platforms, such as Tmall, JD, and Amazon. It is also planning to invest more money into online channels and accelerate its research on pet owners' shopping and preferences.
The pet boom has led to the proliferation of pet startups in developing countries like India. For example, BarkNBond is an app that helps find all pet-related essentials, ranging from veterinary clinics to pet-friendly cafes. An increase in the number of android phone users, internet users, and innovations in marketing strategies for e-commerce, are encouraging higher pet food sales globally.
Regulations Imposed on Pet Food
The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China (AQSIQ) takes charge of the unified inspection and quarantine of imported pet food. The local entry and exit inspections and quarantine agencies are responsible for inspecting and quarantining imported pet food in China. In 2018, China's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs issued Announcement 20, which referred to the attached regulations. Announcement 20 included rules such as if dog and cat foods were currently being imported without an import registration certificate, an import registration certificate should be applied for and obtained by September 2019.
Holders of an existing import registration certificate for additive premixes that could be directly consumed by a pet cat or dog (not as part of a product manufactured by others) were required to apply for and obtain a new import registration certificate by September 2019. Stringent regulations and an increase in product recalls may continue to limit the potential growth of the pet food market over the forecast period.
Increased Demand for Natural Pet Food
Natural products, in general, are gaining widespread popularity globally, increasing health awareness among people. Improved knowledge sharing across social media platforms related to the potential toxicity of synthetic chemicals and other harmful materials also encourages natural pet food sales. In addition to a desire to decrease their pet's carbon paw prints, pet parents are purchasing natural products to maintain or improve the health and well-being of their beloved companion animals. The top-selling natural pet products are holistic cat and dog food, cat litter, natural flea and tick repellents, and holistic natural pet food. This long-standing growth trend in developed markets is a small but rapidly growing segment of the pet food industry.
The rise in preferences for natural and healthy food, with food safety being the priority, may drive pet food sales, with higher growth rates in the natural segment. In 2016, organic pet food sales in the United States were USD 5.4 billion and increased to USD 6.8 billion in 2019. Hence, increased awareness regarding organic pet food in developed and developing countries, coupled with increased pet parenting, is driving the pet food market globally and is anticipated to grow during the forecast period.
The global pet food market is segmented by animal type, product type, ingredient type, sales channel, pricing type, and region.
By animal type, the global market includes Dogs, Cats, Birds, and Others.
The Dog segment accounts for the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.3% during the forecast period. Over the past ten years, pet ownership has grown globally, and this trend is expected to continue. Sales of various types of dog foods are driven by dog owners' desire to provide wholesome nourishment for their animals, which has resulted in the introduction of numerous dog food items. The projected period is expected to increase the global dog food market due to the rising pet dog population worldwide and owners' growing concerns about their pets' health.
By product type, the global market includes Dry Pet Foods, Wet Pet Foods, Veterinary Diets, Treats & Snacks, and Organic Products.
The Dry Pet Foods segment accounts for the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period. With the rising popularity of dry pet food among pet owners globally, several major players are investing in the segment to gain traction in the pet food market. Thus, with boosting expansions by the players in the market and rising demand for dry pet foods, the segment is anticipated to grow furthermore in the coming years.
By ingredient type, the global market includes Animal-derived, Plant-derived, Cereals & Cereal Derivatives, and Others.
The Animal-derived segment accounts for the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.9% during the forecast period. Animal protein meals are generally produced from slaughterhouse waste, and other food animals deemed "not for human consumption." However, with the pet humanization trend, many pet owners want to feed their pets the same kinds of foods that they provide their human families. The demand has led to the marketing of so-called "human grade" pet foods. With the rising demand for human-grade food, many brands such as Blue buffalo have entered the development of pet foods with no byproduct meals. Hence, the market is anticipated to grow steadily during the forecast period.
By sales channel, the global market includes Specialized Pet Shops, Internet Sales, Hypermarkets, and Others.
The Specialized Pet Shops segment accounts for the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.9% during the forecast period. The need for personalized products, attributed to the high rate of pet humanization and increasing disposable income, has transformed specialized pet shops into an essential distribution channel. Thus, these factors are anticipated to drive the market during the forecast period.
By pricing type, the global pet food market includes Economy Segment, Premium Segment, and Super-Premium Segment.
The Premium Segment accounts for the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5% during the forecast period. Premium Pet food products are those that contain unique nutraceutical ingredients and offer human-quality ingredients. Premium pet food typically has higher quality protein sources, no artificial dyes, and added antioxidants and vitamins. In addition, better ingredients can contribute to better digestibility and the pets' overall health, thereby escalating the demand for premium pet foods. Furthermore, The improved standard of living and the health awareness among pet owners, which can be attributed to better knowledge about pets and their diseases, maintained stable demand for premium products.
North America Dominates Other Regions
By region, the global pet food market includes North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and SAMEA.
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North America accounts for the largest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period. The United States has the largest pet food market in North America, and its expansion can be ascribed to the rise in pet ownership. According to the American Pet Products Association's (APPA) 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey, 67% of American homes (or around 84.9 million families) currently have pets. The expenditure on pets in the country increased from 41.2% in 2007 to 69.4% in 2018, out of which the money spent on pet food occupied over 40%. Old Mother Hubbard Classic, with an extensive product portfolio available on numerous online retail platforms, such as Amazon, Walmart, Petco, PetSmart, Chewy, and PetFlow, held the largest share of 2.96% of the total market share in 2018. Hence, the increased presence of international players and increased expenditure on pet foods in the country are driving the market.
Europe is estimated to account for USD 47,160 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 4.9% during the forecast period. The German pet food market is mature and saturated, divided into premium and economy-priced pet food. Pet specialty shops generally sell premium pet food products, as well as mid-priced products. The cat food market is the largest in the country. Many pet owners in the country prefer prepared pet food over unprepared pet food, and dry pet food is the largest segment under pet food, closely followed by the pet treats segment. The German pet food market consists of prominent players, like Mars, Nestlé, and Fressnapf, which occupy approximately more than half of the market share. Grocery stores occupy a significant share of Germany's pet food market, followed by supermarkets and hypermarkets. With the increasing popularity of private-label products, mainly focused on pet food, the German segment is witnessing healthy growth.
Asia-Pacific is the third largest region. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China ranked third worldwide in dog ownership, after the US (55.3 million) and Brazil (35.7 million), with 27.4 million pet dogs in 2018. Pet owners in the country prefer online shopping due to the convenience it provides to consumers. Increasing pet humanization with rising living standards, rapid urbanization, and rising demand for natural, organic pet food are some drivers that boost pet food sales in the country. With the rising pet food demand, several companies have invested in developing innovative pet food products to occupy significant market shares. For instance, in December 2020, Nestlé introduced Harvest Gourmet, its first plant-based brand for the Chinese market. Harvest Gourmet's range includes ten products, six developed for retail and four aimed at food service. Hence, with the rising pet humanization trend and the rising empty-nest youth and empty-nest elderly population, the market is expected to grow significantly during the forecast period.