The numbers are in from Sundale Research showing 2021 was another record year for spending on American pets. According to these industry observers, the forces driving this bullish market will continue through 2026 – despite the negative economic pressures. If history is any guide, people would rather cut spending in other areas of their lives than on pet care and food for their fur babies.
Last year people were still spending more time at home due to the COVID pandemic. This not only increased bonding time with pets, but it gave pet parents more time to focus on their pets’ health and wellbeing. This runs parallel to the human trend toward proactive wellness, which has people selecting healthy foods with immune-boosting properties, antioxidants, and other functional ingredients. It’s no big leap then to believe that people who want healthier foods for their families, include their pets in the mix.
High-quality nutrition and food and treats formulated to enhance health – is both a general consumer trend and a pet food trend. Of course, pet parents want their four-footed companions to live longer, healthier lives, so they’re willing to spend more on premium quality food and treats with functional benefits.
Dogfood sales lead the segment. In 2021 U.S. retail sales of dogfood topped $20 billion, up 4.6%. This comes on the heels of a 6.8% increase in 2020, which was the greatest uptick in sales in more than 20 years. Booming dogfood sales are credited to the surge in dog acquisitions during the pandemic – more dogs to feed and more time to bond with them pushed sales higher over the past two years. Higher prices for premium products and specialty ingredients also contributed to the increased sales numbers.
H-E-B Texas Pets Brisket BBQ Flavor Dog Food is described as 100% complete and balanced nutrition, and contains calcium and phosphorus that help support healthy teeth and bones; omega 6 fatty acids that help support healthy skin and coat; and prebiotic fiber that helps support healthy digestion. This product utilizes dried spinach, dried cranberries, dried tomato pomace, dried blueberries, and dried carrots.
Looking ahead, Sundale estimates retail sales of dogfood will rise by 4.7% this year to $21.2 billion and then grow 4% annually through 2026, topping out at $24.6 billion. So, what’s going to keep healthy sales in the next few years? Nutritious, health promoting products with clean labels – short and easily understood ingredients – the same trends we see in consumer products.
This product offering is described as high-quality oven baked dog treats made with real chicken and are carefully blended with real wholesome ingredients from a variety of food groups.
Pure Harmony – lets pets thrive by offering the following benefits; healthy digestion and immune system with real cranberries, sweet potatoes and spinach.
Bear Bone Roasted Pumpkin Dog Biscuits are described as human grade, organic and natural dog treats that contains no artificial ingredients, colors, flavors or preservatives. The pumpkin is said to aid pet’s metabolism and digestive regularity.
The Honest Kitchen Parmesan Pecks Tasty Mini Treats are described as an irresistibly tasty, craveable snack packed with flavor, but not with calories, are made with love in small batches and contain only four calories per treat. This easy-to-snap, wholegrain and natural product has the perfect size for small pups or portion control, features mouth-watering cage-free duck, real parmesan and cherry, and is free from GMO ingredients, wheat, artificial preservatives, color, or flavor.
Cesar Simply Crafted Chicken, Sweet Potato, Apple, Barley & Spinach Canine Cuisine Complement is made with five key ingredients in natural juices. It is said to be a tasty meal complement for adult dogs, great as a topper, mix-in or a snack. Ingredients include chicken, sweet potatoes, apples, water, barley, spinach.
Formulating for health
Now that I’ve got you thinking about healthy/functional ingredients, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a plug to our latest powerhouse ingredient – Pumpkin Powder. Our nutrient dense, dried flake pumpkin powder is low calorie and low fat – think weight management formulations. If you’ve got gut and digestive health on your mind instead, pumpkin is full of dietary fiber, and as a prebiotic, it supports good gut health. Immune health? Pumpkin contains high levels of immunity-boosting nutrients, such as vitamins C and A, as well as iron and folate.