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United States Pet Food Packaging Market - Growth, Trends, Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

United States Pet Food Packaging Market - Growth, Trends, Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

  • September 2021
  • 112 pages
  • ID: 6155661
  • Format: PDF
  • Mordor Intelligence LLP


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The US pet food packaging market (henceforth, referred to as the market studied) was valued at USD 3.42 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach USD 4.83 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 5.6%, during the period of 2021-2026. The pet packaging industry in the United States is growing owing to a rise in pet ownership across the country and the entry of premium-level brands, thus emphasizing robust packaging designs and formats for gaining competitive advantage and increasing demand for functional foods.

Pet ownership in the United States has been increasing, which drives the demand for pet food packaging. According to the 2021-2022 American Pets Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey, in 2020, pet ownership in the United States increased from 67% of households to an all-time high of 70%.
As pet owners take their pets’ wellness extremely seriously, they are willing to invest more in their pets’ foods this is leading to increasing demand from pet owners for protective, informative and sustainable packaging.
Various organizations in the country are making efforts to accelerate sustainability in the country. For instance, in February 2021, the Pet Sustainability Coalition (PSC), a US-based non-profit organization, announced the completion of phase I of Flex Forward. Flex Forward is a return-to-retail packaging pilot program aimed at reducing landfill waste and delivering sustainable packaging solutions to the pet industry after exceeding the collection goal of 5,000 pounds of used flexible plastic pet food and treat packaging.
The pet food industry in the United States has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also affecting the growth of pet food packaging due to the direct correlation between manufacturing and packaging. For instance, in June 2021, Pet Food Institute (PFI) submitted a report to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), detailing the supply chain constraints seen by pet food and treat manufacturers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The association pointed out several issues in the transportation and supply chain infrastructure and how the interconnected nature of the pet food industry’s relationship with other markets in the United States caused supply shortages and other disruptions in 2020-2021.
In addition, with the growing shift toward sustainable products, new pet food brands are coming up in the country with similar agendas. For instance, in August 2021, Target Corp. announced the launch of the pet food brand, Kindfull. The brand offers recyclable packaging, which is in line with the retailer’s environmental goals. The increasing competition in the market, leading to a strong focus on development of innovative packaging solutions.

Key Market Trends

Increasing Pet Ownership across the Country to Drive the Growth of the Market.

Pet ownership in the United States is increasing significantly which is driving the demand for pet food packaging. According to the American Pet Products Association’s (APPA) 2021-2022 Survey, pet ownership has increased from an estimated 67% of U.S. households that own a pet to an estimated 70%. Millennials were revealed to be the largest cohort of pet owners at 32%, followed closely by Boomers at 27% and Gen X at 24%. The percentage is up from 56% of the US households back in 1988 when the first-year survey was conducted.
Furthermore, the pet spending increased during the past year, with 35% of pet owners stating they spent more on their pet/pet supplies – including food, wellness-related products, and other pet care items – in the last 12 months than in the preceding year. Moreover, about 14% percent of respondents of the survey confirmed that they obtained a new pet during the pandemic.
A growing number of retail stores are realizing the profit potential of pet products with a few even going ahead to establish their own private labels. For instance, In August 2021, Target launched its latest private label in the pet category, focusing on cat and dog food. Kindfull includes more than 50 products ranging from wet and dry food to treats and toppers made with ingredients including poultry, pasture-raised beef and fish caught through sustainable means.
Moreover, the growth of e-commerce industry in the United States has resulted in increased penetration of pet food products in the country. For instance, according to APPA, about 60% of pet owners usually purchased pet products in person at brick-and-mortar stores before pandemic. However, during the pandemic, in-person shopping dropped to 41%, aligning more closely with the 46% of pet owners who prefer to purchase online with purchases shipped to their home. The increased outreach of the packaged pet food products is expected to favor the growth of the packaging industry in this region during the forecast period.

Pouches to Hold a Significant Market Share

Pouch demand is estimated to be bolstered by features that foster convenience for consumers, including zippered closure mechanisms and light reduced weight. On the other hand, for the pet food manufacturers, pouches serve reduced transportation costs due to their lightweight.
Stand-up pouches emerged as a top choice for pet treats (ideally for retail-shelf attention). With packaging vendors making pouches available in many configurations, stand-up pouches gather multiple panels of graphics and create measurable lifts in the market studied.
As technologies are evolving the versatility and efficiency of packaging machines allow many different kinds of formats. Better digital and HD capabilities advances in graphics are enabling creative package designs in the pet food sector, resulting in eye-catching photos, graphics, and colors on a variety of materials that can be produced cheaper.
Furthermore, the actual recyclability has not been achieved fully for pouches. This accounts for major concerns in the industry. This is driving the players operating in the market to innovate the material used for packaging to be in-line with the market trends like this. For instance, in January 2021, ProAmpac announced the launch of patent-pending ProActive Recycle Ready Retort RT-3000 to meet the need for recycle-ready retort packaging. Made specifically for pet and human food, RT-3000 pouches are offered in stand-up and three-side seal configurations. It is also EU and FDA compliant for food contact in retort applications.

Competitive Landscape

The United States Pet Food Packaging Market is moderately competitive and is moving towards the fragmented stage as new players are entering the market. The key strategy adopted by the major players includes offering customized products, the introduction of new packaging formats, and the innovation of new materials among others. Some of the major players operating in the market include Amcor Plc., American Packaging Corporation, Crown Holdings Inc., and ProAmpac LLC. among others.

September 2020 - Amcor, in collaboration with Nestlé, launched the recyclable flexible retort pouch for Pet food. The partners collaborated during the product development process, testing for heat resistance, machine performance, shelf-life, and recyclability in the real world. Flexible retort packaging is a modern alternative to metal cans, and it can improve the carbon footprint of hundreds of consumer products owing to its lightweight, resource efficiency, and ease of transportation.

January 2021 - ProAmpac, announced its patent-pending breakthrough innovation ProActive Recycle Ready Retort RT-3000. Suited for pet and human food, RT-3000 pouches are available in both stand-up and three-side seal configurations and are EU and FDA compliant for food contact in retort applications. As a recycle ready mono-material, RT-3000 is focused on difficult-to-recycle multi-material applications like retort.

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