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Pet Industry Growth: Why the Pet Food Market is Expanding

The pet food market is booming, even amidst a global pandemic. There has never been a better time to invest in this recession-proof, upwardly mobile industry. Here’s why!


The pandemic and its subsequent stay-at-home orders triggered a surge in pet adoptions and sales, with the American Pet Products Association (APPA) counting pet care as a $99 billion industry at the end of 2020. With so many new four-legged friends being added to families, that figure is likely to increase moving forward.

According to a study from APPA, 70 percent of pet owners surveyed were spending more time with their pets than they had been pre-pandemic. Spending wise, 64 percent of owners were found to be spending the same amount of money on pets as they had been years prior, while 21 percent were actually splurging on pet care like never before.


Pet food makes up the largest portion of the pet care market. Consumers spent $38.4 billion on pet food in 2020, which averages out to about $300 spent per customer over the year. Perhaps as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry is trending toward a heightened focus on sustainability, emphasis on pets’ immune system health, and an increased interest in e-commerce capabilities.


One might assume that considering the financial strain many consumers have faced this past year, an emphasis on sustainability would be less of a priority, but the opposite seems to be the case. The desire to “go green” and support companies that promote environmental and social responsibility is on the rise. 

Consumers are distinctly aware of our planet’s limited resources and are shifting toward brands that prioritize managing their carbon footprint at every level of the supply chain. Shoppers have shown a willingness to pay more for products that use sustainable packaging. Label claims like “organic,” “locally sourced,” “fair trade” and “grass-fed” resonate with consumers who want to use their buying power to support environmentally ethical brands. The pet food market stands to benefit greatly from meeting this evolving consumer demand.


We try to take care of our pets as well as we would the human members of our family, and trends toward a focus on immune system health emphasize that fact. As consumers become conscious of their own diets, they also pay more attention to what they’re feeding their four-legged companions. A recent survey of United States dog and cat owners found that over a quarter of people surveyed are more concerned about their pets’ health now as a direct result of COVID-19.

Whether they are looking for immune system boosters, remedies to a particular condition, digestive system aids, or allergy solutions, pet owners are scrutinizing ingredients closer than ever before. As demand for healthier pet food continues to grow, brands have the opportunity to deliver unique products to expand their market share.


A report from IRI found that pet food companies occupied three of the top five spaces among brands ranking highest for sales growth in e-commerce during 2020, and the trend is likely to continue on an upswing for years to come. The digital marketplace is nothing new, but companies that are able to streamline and optimize their capabilities in this arena will enjoy long-term growth with a limitless customer base.


With the pet industry growing, it’s no surprise that you’re thinking about opening your own pet-centered business and joining a franchise might be the perfect way for you to start. Pet Wants has been setting trends in the pet food market since 2010 and with its provided blueprints and guidelines for its owners, success can be found quickly and with room for growth. 

The demand for premium pet food is growing, and Pet Wants is not only proud of its line of specialty products and top-notch customer service, but of the amazing franchising opportunities available to investors who are as excited about the pet industry as we are. 

If you are interested in entering into the pet food industry with Pet Wants, please fill out our form to learn more.