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In the post-recession pet food world, acquisitions and capital investments promise to reshape the U.S. pet food market. During 2010, Procter & Gamble/Iams acquired holistic pet food maker Natura, Nestlé Purina bought fast-growth treats maker Waggin’ Train, and Del Monte was snapped up by a group of investors including KKR for the tidy sum of $5.3 billion. As the early 2011 acquisition of Petmate by private equity firm Wind Point Partners makes clear, this keen interest in all things pet is industry-wide, with smaller companies also receiving capital infusions. Breathing additional dynamism into the market are health-related marketing and product development initiatives including a wave of grain-free pet foods, new weight-loss foods and programs from major market forces including Hill’s and Purina, and a flood of additional special diet and condition-specific functional foods and treats that takes the notion of pet pampering to a new level.
At the same time, the market continues to face challenges related to consumer cutbacks and retail price wars. Toward the end of the historical 2006-2010 period examined here, the $70K-plus households who have been largely driving the product premiumization trend took a step back, as did some of the consumers buying natural products. As signs of the times, Mars discontinued its Goodlife Recipe line of “natural light” pet foods, and Nestlé Purina quietly withdrew its Pet Promise “stealth brand” from the natural supermarket channel. In addition, during 2010, the number of new products tagged Upscale halved as marketers and retailers continued to focus on value-related appeals, while the number of private-label entries rose. Looking ahead into 2011, this sort of temperance will remain a smart strategy, since in Packaged Facts’ most recent survey of pet owners, conducted in February 2011, almost three-quarters of pet owners agree with the statement “I think many pet products are becoming too expensive.”
Bringing to bear more than 20 years of experience in analyzing this market and drawing on Packaged Facts’ broad cross-category expertise, Pet Food in the U.S., 9th Edition pinpoints strategic directions for current and prospective marketers, with a forward-looking focus on high-growth product segments and market drivers. Covering products for all type of companion animals, the report devotes separate chapters to Dog Food, Cat Food, and Other Pet Food (birds, small animal, fish, and reptiles), while also providing a comprehensive Market Overview covering cross-market trends and opportunities through 2015. Among these: impact of recession and economic recovery; recent and expected mergers and acquisitions; private-label inroads; advertising and promotional trends including social media and cause marketing; green initiatives; the multifaceted trend of natural and organic foods (which despite a slowdown continue to outpace the market as a whole); grain-free/non-allergenic foods; “meat first” products; weight maintenance and senior foods; customized and preportioned foods; “whole” and human-grade ingredients including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc.; and novel ingredients such as glucosamine, omega fatty acids, antioxidants and probiotics.
Pegging 2010 U.S. retail sales at $18.4 billion and projecting steady growth through 2015, the report provides market size estimates for the overall retail universe, while quantifying mass-market sales to the marketer/brand share level using data from SymphonyIRI. It also charts market size and marketer share figures for the natural supermarket channel, using SPINSscan sales tracking data. In sum, Pet Food in the U.S., 9th Edition thoroughly documents competitive, new product and retail trends, as well as trends in pet food purchaser demographics, brand preferences, cross-channel shopping, and cross-product purchasing. Consumer profiling is based on customized cross tabulations of Experian Simmons consumer survey data; exclusive data from Packaged Facts’ own quarterly pet owners; and data shared with Packaged Facts by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). Dozens of images of pet food and treat products and consumer and trade ads are included.
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