Petfood Industry - June 2018 - 45
www.PetfoodIndustry.com | 45
GfK reported that, between 2011
and 2017, the average price per
pound of pet food and treats in
the pet specialty channel jumped
by 46 percent, corresponding to
similarly supercharged growth
rates for freeze-dried and dehydrated pet foods, even though
these formats are more expensive
Broader food industry trends
shed some light here, as is usually
the case in the new normal of
humanized pets and pet foods.
Looking at general attitudes
toward their own food among
dog or cat owners over the past
decade, the priority placed on
organic/natural, "health" foods
(another nebulous but potent
concept) and artificial-ingredientfree foods has edged upward.
In contrast, the value placed on
"nutritional value," and especially
on specific ingredient information,
has slipped a bit, although these
remain key priorities.
That is, while the preference
among dog and cat owners to eat
FORMULATION PRIORITIES IN PURCHASING PET FOOD, 2018
NOTE: Percentages reflect pet owner levels of agreement/disagreement that they place a priority on buying pet foods with specified types
Source: Packaged Facts January 2018 survey of pet owners
TABLE 1: The majority of pet owners place a priority on buying pet foods with
natural formulations, according to a recent Packaged Facts survey.
foods without artificial ingredients
increased from 45 percent in 2007
to 48 percent in 2017, eagerness to
know as much as possible about
food ingredients edged down from
42 percent to 36 percent over this
same period (see Table 2). Similarly, though at different numerical
levels, the preference among dog
and cat owners for organic or
natural foods notched up from 23
percent in 2007 to 28 percent in
2017, while the priority on nutritional value actually slipped slightly
from 44 percent to 43 percent.
'Wellness' as a pet
food consumer concept
The message is that pet owners
have been - for their own foods
and for pet foods - honing in on
whole, natural and "clean label"
foods, as a shorthand for what's
really best to eat for wellness. In
the case of pet foods, whole and
natural includes freeze-dried or
dehydrated, as well as fresh.
Wellness, which like natural is
a slippery but (or perhaps therefore) powerful concept, encompasses healthfulness as well as
GENERAL FOOD AND NUTRITION ATTITUDES AMONG DOG AND CAT OWNERS, 2007 VS. 2017
When shopping for food, I especially look
for organic or natural foods.
I'm usually the first to try a new health food.
I prefer to eat foods without artificial additives.
Usually I am quick to try a new nutritional product.
Nutritional value is the most
important factor in what foods I eat.
I like to know as much as possible about
ingredients before I buy food products.
NOTE: Figures represent the percent of dog/cat owners who "agree a lot" or "agree a little" with the specified statements in relation to their own food and nutritional attitudes.
Source: Simmons Research National Consumer Surveys. This material is used with permission.
TABLE 2: The percentage of pet owners who say they look for "organic" or "natural" foods for their own plates has
increased since 2007, as has the percentage who say they prefer to eat foods without artificial additives.
Industry June 2018