Pet Food in a Bowl

Pet food processing and pet food processing equipment are big business. And with pet ownership increasing, the opportunity in this space will continue to grow, especially for innovative companies that keep an eye on current consumer trends.

Recent statistics from the American Pet Products Association:

  • 68% of U.S. households have a pet. More than 60 million households have dogs, while 47 million have cats.
  • The total amount of money spent on pets in 2017 is estimated at $69.36 million, up from $66.75 million in 2016.
  • About $30 million was spent on pet food in 2017. Cat and dog owners spent an average of $235 on food, and additional money on food treats ($72 for dog treats, $56 for cat treats).

These numbers have been increasing steadily for the past few decades, and all signs point to them continuing to grow.

US Annual Expenditure Per Pet

Key factors in the demand for pet food

According to Pet Food Processing Equipment Market, Global Trends and Forecast, 2016-2022, a market research report commissioned by FPSA, there are several key factors driving demand for pet food:

  • Urbanization — Rapid urbanization is particularly driving demand in growing economies, such as China, Brazil, Argentina, and India.
  • Pet adoption — Pet ownership in the United States alone has almost tripled since 1970. Emerging economies including Brazil, Argentina, India, and the Philippines are also seeing increased pet adoption. For example, India’s pet population grew from 7 million in 2006 to 10 million in 2011.
  • Consumer disposable income — Disposable income in many areas is also increasing, which is fueling the demand for higher-quality, functional ingredients and pet food.
  • Consumer awareness of pet health — In developed nations especially, consumers are becoming much more aware of pet health, such as weight, allergies, and dietary tolerances.
  • Pet humanization and the desire for pet food innovation — All of the preceding factors are also driving an increased desire for pet food innovation. Many people today consider pets part of their family, and they’re looking for the same qualities in pet food as they are in food for themselves. This includes variety as well as foods and treats that are natural, free-from, and healthy.

Opportunities for pet food processing suppliers

The growth in demand for high-quality pet food worldwide presents opportunities for suppliers to provide both new equipment/technology and novel ingredients to support innovation.

As pet food becomes more like human food, familiar processing challenges arise. For example, pet food manufacturers are seeking solutions to increase shelf life while reducing food additives. They’re also pursuing packaging developments to enhance the marketability of pet food.

On the ingredients side, pet food manufacturers are increasingly focusing on high-protein foods and foods made from novel proteins (e.g., boar, rabbit, venison, and bison). This presents an additional opportunity for equipment manufacturers to develop customized machinery optimized for these newer ingredients.

Overall, the pet food processing equipment market is expected to grow by a CAGR of 3.5% between 2016 and 2022, reaching almost $4.3 billion.

Pet Food Processing Equipment Market Size

In particular, the market for dog food processing equipment is estimated to hit $2.36 billion by 2022, representing a CAGR of 3.7%. The market for cat food processing equipment won’t be far behind, growing at a CAGR of 3.4% to reach $1.57 billion in the same timeframe.

Finally, while demand will grow for all types of equipment, the biggest gains are expected to be in forming equipment, followed by baking and drying equipment, and then mixing and blending equipment.

All it takes is a trip to the pet store to see how pet food has changed just in the past few years. And with consumers becoming more informed about how food is produced, these changes will likely accelerate. The good news is that for processors and equipment manufacturers willing to step up and embrace innovation, the rewards will be substantial.

The full global trends and forecast report is available for free to FPSA members. Non-member companies may also purchase a copy of the report. Request your copy here.