Bye Bye By-Products: Pet Foods Go Upscale

Photo:  Pexels

Photo: Pexels

Pet care is an anchor to center store as the number two reason consumers leave the house to go to the store, and 75% of U.S. households shop the pet food section, Joe Toscano, VP at Nestle Purina, told Food Dive. And it is driving demand for higher quality, natural and organic pet food, said David Lummis, pet market analyst for Packaged Facts. While larger companies such as Quaker Oats, Mars and Nabisco sold pet foods as early as the 1950s and 1960s, “What is newer is the introduction of specialized ingredients, senior pet food and functional kinds of pet food,” said Lummis. Valued at $26.4 billion in 2016, Packaged Facts estimates the U.S. market for pet food will grow to $30 billion by 2022. According to Packaged Facts analysts, natural pet food sales reached $8.2 billion in 2016 and now make up 25% of the total U.S. pet food market. Natural pet food sales grew by a compound annual growth rate of 12.1% between 2012 and 2016.