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Cat Food Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

Cat Food Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

  • August 2022
  • 192 pages
  • ID: 6316156
  • Format: PDF
  • Mordor Intelligence LLP


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The cat food market is projected to register a CAGR of 5.3% during the forecast period (2022-2027).

The imposition of the lockdown restriction due to COVID-19 affected the production facilities of several players around the world. The shelf life of cat food varies widely from four months to over a year. This helped manufacturers keep selling their products from existing stock when production was slowed down due to restrictions. In 2021, The American Pet Products Association (APPA) published the second phase of its ongoing report, ’COVID-19 Pulse Study of Pet Ownership During the Pandemic,’ mentioning little to no changes in purchasing behavior and economic sentiments among pet owners in the United States.

Additionally, pet ownership and purchasing behavior have been largely unchanged from May to June 2020. As per the APPA report, there was no significant change in pet owners being financially cautious about their pet product spending, with a majority (64.0%) spending the same amount from May to June. Government agencies, pet food manufacturers, and veterinarians play crucial roles in ensuring the safety of cat food and safeguarding pets and their owners. Recent legislation is expected to increase the government’s role in regulating cat food and may affect many manufacturers

Cats are the second-largest consumers of pet food. They are considered obligate carnivores and require high-quality proteins and meat-predominant amino acids. Though carbohydrates are not mandatory in their diet, they can be utilized if properly cooked. Most of the dietary carbohydrates come from grains and, to a limited degree, tubers. Cats have an elevated requirement for sulfuric amino acids, like methionine, and a dietary requirement for the amino sulfone, taurine. Thus, the specific requirements of cats have enabled specialization in the industry by the companies through increased investments.

By product type, dry cat food is the largest segment in the cat food market. The cat owners prefer dry cat food as it is very economical and can be very handy to leave out for cats that eat slowly as it will not spoil over a day. It is clean, and although harder than wet food, kibble from breed-size specific foods will be small or large enough to be appropriate for the cat’s mouth.

Key Market Trends

Increasing Humanization and Spending on Cats

The Household and Pet Care CPG report revealed that online sales in the household and pet care category are set to grow at an increasingly rapid rate over the next five years. They are expected to increase by more than 15% between 2018 and 2022. A recent AlphaWise survey found that 66% of US households have at least one pet, with 1.7 on average. A more striking fact is that 69% of respondents "strongly agree"that their cats are essential family members, 37% would incur debt to cover a pet’s medical costs, and 29% would prioritize the needs of a cat before their own. Latin America trailed North America, or Anglo-America, by a small margin. Following were the regions of Europe and the Asia-Pacific, both of which had mid-sixty percentages. A little under 60% of respondents thought of their cats as a family in the Middle East & Africa.

Between 2017 and 2020, the total retail sales of cat food increased by 12.8% yearly, with mid-priced dry and wet cat food leading the way. In the United Arab Emirates, 68.9% of all cat food sales are made up of wet products. Pet "humanization"and the nation’s new pet protection law, which was created to prevent pet abandonment and abuse, particularly by nomadic ex-pats, are both driving demand for healthier goods. The increased consumer trend toward pet adoption has driven pet food premiumization, which is anticipated to expand the cat food market over the forecast period.

Europe is the Largest Market

Europe continues to dominate the global cat food market. The popularity of cats continued to increase during the last century in the region, according to various studies. The number of cat owners increased more than dog owners, due to the relative ease of having a cat as a pet in the modern lifestyle. Dry food, wet food, and semi-moist food are the major types of commercial cat food.

Germany, the largest economy in the European Union, is a big and promising cat food market. The German industry is mature and somewhat saturated although it is steadily growing. German cat owners are trending toward products that ‘humanize’ the care of their cats, and in response, manufacturers have developed premium cat foods focusing on health and wellness. The trends in the cat food sector often correspond to those in human nutrition. Companies are offering an increasing number of premium products as consumers are prepared to spend more on pet food that is healthy, nutritious, and improves their living conditions. For instance, in 2020, the German pet treat company Gimborn launched a line of functional pet treats. The products include squeezables, oil-based liquid treats, and munchables and crunchy treats for cats. The consumer trend toward cat adoption has driven cat food premiumization, which is anticipated to create an expansion of the cat food market over the forecast period.

Competitive Landscape

The cat food market is moderately consolidated, with major global players occupying large market shares and competing fiercely with local players and private labels. The major players in the global cat food market include Nestle SA, Mars Inc, Hills Pet Nutrition Inc., The J.M. Smucker, and Blue Buffalo Company. Consisting heavily of large multinational players, the market also houses many private-label players. Apart from the presence of a loyal customer base, the major players in the market benefit from substantial marketing and innovation capacities.

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