LAS VEGAS — NielsenIQ set the stage for current nutrition trends and pet owner preferences at SuperZoo 2022, held Aug. 23 to 25 in Las Vegas. The market research firm presented its latest pet industry data at the particular Show Floor Talks section of the show floor on Wednesday, Aug. 24.

According in order to Sherry Frey and Hannah Polk of NielsenIQ, consumers are continuing to leverage omnichannel opportunities to purchase their pet products. In 2021, both in-store and online pet care purchases outpaced other departments in terms of year-over-year growth in dollar sales. For example, in-store dog care sales were up 9. 2% compared to 2020, while on the internet sales grew 22. 6%, according to NielsenIQ.

While brick-and-mortar buyers still make up the majority, e-commerce plus omnichannel opportunities are not done growing. Those purchasing family pet food exclusively in a brick-and-mortar store made up 68% of total buyers within 2021, representing roughly 44% of complete dollar product sales for the particular category. Online-only pet food shoppers accounted for 3% of overall buyers and 3% associated with total dollar sales, but these rates are up 13. 7% plus 28. 1%, respectively, in comparison to 2020 behaviors.

Pet product shopping by channel, omnichannel Source: NielsenIQ; Omnishopper Panel; BED; Syndicated Hierarchy; 52 weeks ended Jan. 29, 2022 vs previous period 

NielsenIQ noted that omnichannel shoppers — those buying both in store and online — are also growing. In 2021, 28% of all buyers shopped omnichannel, up 9. 1% from 2020, while accounting with regard to 53% of total buck sales, upward 24. 9% from 2020.

“It’s not as much an “either-or, ” or a competition, ” Frey said. “It really is figuring out what is that will right mix and that right blend between your on-line and your in-store strategy. I do want to say, in store is not really dead when it comes to pet. ”

Packaged Facts, another market research firm operating in the furry friend product space, recently shared its own dog specialty plus e-commerce sales data. According to Packed Facts’ “US Pet Market Focus: Pet Stores & Pet Specialty Retailing” report, combined family pet specialty and e-commerce product sales currently sit at $31 billion, up 18% through year-ago sales.

These growing sales are usually coupled with inflation regarding consumer goods, including intended for pet meals and treat products.

“Manufacturers across the pet market have slowly increased their own prices, spurred by challenges in acquiring components, packaging materials, and a host of other items that go into making and selling pet items, ” said Shannon Brown, report analyst at Manufactured Facts.

Economic pressures related to raw material sourcing plus distribution have caused across-the-board price increases for pet food and treat products, as well as some empty store shelves. According to Packaged Facts, 59% of pet owners report spending more on pet items than they used to, compared to 45% in 2021.

Additionally, 56% of owners agree that many pet products are becoming too expensive, plus 66% associated with pet owners are actively looking to get lower prices, special offers and sales on the animal products these people buy. Roughly 20% of pet owners report investing less upon pet products due to the current economy.

Protein choices

Polk shared the particular most frequently used animal protein sources pertaining to pet foods in NielsenIQ’s SuperZoo 2022 presentation. Chicken remains the most widely used protein source from August 2021 to July 2022, with $16. 9 billion worth associated with product including chicken proteins in their formulas. Three-year trend lines meant for this proteins show industry sales of chicken protein products over this period were upward 12% from year-ago product sales, 18. 9% from two years ago, and 24. 8% through three years ago.

“Here, we’re really seeing three major things, ” Polk said. “The first being that chicken and fish have the largest share in terms associated with sales. I don’t think this is super surprising. A lot of products are formulated with these ingredients but , secondly, we can see that all of these protein types have actually increased within sales over the past three many years, which I think can be attributed to a number of things, whether it be the pure increase of pet ownership in the past three years as well as everything that’s going on with price inflation, affecting the increase in sales. Then lastly, you observe that pork and fish are really the two proteins types that will have increased most significantly over the particular past year. ”

The inclusion associated with duck protein accounts designed for only $547 million worth of product, but has grown nine. 7% from year-ago, 11. 5% through two yrs ago, plus 5. 3% from 3 years back. The use of lamb proteins, which currently accounts for $1. 7 billion really worth of item, was up 11. 8% from year-ago, 11. 2% from two years ago, and 5. 3% from 3 years ago, indicating more lamb-based products are usually entering the market.

Fish proteins are furthermore growing in popularity, accounting for $10. 4 billion dollars in product and up thirteen. 4% from year-ago, 15. 2% through 2 yrs ago, and 26% from three years back. Additionally, search volume growth for tuna was upward roughly 14% from Aug 2021 in order to July 2022, while seafood searches increased by more than 25%, shrimp by roughly 20%, plus salmon by approximately 4%. Salmon was the second most-searched protein simply by search volume over this period at just under 400, 000 queries.

The use of pig protein, which usually currently accounts for $2. 8 billion worth of product sales, is also trending. Usage of this protein source was up 15. 5% from year-ago, 30. 6% from 2 years ago, and twenty five. 2% from three years ago. Turkey-based products are rising in the ranks as well, accounting just for $3. 1 billion worth of item or more 13. 4% through year-ago, fifteen. 2% from two years back and 14. 4% through three years ago. The usage of beef proteins offers grown steadily over the last 3 years, currently accounting for $7. 5 billion dollars in product and growing 12. 3% from year-ago, 16. 5% from 2 yrs ago, and 21. 9% from three years ago.

These protein trends directly overlap with an additional trend taking the pet treatment space by storm — sustainability. Several brands are usually turning to plant-based healthy proteins, lab-cultured protein alternatives that eliminate the need for slaughtered or rendered protein sources, and insect proteins.

Additionally , online searches for “high protein” dog food products are still on the rise, with research volumes upward 39% in order to 39, 300 searches from August 2021 to July 2022. This coincides along with two some other growing search terms — “dehydrated, ” which grew 30% to 271, 600 searches, and “freeze dried, ” which grew 28% to 218, 200 searches, over the same period. Growing interest in these 3 categories is driving more companies in order to enter the particular freeze-dried plus air-dried dog food and deal with market, as evidenced on the SuperZoo 2022 show floor.

Food as medicine and other opportunities

The pattern toward functional pet nourishment products continues, stoked simply by increasing interest in items that support mental health and physical wellbeing, as good as those that target specific pet ailments.

According to NielsenIQ, product sales of family pet products marketed to address mood and stress health have grown 34% over the last fifty two weeks finished Aug. 6, 2022. Performance support product sales are up 32%, urinary health product sales increased 27%, and kidney wellness revenue are up 22%.

“Mental health is not just something that’s being prioritized in human food, but also pet food, ” Polk shared.

Food as medicine continues to fuel growth of functional pet nutrition products Source: NielsenIQ Retail Measurement Services, NielsenIQ Product Insights, powered by Label Insight; Total Pet Meals; Total US xAOC + Pet Retailer; 52 weeks ended Aug. 6, 2022 vs year-ago stated attributes 

Other “food while medicine” products growing in sales include heart health products (up 19%), skin and coat health (up 18%), cellular function support (up 18%), eye wellness (up 16%), joint health (up 15%), immune system health (up 15%), digestive health (up 15%), plus dental wellness (up 14%).

As part of this particular research, NielsenIQ analyzed the particular search capabilities of more than 40 different retailers, including Walmart, Kroger, Chewy, Petco, PetSmart and others, in order to determine the discoverability associated with functional wellness products for the purpose of pets. The particular firm found that all merchants included in the analysis offer some type of product filtering on their websites for particular need states and item attributes, reinforcing the notion that will both product brands and retailers are catering to growing pet owner demand for health and wellness products.

From August 2021 to This summer 2022, consumer searches for dental health items vastly outnumbered search volumes for additional functional categories such as calming and sensitive stomach. Dental health searches exceeded 1 . 5 million over this era, but significant growth inside searches with regard to hairball control (up a lot more than 70%) and anxiety health products (up a lot more than 60%) indicates growing desire for these two functional groups across dog and cat food.

“Dental health exceeds other need states pretty significantly whenever it comes to peer search quantity, ” Polk said. “I was personally surprised at how many consumers are searching [for] calming; that was before I started walking the particular floor plus seeing all these brands addressing calming as a need state with formulations with ashwagandha, CBD, chamomile, melatonin — all actually having these types of different soothing effects upon pet. ”

NielsenIQ discussed several detailed data points on the latest well-known search words utilized by dog and cat owners on the web. The company separated these terms into two classes — general product attributes and practical attributes that play into the “food like medicine” tendency.

Dog meals searches within the “food seeing that medicine” vein showed improved interest in anxiety health, holistic diet, calming items, and dental and breath health. Search volumes regarding dog foods targeting “anxiety health” grew 87% in order to 24, three hundred searches through August 2021 to Come july 1st 2022, whilst “holistic” dog food searches were upward 28% to 32, 100. “Calming” canine food product queries grew 23% to 208, 000, and “dental plus breath health” searches were up 22% to 660, 300.

“We’re also seeing sensitive stomach and digestive health is usually something which becoming a really big theme inside dog food, as more and more humans are becoming intact with their dogs’ sensitivities in order to as well as really noticing all those dietary allergens, ” Polk shared. “…I think often foods that are promoted toward these types of sensitive stomachs or digestive health are either having some type of prebiotic or probiotic content to aid digestion… or even those limited ingredient diets for those sensitive stomached pets. ”

Some other trending pet food lookup attributes consist of those intended for “high proteins, ” “dehydrated” and “freeze dried” products, as noted previously, because well since “wet” diet programs, up 15% to 1. 94 million queries, “canned” dog food, up 22% to 1. 04 million lookups, “refrigerated” canine food, upward 15% in order to 91, four hundred searches, and “fresh” dog food, up 6% to 112, 700 searches. Research volumes to get “vegetarian” plus “moist” doggy food had been up slightly over this period, at 5% and 2% growth, respectively.

“Refrigerated and fresh seem to be continuously developing year more than year, ” Polk added.

In the particular cat meals arena, dog owners are searching for specific item attributes, elements, and “food as medicine” attributes. Lookup volumes pertaining to “variety pack” were up 302% from August 2021 to September 2022, while searches meant for “grilled” kitty food products increased 266%, “shredded” searches were up 226%, and “gourmet” searches grew 84%.

Search queries designed for cat foods products containing “liver” had been up 99% over this era, with “gravy” searches developing 91%, plus “duck” searches up 76%. Other specific protein searches included “chicken” (up 47%, ) “tuna” (up 43%), “beef” (up 41%), “seafood” (up 29%), and “salmon” (up 25%).

In the food as medicine category, cat owners are searching for items with “holistic, ” “hairball control” and “calming” attributes first and foremost. Research volumes just for “holistic” cat foods increased 172%, queries for “hairball control” products were upward 60%, plus searches for the purpose of “calming” kitty food products grew 42%. Additional growing search queries for cat food include individuals for “weight control” (up 31%), “allergy friendly” (up 23%), “sensitive stomach” (up 20%), “urinary tract health” (up 5%), and “dental and breathing health” (up 4%).

Supplement sales

NielsenIQ also shared pet supplement sales are usually outpacing these of human being supplement product sales. For instance, sales associated with pet supplements were up 11% through August 2021 to September 2022, in comparison to simply 6% sales growth with regard to human supplements, vitamins and minerals. Dog supplement product sales exceeded $510 million during this period, up 50% from family pet supplement sales three many years ago.

Top ingredient and attribute trends for pet supplements Resource: NielsenIQ Store Measurement Solutions; Pet dietary supplements; Total ALL OF US xAOC + Pet Retail; 52 several weeks ended August. 13, 2022 

A number of opportunities stand out in the pet product category, which includes specific substances and wellness needs. For example , sales of supplements that contains probiotics are up 78%, gut health supplement sales are usually up 213%, and product sales of health supplements targeting behavior are upward 132%. Hemp health supplement sales are also increasing, up 63% from year-ago sales, whilst superfood dietary supplement sales are usually up 43%, stress-reducing supplement sales are up 17%, joint dietary supplement sales have grown 3%, plus pet products with melatonin are up 2%.

While the use associated with hemp-based ingredients in animal feed and pet meals products remains unclear from a regulatory standpoint, the CBD pet product category is definitely continuing on a rapid development path. According to NielsenIQ, CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT pet supplement sales topped $48. 3 million from August 2021 to August 2022, upward 22% through year-ago sales and up 236% from 3 years back. CBD pet foodstuff sales are also on the rise, totaling $34. 1 mil in product sales on the same period, upward 35% through year-ago plus 377% from three years ago.

These trends — including spending sentiments and channel preferences, protein shifts, and the importance of functional nutrition — will continue in order to drive the particular pet foods, treat plus supplement business forward despite ongoing supply chain and economic disruptions.

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