With Hill’s reformulating Science Diet as a natural product, Walmart launching its first natural store brand (Pure Balance), Nestlé Purina coming on strong with Purina One Beyond, and Merrick taking organic to the next level with its acquisition of Castor & Pollux and organic certification—to name just a few recent market developments—big changes are underway in the U.S. market for Natural, Organic and Eco-Friendly Pet Products. More than ever as pet specialty and mass-market brands increasingly look alike, product differentiation is key, with trends including grain-free, human grade, and organic taking superpremium natural pet food to new heights. On the pet care side, eco-friendly products abound, with Petco now fielding its own Planet Petco line and companies embracing sustainable packaging and production processes like never before.
Also underpinning natural pet products’ steady advance is consumer demand for products perceived to be safer, an appeal that got a big boost from the spring pet food 2007 recalls and one that continues to define the way marketers formulate and position products. In Packaged Facts’ August 2012 Pet Owner Survey, approximately two-fifths (38%) of pet owners feel that natural/organic brand pet products are often better than standard national brand products, and 63% report they are very concerned about the safety of the pet products they buy. Featuring exclusive Packaged Facts pet owner survey data such as these, the report homes in on food and nonfood purchasing trends across multiple categories, as well as attitudes and demographic characteristics of natural and organic pet product purchasers.
Building on the analysis presented in the previous three editions of this report, this fully updated fourth edition of Natural, Organic and Eco-Friendly Pet Products in the U.S. divides the market into two classifications—pet food and pet care—with the latter defined as encompassing all nonfood pet supplies (cat litter, grooming products, flea/tick care products, supplements, clean-up products, etc.). For each classification, coverage includes historical and projected retail sales estimates from 2007 through 2017, competitive ploys of key players, and trends in new product development such as grain-free, low-glycemic, human-grade, raw pet food (including freeze-dried and dehydrated), refrigerated pet food, eco-friendly nonfood pet products, corporate sustainability initiatives, cause marketing, and social media usage. Additional data sources include SymphonyIRI marketer/brand sales data for mass-market channels, SPINSscan data for the natural supermarket channel and specialty gourmet channels, and Experian Simmons data profiling trends in pet ownership and product purchasing.
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