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Retail Dog and Cat Food Sales Top $3.5B in Canada

Ever-growing value being placed on pets as part of the family, Packaged Facts noted.




Canadian retail sales of dog and cat food likely topped U.S. $3.5 billion in 2022, up nearly 8% over 2021, according to the Canadian Pet Market Survey report recently released by Packaged Facts.

The increase, spurred not only by inflationary conditions but by continued demand for premium products, caps years of growth in the 5% to 6% range.

COVID-19 and its aftermath — in tandem with current geo-political, economic, and environmental concerns — has led to ever-growing value being placed on pets as part of the family, Packaged Facts noted.

“Heightened awareness and appreciation of the role pets play in our own mental and physical well-being translates into increased willingness to buy premiumized pet products and services, to return the favor,” the market research firm stated.

“As the pandemic brought health and wellness issues front and center across human markets,” said report author Shannon Brown, “the same holds true for pets, with Canadian owners becoming even more receptive to products and services offering a diversifying range of pet health and wellness benefits.”

A nationally representative, bilingual survey fielded by Packaged Facts in September-October 2022 shows one-fourth (26%) of Canadian dog or cat owners strongly agreeing that they were willing to spend more on pet foods with extra health and wellness benefits, and another 42% somewhat agreed. While wallets aren’t being emptied indiscriminately—providing value in a holistic sense remains essential to being competitive— nearly two-thirds of Canadian pet owners reported spending more on pet products than they used to, the economy notwithstanding.


This follows from half of dog, cat, and other pet owners strongly agreeing that “My pets are central to my home life,” and over one-third at least somewhat agreeing.

In the pet food arena, this mentality underpins various product “humanization” trends. Notably, the fresh (refrigerated/frozen) movement that has taken the U.S. market by storm is making headway in Canada as well. Fresh pet food pioneer Freshpet has been available in Canada through Walmart and PetSmart, and has recently expanded into major grocery store chains including Loblaws. Similarly, Canadian fresh pet food specialist Rollover is available at Walmart and pet specialty retailers including PetSmart, Pet Valu, and PetMax. That innovative pet food formulations are very much at home not only in pet specialty but in mass-market stores such as Walmart and Loblaws underscores the larger point: with pets central to so many Canadian households, on-trend pet departments are key to drawing in household shoppers.



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