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Tails of Transformation: Growth in the Pet Food Industry in 2024

June 13, 2024

Tails of Transformation: Growth in the Pet Food Industry in 2024

Despite inflationary price increases, the pet care market continues to expand. According to NielsenIQ’s latest data, pet care outpaced all other grocery store categories dollar-for-dollar in growth in 2023. This comes despite the fact that increases in pet care prices outpaced nearly all other grocery store categories at the same time. Pet food, pet supplies and pet treatments comprise the pet care category.

It's good news for pet food manufacturers. The American Pet Products Association reports that 66% of U.S. households own a pet, with dogs and cats by far the favored choice for most Americans. For years, pet ownership has been on the rise in the U.S., and with the forced isolation of shelter in place orders during the pandemic and ongoing remote work options, pet ownership has skyrocketed.

Private-Label Pet Food Opportunity Grows

Though industry experts predict growth in the pet care market could slow in the coming years, data from a recent survey suggests there is still room for manufacturers to capture market share with private-label brands. NielsenIQ indicates private-label pet foods have increased in volume sold in the last two years, and in a 2024 survey of pet owners by Packaged Facts, more than a third of pet owners agreed that “private label (store brand) pet foods provide the same or better quality compared to national brand pet foods.”

Pet Treats Drive Industry Expansion

Pet treats are contributing to industry growth, too as pet owners look to treats for preventive pet health care as well as ways to reward pets and express affection. In many cases, pet treat choices mirror pet owners’ choices for their own high-end snack foods. While dog treats made up about three-quarters of pet treat sales in 2023, sales of cat treats grew at twice the rate.

Pet Food Manufacturers Turn to OEMs for Efficiency

To keep capacity in line with opportunity for growing pet food and treat sales, pet food manufacturers are investing in both new facilities and facility expansion. That means partnering with OEMs that offer state-of-the art production line and conveyor equipment. Solutions for sanitary product handling, product accumulation, and line elevation changes help drive process efficiency and agility. That’s key for manufacturers as they strive to offer new and unique choices in pet food and treat products.

If you’d like to find out more about optimizing pet food lines for efficiency, visit our pet food page!


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