Sales of Dog and Cat Food are Expected to Top $60 Billion by 2026, with e-Commerce Continuing to Strengthen

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The “Pet Food in the U.S., 16th Edition” report has been added to’s offering. With 2021 sales approaching $40 billion, sales of dog and cat food are expected to top $60 billion by 2026, with e-commerce continuing to strengthen its position as the No. 1 retail channel. In […]

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The “Pet Food in the U.S., 16th Edition” report has been added to’s offering.

With 2021 sales approaching $40 billion, sales of dog and cat food are expected to top $60 billion by 2026, with e-commerce continuing to strengthen its position as the No. 1 retail channel.

In the previous edition of this report, the big question was how the COVID-19 pandemic would affect the pet food market. We now know that the pandemic had a surprisingly positive effect on the pet market as a whole and on pet food in particular, which saw double-digit growth in 2020 and 2021.

And the pandemic continues to impact the market, the most visible forces being the record inflation and supply chain disruptions that have driven prices to an all-time high. Other market factors include an increased awareness of health and wellness, the acceleration in online shopping and related behavior, and the solidification of pets’ role in the home as family members.

Despite the challenging conditions of the past few years, the pet food market has proven to be as resilient as ever, bolstered by U.S. pet owners’ willingness to spend on their beloved “fur babies” even in the midst of a health and economic crisis.

Featuring updated sales projections and analyses of the trends impacting the market now and into the foreseeable future, this completely revised 16th edition of Pet Foods in the U.S. analyzes the lingering impact of the pandemic including inflation, supply constraints, shopper patterns, and pet owner interest in alternative pet foods.

Providing separate sales tracking and projections for dog and cat food, the report also examines trends by form (dry, wet, semi-moist, frozen/refrigerated, and freeze-/air-dried), ingredients, and product claims across the full retail spectrum including online retailers, mass-market outlets, the pet specialty channel, and other channels.

It provides a comprehensive overview covering historical market size and projections (2017-2026); cross-market trends; consumer expenditures; market opportunities; mergers and acquisitions; channel trends including e-commerce and omnichannel; and new product and marketing trends – all presented through the lens of the changes brought on by the pandemic.

Key Topics Covered:


  • Market Overview
  • Scope of Report: Dogs and Cats
  • Exclusions
  • Market Size and Growth
  • Pet Food Sales Approach $40 Billion
  • Dog Food Dominates Pet Food Sales
  • Dry Pet Food Tops in Sales
  • Dry Dog Food at Nearly 50% of the Market
  • Households Spend the Most on Dry Food
  • Households Spend More on Dog Food
  • Annual Household Expenditures on Dog and Cat Food
  • Most Pet Owners Spend Under $75 Per Month on Pet Food
  • Sales by Channel: E-commerce Takes the Lead
  • Projected Channel Share Shifts
  • Market Drivers
  • Price Inflation Top-of-Mind Concern
  • Will Pet Owners Still Be Willing to Spend on Pet Food?
  • Supply Chain Woes Persist
  • E-commerce Implications in Pet Food Market
  • Pandemic Bump Underscores Pet Food’s No. 1 Pet Health Role
  • Intensified Focus on Health and Wellness
  • Pet Obesity and Aging Pets Contribute to Health Concerns
  • Trend Away From Smallest Dogs
  • Pet Ownership Trends
  • Younger Pet Owners May Give Up Pets
  • Affluent Households Responsible for Majority of Pet Spending
  • Pets Central to Home Life
  • Pets and Owners Physically Closer than Ever
  • Product Quality Tops List of Pet-Owner Priorities
  • Animal Welfare
  • Sustainability Initiatives Increasingly Part of the Plan
  • Cats Gain Market Representation
  • DCM/Grain-Free Pet Food Situation Remains Unresolved
  • Government Regulation
  • Looking Ahead
  • Sales Growth Moderates But Remains Strong


  • Marketer Trends
  • A Highly Consolidated Market
  • Dry and Wet Dog and Cat Food Usage Rates
  • Pet Industry Leaders Back Promising Startups with Venture Funds
  • Recent Mergers, Acquisitions, Investments, and Rebranding
  • Champion Petfoods Explores Sale
  • Natural Balance’s Ingredients-First Rebrand
  • Purina Updates Pro Plan Formulas, Packaging
  • Mars Goes All-In on Fresh Pet Food
  • DTC Pet Food Startups Continue to Attract Outside Investors
  • Freeze-Dried and Raw/Frozen Foods Attracting Interest
  • The Packaging Challenge
  • Canidae Rebrands on Sustainability
  • Retail Channel Trends
  • In-Store Shopping Leads in Pet Food Purchasing
  • Walmart Most Popular Retailer for In-Store Pet Food Purchases
  • Chewy Top Online Destination for Pet Food Purchases
  • DTC Fresh Pet Food Puts Pressure on Pet Specialty Retailers
  • Major Online and Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Ramping Up Fresh Offerings
  • Autoship Programs Promote Retailer Loyalty
  • Amazon Continues Pet Market March
  • Pandemic-Driven E-commerce Acceleration Slows
  • Private Label Foods a Big Draw
  • Walmart Adds Pure Balance PRO+, Updates Pure Balance Packaging
  • Target Launches Kindfull Private-Label Food
  • Petco Extends Private Label, Exclusive Food Offerings
  • Pet Supplies Plus Adds Private-Label Pet Food
  • Petsense Offers 4health Private-Label Pet Food
  • Chewy Adds Fresh-Frozen to Tylee’s Brand Line
  • Independent Pet Stores Fight Back, With Help


  • New Product and Marketing Trends
  • Fresh Pet Foods Take Market by Storm
  • Freshpet’s Pandemic Success Story
  • Freeze-Dried (and Air-Dried) Frenzy
  • Alternative and Sustainable Ingredients and Recipes
  • Limited Ingredient Diets Feature Alternative Proteins, Simple Ingredients
  • Sustainable Ingredients and Alternative Protein Sources
  • Plant-Based Diets
  • Insect-Based Diets
  • Cultured Proteins a Potential Future Option
  • Superfoods, Alternative Grains, and Vegetables
  • Gut Health and Immunity
  • Grain-Free DCM Controversy Continues
  • Natural Positioning Takes Backseat to Other Product Claims
  • Human-Grade Ingredients and Labeling
  • Customized and “Combo” Diets
  • Science-Based and Veterinary Diets
  • Wet Foods Making Headway
  • Just for Cats
  • Meal Enhancements and Toppers


  • Introduction
  • Two Consumer Survey Sources
  • Buying Patterns by Pet Food Type
  • Topline Usage Rates for Dry/Wet Pet Food and Pet Treats
  • Dry/Wet Pet Food Purchasing Indices
  • Usage Rates for Pet Food Toppers
  • Buying Patterns by Pet Food Formulation Types
  • Regular vs. Specialty
  • Fresh and Other Alternative Pet Food Formats
  • Formulations Targeting Specific Health Conditions
  • Meat-First Leads in Ingredient-Based Formulations
  • Ingredient Sourcing as Marketing Claims
  • “Natural” Claims and Progressive Positionings
  • Buying Patterns in Pet Food Packaging
  • Dry Pet Food Packaging Size
  • Wet Pet Food Packaging Type
  • Pet Food Marketers and Brands by Consumer Draw
  • Top Dog/Cat Food Marketers
  • Top Dog Food Marketers and Brands
  • Top Cat Food Marketers and Brands
  • Demographic Indices for Purchasing of Selected Brand Lines


  • Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility
  • Alternative Form Pet Food
  • Fresh Pet Food
  • Freeze-Dried (and Air-Dried) Frenzy
  • Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Marketing
  • Private Label
  • Lower Prices
  • Cat-Specific Foods

Companies Mentioned

  • Amazon
  • AnimalBiome
  • Apax Funds
  • Arbor
  • Cargill
  • Champion Petfoods
  • Diamond Pet Foods
  • FountainVest Partners
  • Kainos Capital
  • Kinderhook Industries
  • KKR
  • Maev
  • Mars
  • Mid America Pet Food
  • Muenster Milling Company
  • Natural Balance
  • Natural Pet Food Group
  • Nature’s Logic
  • Nestle
  • NomNomNow
  • Nulo
  • NXMH Whitebridge Pet Brands
  • Open Farm
  • Pet Food Experts
  • PetCo
  • PetPlate
  • Primal Pet Foods
  • Royal Canin
  • Smucker’s
  • Target
  • United Pacific Pet
  • Walmart
  • Wellness Pet Company
  • Ziwi Ltd

For more information about this report visit


Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager

[email protected]
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