Global pet food production has been growing steadily in recent years, reaching 35.27 million metric tons in 2022, according to Alltech Agri-Food Outlook 2023. This is a 7.25% increase from 2021, when the production was 32.88 million metric tons. There are also different forecasts of the global commercial scale of the market. Based on the data of the 4 companies that have recently updated their reports, it can be said that the pet food market size is around USD 117.34 billion on average in 2023. Assuming an average growth expectation of 5.5% CAGR, it can be projected that the global pet food market will grow to USD 201.39 billion by 2033.
By Derya Yildiz
The origins of the pet food market can be traced back to the history of the relationship between humans and their pets. The first pet foods were the leftovers or animal by-products that humans gave to their pets. In the 19th century, pet foods became a commercial product. The first dry pet food was invented in 1860 by James Spratt, who sold dried biscuits made of wheat, vegetables, beetroot, and beef blood to dogs. Spratt’s biscuits were popular among hunting and sporting dogs. In 1890, his company expanded to the United States.
In the early 20th century, the pet food market diversified. Canned wet pet food was introduced in 1922 by Chappel Brothers, who used horse meat and grain mixture. Cat food emerged in the 1930s, when Carnation Company created a cat food brand called Friskies. Friskies was initially a dry cat food, but later became a wet cat food. Dry pet food production increased during World War II, when canned food was scarce and dry pet food was cheaper and easier to store.
The pet food market grew and developed further in the second half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century. As pet ownership rates increased, pet owners became more concerned about their pets’ health and nutrition. Factors such as quality, safety, and nutritional value of pet foods became important. The ingredients used in pet foods were influenced by the increasing awareness of specialty foods, grain-free and organic foods. The variety of pet foods also increased. Pet foods used different ingredients such as meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, grains, etc., and different formulations for pets’ age, breed, size, and health condition. The presentation of pet foods also changed. The shape, colour, smell, and taste of pet foods were improved, and the packaging of pet foods became more attractive and convenient.
Today, the pet food market caters to a wide range of pets including fish, small mammals, birds, and reptiles. According to the report of Maximize Market Research, it is overwhelmingly dominated by cats and dogs, with global sales exceeding five billion pounds. This market encompasses various product types, including dry, canned, and semi-moist pet foods, as well as an array of snacks such as biscuits, and treats, offering pet owners a choice from over 3,000 different products.
The industry’s growth has been marked by a shift towards more nutritious and scientifically formulated pet foods, tailored to the specific life stages and health conditions of pets, alongside a reduction in fatty components and an increase in protein-rich ingredients. Additionally, the pet snack category has gained popularity with a wide array of products, ranging from jerky snacks to biscuit pieces, reflecting the ever-evolving preferences of pet owners in providing the best for their furry companions. Overall, the pet food market continues to thrive as an essential segment of the pet care industry, addressing the diverse dietary needs and preferences of pets and their devoted owners.
GLOBAL PET FOOD PRODUCTION
According to Agri-Food Outlook 2023 report, prepared by Alltech, global pet food production has been growing steadily in recent years, reaching 35.27 million metric tons in 2022. This is a 7.25% increase from 2021, when the production was 32.88 million metric tons. However, the share of pet food in total compound animal feed production of 1.266 billion metric tonnes in 2022 is only 2.8%.
The leading region in global pet food production is Europe, which produced 11.78 million metric tons of pet food in 2022. This is a 1.65% increase from 2021, when the production was 11.59 million metric tons. Europe is followed by North America, which produced 11.20 million metric tons of pet food in 2022, a 5.7% increase from 2021, when the production was 10.60 million metric tons. Latin America ranked third, with a production of 8.86 million metric tons in 2022, a 19.22% increase from 2021, when the production was 7.43 million metric tons.
Although Asia-Pacific is the world’s largest producer of many types of feed, it lags behind in pet food production. Based on data compiled by Alltech, pet food production of the region, which was 2.27 million tons in 2021, increased by 1.65% in 2022 and amounted to 2.48 million tons.
MARKET GROWTH EXPECTATIONS
There are different forecasts for the global commercial scale of the pet food market. Maximize Market Research, one of the 4 different research companies that have recently updated their reports, reveals the highest estimates of market size.
According to the company’s report, the global pet food market size was valued at USD 133.9 billion in 2022 and the total pet food market revenue is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.2% from 2023 to 2029, reaching nearly USD 190.94 billion. According to the company’s data, the pet food market, which reached a size of USD 140.9 billion in 2023, will reach a commercial volume of USD 233.9 billion by 2033.
Another research company Brainy Insights points in part to a smaller commercial volume. According to the company’s report, the global pet food market was valued at USD 103.5 billion in 2022 and will grew at a CAGR of 4.5% from 2023 to 2032. The market is expected to reach USD 160.8 billion by 2032.
Market Research Future (MRF) has the lowest market size forecasts among 4 research companies. According to MRF’s report, pet food market size was valued at USD 95.9 billion in 2022. The pet food market industry is projected to grow from USD 101.74 billion in 2023 to USD 145.15 billion by 2030, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.1% during the forecast period (2023 – 2030).
Future Market Insights is the company offering the second highest forecast. According to the report of FMI, the global pet food market industry size is expected to reach USD 117.69 billion in 2023. During the forecast period 2023 to 2033, global pet food sales are likely to soar at 6.4% CAGR. By 2033, the total market value is projected to cross a mark of USD 220.47 billion. This represents a significant improvement compared to the CAGR of 4.6% witnessed during the historical period 2018 to 2022. It is anticipated that the market is expected to sustain a moderate growth trajectory in the coming years, according to the report.
Based on the forecast data of these 4 companies, it can be said that the pet food market size is around USD 117.34 billion on average in 2023. Assuming an average growth expectation of 5.5% CAGR, it can be projected that the global pet food market will grow to USD 201.39 billion by 2033.
MARKET DRIVERS & RESTRICTIONS
Evolving consumer attitudes drive transformation in the pet food market. According to the report of Maximize Market Research, the global pet food market is undergoing a transformative shift driven by evolving consumer attitudes and preferences, with the tendency to humanize pets taking centre stage. Pet owners now prioritize their pets’ well-being even amidst cost-of-living concerns, which demonstrates the resilience of the pet food market.
Pet parents are increasingly seeking pet food options rich in fibre, protein, vitamins, and minerals. There is a growing preference for all-natural pet foods, pushing pet food producers to reduce artificial additives in their recipes to meet consumer expectations.
Sustainability is another driver impacting the global pet food market. While sustainability might not be the primary purchase driver among pet owners, it’s a growing concern. Brands are introducing planet-friendly claims to address this trend, highlighting their commitment to environmentally responsible practices.
These evolving consumer preferences and trends are reshaping the pet food market, highlighting the need for brands to adapt, innovate, and communicate the benefits of their products to meet the demands of pet owners who increasingly view their pets as cherished members of their families.
However, the pet food market faces several challenges that impact its growth and operations. According to the report of Maximize Market Research, the availability of quality raw materials for pet food production is a significant challenge. For example, fluctuations in the supply of meat and fish due to factors like overfishing or disease outbreaks lead to price increases and supply shortages of pet food ingredients. Stringent regulations and compliance requirements in the pet food industry are a challenge for manufacturers. Ensuring that pet food meets safety and quality standards set by regulatory authorities is costly and time-consuming, especially for small producers. Economic challenges in emerging countries restrain the pet food market. Economic downturns or currency fluctuations affect consumers’ purchasing power, which leads to reduced spending on pet food products.
Some of the major players:
ADM Animal Nutrition
Affinity Petcare SA
Ainsworth Pet Nutrition
Alimentos Montes de Oro
Arden Grange Pet Foods
Belina Montes de Oro
Better Choice Company
BRF Pet SA
BrightPet Nutrition Group
Burns Pet Nutrition
Butcher’s Pet Care
Canidae Pet Foods
Caru Pet Food Company
Central Garden & Pet
Champion Pet Care
Diamond Pet Foods
Dog for Dog
DoggyMan H.A. Co.
Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food
Farmina Pet Foods
Fromm Family Foods
GA Pet Food Partners
Gepsa Pet Foods
Gott Pet Products
Grove Pet Foods
Halo, Purely for Pets
Health Extension Pet Care
Hill’s Pet Nutrition
Inspired Pet Nutrition
iVet Professional Formulas
J.H. Whitney & Co.
Malta Texo de Mexico
Mars Petcare Inc.
Maruha Nichiro Corporation
Merrick Pet Care
Mid America Pet Food
Midwestern Pet Foods
Mogiana Alimentos SA
Monge & C. S.p.A.
National Flour Mills
Natural Balance Pet Foods
Nestlé Purina PetCare
Nippon Pet Food Co.
Nisshin Pet Food Inc.
Nueva Tecnología en Alimentación
Nulo Pet Food
Nunn Milling Co.
Oxbow Animal Health
P&G Pet Care
Partner in Pet Food
Pets Global Inc.
Real Pet Food Company
Redbarn Pet Products
Rush Direct Inc
Signature Pet Products
Simmons Pet Food
Solid Gold Pet
Stella & Chewy’s
Thai Union Group
The Fitzpatrick Company
The Honest Kitchen
Three Dog Bakery
Tuffy’s Pet Foods
Tyson Pet Products
United Pet Group
Wellness Pet Company
Weruva Pet Foods
Whitebridge Pet Brands
The evolving preferences of pet owners are another source of challenges. For example, the demand for natural and organic pet foods poses challenges for traditional pet food manufacturers that need to reformulate their products and adapt to this trend. Disruptions in the supply chain, such as transportation delays or labour shortages, impact the timely production and distribution of pet food products. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions affected the availability of some pet food products in the market, leading to challenges in meeting consumer demand. These challenges highlight the complexity of the pet food industry and the need for companies to adapt to changing market conditions, comply with regulations, and ensure a consistent supply of quality ingredients to meet consumer expectations.
Pet ownership is significantly rising in emerging countries, notably in areas like Asia-Pacific and South America, according to the report of the Brainy Insights. More individuals are adopting pets as disposable incomes rise and urbanization keeps going, which is fuelling an increase in the demand for pet food items in these markets. The emphasis on pet wellness and health gives an opportunity for businesses to create and market pet food items that meet certain dietary requirements, improve joint health, encourage weight control, or accommodate animals with allergies or sensitivities. Among health-conscious pet owners, formulations that combine functional substances and organic, high-quality ingredients are becoming more and more popular.
MARKET STATUS BASED BY SEGMENTS
The pet food market is divided into different segments depending on the animal species and pet food form. On the basis of species, dogs stand out as the most preferred pet. According to the report of The Brainy Insights, the dog pet segment dominated the global market in 2022 with a market share of 41.6%. Due to a rise in dog owners’ worries about their dogs’ health, more people are choosing to keep dogs as pets at home, which has resulted in higher household spending on nutritious dog food. Dogs are carnivorous animals; hence the majority of their diet consists of meat. Dogs have relatively low carbohydrate requirements, which has increased demand for foods with greater amounts of meat and reduced starch contents.
On a form basis, dry food dominates the pet food market due to its widespread popularity and affordability. The dry segment held a significant market share of 57.6% in 2022, according to the report of The Brainy Insights. This is explained by the simple fact that dry-form items are more convenient and have a longer shelf life than wet food. The most popular choice for dogs is dry food since it is inexpensive and accessible to many dog owners.
MARKET STATUS BASED BY REGION
On a regional basis, North America stands out as a dominant force in the global pet food market. According to the report of Maximize Market Research, the region’s dominance is attributed to a strong pet ownership culture, high disposable incomes, and a deep-seated commitment to pet health and nutrition. Consumers in North America are increasingly seeking premium and specialized pet food products, which drives innovation in the industry. Trends like natural and organic pet food, personalized nutrition, and grain-free options have gained significant traction. Additionally, North America serves as a hub for innovation and product development, setting trends that influence the global pet food industry.
Europe is another substantial market for pet food, characterized by a diverse landscape of pet owners with varying preferences. The European market is notable for its stringent regulations and emphasis on quality and safety standards. Pet owners in Europe have shown a growing interest in premium and organic pet food, aligning with the region’s health-conscious culture.
The Asia Pacific region is driven by factors such as rising pet ownership, urbanization, and increasing disposable incomes. As more households adopt pets, there is a growing demand for pet food products. The Asia Pacific market is diverse, with different countries showcasing unique preferences. In countries like Japan and South Korea, premium and innovative pet food options are popular, while in emerging markets like India and China, there is a demand for affordable yet nutritious pet food.
PET FOOD INDUSTRY OVERVIEW
The companies in the pet food market compete with each other by offering a variety of products and services to cater to different segments and niches of the market. They also invest in research and development, innovation, marketing, and distribution to enhance their efficiency, sustainability, and competitiveness.
1. Alltech, Agri-Food Outlook 2023, https://www.alltech.com/agri-food-outlook/
2. Maximize Market Research; Pet Food Market: Industry Analysis and Forecast (2022-2029) Trends, Statistics, Dynamics, Segmentation by Product Form, Application, Source, and Nature; September 2023; https://www.maximizemarketresearch.com/market-report/global-pet-food-market/21009/
3. The Brainy Insights, Pet Food Market Size by Pet Type (Cat, Dog, Others), By Form (Wet, Dry, Snacks & Treats), By Distribution Channel (Supermarkets/hypermarkets, Specialty Pet Food Stores, Online, Others) Regions, Global Industry Analysis, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2023 to 2032; June 2023; https://www.thebrainyinsights.com/report/pet-food-market-13529
4. Market Research Future; Pet Food Market Analysis & Size, Share Research Report; June 2023; https://www.marketresearchfuture.com/reports/pet-food-market-1525
5. Future Market Insights; Pet Food Market; May 2023; https://www.futuremarketinsights.com/reports/pet-food-market#
6. The Complete History of Commercial Dog Food, Petfood Reviewer, https://petfoodreviewer.com/history-of-dog-food/
7. Pet food, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pet_food
8. The History of Commercial Pet Food: A Great American Marketing Story, The Farmer’s Dog, https://www.thefarmersdog.com/digest/the-history-of-commercial-pet-food-a-great-american-marketing-story/