The 'premiumization' trend is helping drive growth.

ROCKVILLE, MD — The pet-product packaging market reached an estimated $3.6 billion in 2017, according to a new report from market research firm Packaged Facts.

Within the market, the vast majority of sales come from pet food and treat packaging. Breaking down this broader category, dry food packaging leads packaging sales, while wet food packaging and treat packaging of pet product packaging are second and third in sales, respectively.

The premiumization of pet foods and growth in pet product sales continue to drive pet-product packaging demand, according to the report, titled "Pet Product Packaging Innovation."

Factors influencing market growth include "an increasingly competitive and crowded market for pet products, coupled with material inavailability, government regulations regarding pet food safety, and advances in packaging machinery," the firm states.

By material, paperboard is the largest by both volume and value in pet product packaging. By value, plastic represents a similar share of the market because of its higher material costs and extensive use in pouches for treats, wet pet food, and smaller bags of dry pet food. Metal cans see the third-largest material use by value, followed by wovens.

The premiumization of pet food has been particularly important for the increasing shift to wet and refrigerated/frozen foods, which has prompted value gains since wet food packaging is intrinsically more expensive than dry food packaging.

"The real opportunity is with wet cat food, with almost two-thirds of cat owners buying wet food for their pets," Packaged Facts states. "The continuing trend of humanization is also driving growth in pet packaging by expanding how many pet owners are giving their pets treats, which are packaged more expensively."

Buy the report here.