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Packaged Facts Report Shows Pet Food Consumers Feel the Inflationary Squeeze

The new report examines chinks in the pet food market’s armor caused by current economic environment, plus trends that are the market’s saving grace.

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(PRESS RELEASE) ROCKVILLE, MD — Although inflation in the pet food market has leveled off in the second half of 2023, pet food consumers are still facing inflation-driven price increases. For the first time in recent years, the double-digit growth in this $51 billion market has been driven almost entirely by higher prices rather than premiumization, and higher-income pet owners’ share of spending has dropped. Packaged Facts’ new report Pet Food in the US, 17th Edition, examines the chinks in the pet food market’s armor caused by the current economic environment, as well as the trends that are the market’s saving grace, among them fresh pet foods, science-based and functional formulations, and an overall focus on pet food as the number one pet health and wellness product.

The report examines opportunities in this market for growth, with health and wellness-focused offerings and value propositions at the top of the list. Packaged Facts survey results show that 78% of dog owners and 84% of cat owners rate pet food among the most important pet health products, more so than flea/tick and heartworm medications or pet supplements, reflecting the importance placed on pet food when it comes to pet health and wellness. Even when pet owners change to lower-priced options, they still seek out formulations with quality ingredients.

Packaged Facts survey results show that among the one-third of pet owners who changed foods in the past twelve months, approximately one-third of dog owners and nearly as many cat owners had switched to lower-priced formulations. That said, pet owner confidence in lower-priced products is high, with 37% of pet owners agreeing that private label options provide the same or better quality compared to national brands. Other market opportunities discussed in the report include fresh pet foods, functional formulations, human-grade offerings, and cat-specific products.

Pet Food in the US, 17th Edition provides detailed analysis of the pet food consumer mindset, relying on its proprietary Surveys of Pet Owners, as well as examining trends in marketing, new products, retail, and pet food usage by type and brand line. Looking ahead, Packaged Facts expected the pet food market to continue its upward trajectory, projecting a 10% compound annual growth rate for the 2022-2027 period.

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