Pet Owners Are Embracing Premium Pet Food Options

Premium pet food remains one of the best-selling consumer packaged goods categories, but that trend could be dampened by high inflation, according to consumer intelligence firm Catalina.

In early 2020, St. Petersburg, Florida-based Catalina released a study predicting that premium pet foods (along with CBD products and herbal products) would rank among the top-selling CPG categories of the decade. A few weeks after the release of its report, COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic. Now, about two and a half years later, an in-depth analysis by Catalina shows that its premium pet food predictions largely came to fruition during the first quarter of the decade.

The number of households with pets increased significantly with the start of the pandemic and thereafter, climbing 14% in 2021 and so far in 2022, Catalina said, citing Statista data. Today, faced with high prices on grocery and mass market aisles, pet buyers are turning to larger packages, either to accommodate more pets or to get more great value in times of inflation.

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As the offerings in this category have expanded, sales of refrigerated/frozen dog food have increased. Unit sales of refrigerated dog food increased 57% and refrigerated/frozen dog snacks increased 39% for the April-June 2022 period compared to the same period in 2020. Semi-moist dog food also experienced robust growth during this period, up 34%. .

At the same time, unit volume fell 7% for premium wet cat food and 5% for premium wet dog food during the April-June period.

Raley’s is a good example of meeting the needs of pet owners looking for premium options. Late last month, the Western grocery chain opened its fourth store Raley’s ONE Market, in Roseville, California. The retailer noted that this location is the first to offer fresh pet food and specialty dog ​​treats, in line with the “ONE” program. » (Organic, Nutrition and Education) concept wellness theme. The new specialty pet food and treats program is being tested at the Roseville store and, depending on performance, could be rolled out to more Raley locations.

Catalina’s research also identified significant cross-buying among pet owners. For example, these customers also buy three times more cleaning supplies, snacks (for themselves), frozen French bread pizza, and fabric softener/deodorizer when purchasing pet supplies. Likewise, pet buyers also tend to add twice as many frozen novelties, laundry additives, frozen baked potatoes, frozen onion rings, canned pie fillings and cosmetic removers to their basket.


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