US, Europe Account for 63% of Global Pet Retail Sales – GfK POS Data

About ¾ of spending is on dogs; natural trend is almost
nonexistent outside US

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–According to a new GfK analysis, pet food spending globally
represents a roughly $70 billion industry, with nearly two-thirds of
sales taking place in the US and Europe. And dogs account for the lion’s
share of that spending.

GfK collects point-of-sale (POS) data from pet specialty retailers in 11
countries, with other key countries and markets planned for launch. The
analysis shows that the US pet food market delivers the majority of
these sales – approximately 1/3, with some $24 billion yearly, followed
at $20 billion (currency converted) from European countries.

Dogs represent roughly 80% of food spending, even though they are
actually outnumbered by cats, population-wise, in the US and Europe. The
sales distribution among wet, dry, and treat SKUs can vary widely from
country to country; Dog Dry, the market leader globally, accounts for
45% of spending in the UK, compared to 80% in the Czech Republic and 74%
in South Africa.

In Greece, dry food accounts for 93% of all pet food sales – 32% for
cats and 68% for dogs. France follows closely, at 90%, and Spain has 80%
dry sales.

Among China’s dog owners, small bags (less than 1 kg) are top sellers,
representing 76% of all Dog Dry sales there; this is due to the
popularity of small or toy breeds in China’s urban areas. (GfK’s pet
specialty panel in China is focused on pet food sales in Shanghai and
Bejing.) For Cat Dry, the US has almost completely moved away from the
extra-large (larger than 10 kg) bags that are still popular in the other

We also see important regional differences in container types. The US
has a strong preference for canned products, while all other countries
show high shares for other packaging types, such as trays and pouches.
For cats specifically, 94% of all Cat Wet sales in the US are attributed
to canned products, while the average for all other countries in this
analysis was just 37%. In France, South Africa, China and Great Britain,
the vast majority of Cat Wet food is sold in pouches.

And most interestingly, the much-discussed “natural” trend in pet food
is almost exclusively a US phenomenon, with natural SKUs accounting for
69% of all dollar sales in the Pet Retail channel there. The closest to
this total across the globe is the UK, at 38%, followed by the Czech
Republic (22%) and Greece (20%).

Natural also has captured 68% of shelf space in the US, compared to just
34% in the UK and 20% in Greece. In the Czech Republic, natural sales
outpace actual shelf space devoted to the category, suggesting the
potential for further sales growth – perhaps an indicator of
opportunities in other regions, as well.

“Our analysis points out opportunities for the different regions to
learn from each other’s successes,” said Pushan Tagore, Vice President,
Global Marketing, Pet Care. “Natural and grain-free, for example, seem
to offer opportunities for Great Britain, Czech Republic, and Greece;
but labeling issues and regional attitudes may hold these categories
back in other countries. And the US, in turn, might learn something from
Australia and New Zealand, where raw is a well-established category.”

To learn more about GfK’s POS Tracking data, contact Pushan at

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For GfK
David Stanton, 908-875-9844
VP, MarComms