Online Sales are Key to Pet Food Growth

Online Sales are Key to Pet Food Growth

The pet food market is in the midst of a retail channel show-down, with online juggernauts Amazon and Chewy pulling out stops while putting pricing pressure on pet specialty and mass retailers and eroding the divide between them. As consumers turn to the Internet for an ever-increasing share of their pet food shopping, pet food retailers and marketers are rapidly shifting gears into full-fledged omnichannel sellers. At the same time, plateauing sales growth due to the leveling off of superpremium-fueled price increases means that, for first time in over a decade, pet food sellers are having to look beyond traditional premium and superpremium products for growth.

Marketers looking to take advantage of the online sales boom must also contend with the growing range of fresh options and customized diets. More than ever, pet parents are looking for freshly prepared “meals” designed especially for their fur babies. Pet meal plans also deliver other Internet-fueled consumer perks—auto-replenishment and (often free) home delivery—which benefit pet food sellers by generating customer loyalty via subscription programs. Another bright spot in the pet food market is Millennial pet owners, who are often willing to pay more for quality products—especially those featuring sustainably and ethically sourced ingredients, with additional opportunities in specialized diets including those informed by advances in pet tech.

Read more about the changing pet food market in Packaged Facts’ new Pet Food in the U.S., 14th Edition, which pinpoints strategic directions for current and prospective pet food marketers, with a forward-looking focus on high-growth product segments and market drivers. Covering foods for dogs and cats, the report examines trends in this $27 billion market by form (dry, wet, semi-moist, and frozen/refrigerated), ingredients, and product claims across the full retail spectrum including mass-market outlets, the pet specialty channel, online retailers, and other channels. It provides a comprehensive overview covering:

  • historical market size and projections (2014-2023)
  • cross-market trends
  • consumer expenditures
  • market opportunities
  • mergers and acquisitions
  • channel trends including e-commerce and omnichannel
  • the Millennial impact
  • and new product and marketing trends

The report relies on Packaged Facts’ proprietary Surveys of Pet Owners, analyzing  consumer purchase patterns and product and brand preferences for dog and cat food as well as the market as a whole, and includes numerous images illustrating new product and marketing trends.

-- by Shannon Brown, pet market consultant and analyst