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Pet Food in the U.S., 9th Edition

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.

Table of Contents :


Chapter 1: Executive Summary


Scope of Report

Report Methodology

Market Size and Growth

U.S. Pet Food Retail Sales, 2006-2015

Mass-Market Dollar Sales Flat, Volume Sales Down

Dog Food Inches Up to $3.7 Billion

Cat Food Stalls at $2.4 Billion

Non-Dog/Cat Food Declines to $243 Million

Market Share by Retail Channel

Competitive Overview

Del Monte and P&G Shake It Up

Top Five Players Control Four-Fifths of Market

Four Companies Dominate Mass-Market Sales

Pet Specialty Channel Leaders

Natural/Organic Specialists

Natural Branching Out

Focus on Private Label

Marketing and New Product Trends

Pet Market Advertising Expenditures

Pet Food “SuperBrands”

Advertising Positioned on Human Animal Bond, Health, Flavor

Pet Food Launches Peak in 2010

New Product Trends

The Ingredients Thrust

Retail Channel Trends

Channel Trends

Figure 1-1: Household Purchasing of Pet Products by Retail Channel or Pet Superstore Chain, 2010 (percent of U.S. households with pets)

The Big Two: PetSmart and Petco Continue to Advance

Other Top-Ranked Pet Specialty Chains

Independent Pet Stores Under Pressure

Walmart and Target Bullish on Pet Supplies

Online Selling

Pet Consumer Trends

61 Million Households Own Pets

61% of Pet Households Keep More Than One Pet

80% Buy Dog Biscuits/Treats

Milk-Bone Is Most Widely Used Brand Line

Canned Food Is Stronger in Cat Arena

Friskies Is Most Widely Used Cat Food Brand Line

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