5 Trends Shaping $26 Billion Pet Food Market in 2018 and Beyond

Animals and Pets, Business

Market research firm Packaged Facts outlines key drivers in dog and cat food products

Looking ahead to 2018 and beyond, the outlook for the pet food market remains promising. The market is benefitting from several key drivers, including the same Millennial- and ecommerce-related factors that are bolstering so many other segments of the U.S. retail economy. In the brand new report  Pet Food in the U.S., 13th Edition, market research firm Packaged Facts estimates overall pet food sales increased almost 6% and topped $26 billion in 2017. The market is forecast to continue on a respectable growth trajectory annually through 2022.

Packaged Facts market estimate for the overall pet food market includes dog and cat food, but does not include non-dog/cat food, dog/cat treats and non-food pet supplies—including chews (natural, rawhide, nylon), and supplements.

“Much of the growth in the pet food market can be attributed to the rapid acceleration of online sales, particularly with behemoths Amazon.com and Chewy.com. Internet sales of pet products are outpacing and even stealing sales from other channels, notably pet super stores. Not to mention the emergence of Millennials as prominent pet market consumers,” says David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts. “But there are other, perhaps even at times under the radar, developments that are driving pet food growth.”

Here are five other trends Packaged Facts expects will influence the U.S. pet food industry in 2018 and in the years beyond:

  • Home-delivered pet food: Did you think meal kit delivery was just for humans? Several recent endeavors have aimed to deliver dog food to their owners’ front doors. Selling points for these services include customized offerings, fresh food, convenience, and home-made quality. Examples include PetPlate, The Farmer’s Dog, JustFoodForDogs, Ollie and Just Right by Purina. To date, home delivery of pet food (whether customized or non-customized orders) has increased to nearly one-fifth of pet owners.
  • Pet parents seeking foods with preventative benefits: Many Americans are proactive about their health, especially when it comes to what they eat. Pet owners are similarly concerned about preventive health care for their pets. And many think that the foods they buy can make a difference. In the Packaged Facts February/March 2017 National Pet Owner Survey, more dog and cat owners (76% and 71%, respectively) than in previous years of the survey agree with the statement “High-quality dog foods/cat foods are effective for preventive health care.”
  • Micro-targeted and functional pet foods: This trend runs tangential to pet parents seeking preventative foods. Pet food marketers are carving the market into many fine slices, all serving specialized target consumers with specific nutritional needs. These sub-groups include age, breed, size/weight, activity level, indoor vs. active, type of fur, as well as allergies and other chronic health conditions. Echoing trends in human foods, specialized pet foods offer whole food and/or nutraceutical ingredients, such as probiotics, omega fatty acids, glucosamine, fruits, and vegetables. Micro-targeted and functional pet foods will keep growing at an above-average clip during in the near-term, Packaged Facts forecasts.
  • DIY pet food: Pet parents often supplement pet’s meals with additional homemade side dishes, such as grilled meat, home-cooked pumpkin, or other favorite indulgences. Other pet owners pursue a “semi-homemade” approach by enhancing the pet’s meal with various additions, such as mix-ins, toppers, sauces, and even spray-on nutrients. Pet food makers are addressing this behavior by offering products that can be personalized, or used in combination with other products. The raw and dehydrated pet food segment generally involves some preparation and therefore opens the door to further customization by the pet owner.
  • New directions for proteins and other ingredients: Just as pet owners seek proteins for themselves, they also seek them out for their pets. Innovation around protein is considerable as pet food producers launch new products to meet consumer interest in protein, including varieties of single-proteins, proteins as the first ingredient, multiple proteins, and exotic proteins. This trend is linked also to the rising popularity of ancestral formulations that aim to recreate the diet of dogs and cats when they lived in the wild prior to domestication.  The ancestral niche can be viewed as the point of the spear in developing the market for high-quality protein ingredients for pet food. Many companies fully embraced ancestral/wilderness imagery while others have focused on the high protein aspect of the equation without the ancestral/wild animal positioning. The ancestral products have also stoked interest in raw and whole prey pet food, both relating to the wild animal diet.

    Yet pet owners are interested in more than just animal-based proteins. Many believe that vegetables and grains are important for their pets’ diets. According to the Packaged Facts September/October 2017 National Pet Owner Survey, 68% of pet owners say vegetables can be good ingredients, with 48% saying the same about brown rice.

About the Report

Drawing on more than 20 years of experience in analyzing the pet food industry as well as Packaged Facts’ broad cross-category expertise, Pet Food in the U.S., 13th Edition pinpoints strategic directions for current and prospective marketers, with a forward-looking focus on high-growth product segments and market drivers. Covering foods for dogs and cats, the report also provides a comprehensive market overview covering market size and projections, cross-market trends, market opportunities, recent mergers and acquisitions; channel trends, including e-commerce and home delivery; the Millennial impact; product trends; advertising and promotional initiatives; specialty diet products; and much more.

View additional information about Pet Food in the U.S., 13th Edition, including purchase options, the abstract, table of contents, and related reports at Packaged Facts’ website: https://www.packagedfacts.com/pet-products-services-c124/.

About Packaged Facts

Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer demographics and shopper insights, consumer financial products and services, consumer goods and retailing, consumer packaged goods, and pet products and services.  Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services.

For more essential insights from Packaged Facts be sure to follow us on Twitter and Google+. For infographics, tables, charts and other visuals, follow Packaged Facts on Pinterest.

Please link any media references to our reports or data to www.packagedfacts.com.

Ericsson: 2018 Hot Consumer Trends: Technology Turns Human

  • Consumers expect technology interactions to be controlled by intonation, facial expression and body language
  • Earphones will become a 24/7 accessory, even when sleeping
  • 51 percent of Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality users believe artificial intelligence (AI) will render ads indistinguishable from the actual products

Exploring the future from an early adopter user Perspective, Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) ConsumerLab presents the seventh edition of its annual trend report, The 10 Hot Consumer Trends for 2018 and beyond.

The report points to a paradigm shift as consumers expect digital technology to increasingly operate on human terms. Body language, facial expression and intonation will augment voice and touch to control consumer interaction with tech devices, easing adaption in an ever-increasing pace of technological change.

These are the 10 trends for 2018 and beyond:

  1. Your Body is the User Interface: More than half of current users of intelligent voice assistants believe that we will use body language, expression, intonation and touch to interact with tech devices as if they were fellow humans. Some 2 in 3 think this will happen within a mere 3 years.
  2. Augmented Hearing: 63 percent of consumers would like earphones that translate languages in real time. 52 percent want to block out a family member’s snoring.
  3. Eternal Newbies: 30 percent say new technology makes it hard to keep their skills up to date. But it also makes us instant experts. 46 percent say the internet allows them to learn and forget skills faster than ever.
  4. Social Broadcasting: Social media is being overrun by traditional broadcasters. But half of consumers say AI would be useful to check facts posted on social networks.
  5. Intelligent Ads: Advertisements may become too smart for their own good. More than half of augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR) users think ads will become so realistic they will eventually replace the products themselves.
  6. Uncanny Communication: 50 percent think not being able to tell the difference between human and machine would spook them out. 40 percent would also be spooked by a smartphone that reacts to their mood.
  7. Leisure Society: 32 percent of students and working people do not think they need a job to develop a meaningful life. 40 percent say they would like a robot that works and earns income for them, freeing up leisure time.
  8. Your Photo is a Room: Imagine being able to walk into a photo and relive a memory. 3 out of 4 believe that in only 5 years they will use virtual reality to walk around in smartphone photos.
  9. Streets in the Air: City streets may be choked with traffic but the skies remain free. 39 percent think their city needs a road network for drones and flying vehicles. But almost as many worry that a drone would drop on their head.
  10. The Charged Future: The connected world will require mobile power. More than 80 percent believe that in only 5 years we will have long-lasting batteries that will put an end to charging concerns.

Michael Björn, Head of Research, Ericsson ConsumerLab, says: “We are entering a future where devices neither have buttons and switches nor need to be controlled digitally via your smartphone. In fact, this may be a necessary change, as it would be difficult for people to learn a new user interface for every device that gets connected to the Internet of Things.

“Today, you have to know all the intricacies of the devices you use. But in the future, the devices will know you instead. For this to become a reality, devices must be able to relay complex human interaction data to cloud-based processing, and respond intuitively within milliseconds, increasing requirements on next generation connectivity.”

The insights in the 10 Hot Consumer Trends for 2018 report are based on Ericsson ConsumerLab’s global research activities over more than 22 years, and draw on data from an online survey of advanced internet users in 10 influential cities across the world, performed in October 2017. Although the study only represents 30 million citizens, their early adopter profile makes them important to understand when exploring future trends.

Randstad identifies six trends that will impact employers in 2018


Wages, flexible work and agile work arrangements will rise as talent shortage persists


As 2017 comes to a close and the talent landscape continues to evolve, Randstad US released its expert analysis on hiring and workplace trends for the next year. With employment increasing by an average of 167,000 jobs per month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the labor market remains competitive, and employers will need new strategies to attract top talent and meet business demands.

“Technology has significantly impacted business models in nearly every sector,” said Alan Stukalsky, chief digital officer, Randstad North America. “The growing STEM skill shortage, AI both disrupting and creating jobs and talent driving a shift toward agile work arrangements is a lot for employers to keep up with. It requires progressive thinking to find talent and meet short- and long-term needs. We’re still in the infancy of most of this, but digitization will advance the pace of change in the labor market and workforce in 2018.”

Randstad executives from a wide range of disciplines identified trends and market factors that will impact the U.S. workplace in 2018 — and beyond:

  1. The talent shortage will outpace wage stagnation. Many businesses have not yet updated their pay packages to reflect market realities, especially for hard-to-find talent. Hiring managers must weigh the importance of the quality of a candidate against the cost to recruit them, and companies that continue to keep wages below market will struggle. This will also drive employers to more broadly offer non-traditional benefits, such as wellness perks and competitive maternity and paternity leave.
  2. Agile and flexible workforce models will expand. There’s a shift underway in the long-held perception that in order to attract the best candidates and build the best team, organizations must hire full-time, permanent employees. Sixty-one percent of workers expect to choose agile work opportunities by 2019. Research shows that candidates don’t just want, but expect the option to work from home, work part-time or have access to flexible scheduling. Flexible work arrangements will remain key to employee attraction and retention, and companies will expand their use of agile talent by filling one-time temporary resources and seasonal staffing needs or bringing in highly-specialized consultants to tackle critical initiatives.
  3. Employers will hire for culture and soft skills, train on hard skills. With a depleted candidate pool, employers are struggling more than ever to identify right-fit candidates with the depth of necessary skills. While hard skills reign in sectors like technology and healthcare, less-teachable soft skills will continue to be critically important — even in a more technology-driven work environment. Employers will increasingly focus on training existing or future hires, especially when they find the culture fit they are looking for or superb soft skills.
  4. STEM skill needs will continue to increase. Although much of the industry discourse around the STEM skills gap focuses on jobs that require advanced degrees, mid-level STEM jobs like computer support specialists, web developers and engineering technicians are actually in highest demand. These vacancies present a real opportunity for employers to upskill workers with high potential and the ambition to grow.
  5. AI and automation will advance. Many organizations have already begun incorporating automation into their workflows to make their employees and processes more effective and efficient. But, despite fears that automation will eliminate jobs, the need for skilled humans to operate, use and advance technologies will remain significant for the foreseeable future.
  6. Talent analytics will become more sophisticated. Data is evolving beyond metrics like employee engagement and retention rates. In 2018, more organizations will place data at the forefront of strategic workforce planning, with metrics that help them understand how to build better teams, make more processes agile or lean, analyze the utilization of resources across the company and truly understand the output of cross-functional teams.

In 2018, business leaders will need to adapt and evolve alongside these changes, as they remain the link between talent and corporate profitability. To view more takeaways from Randstad’s featured executives, check out these six workforce trends that will dominate 2018.

About Randstad
Randstad North America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Randstad Holding nv, a €20.7 billion global provider of HR services. Through its unique approach of delivering HR innovation with human interaction at the center, Randstad secures and manages a workforce of more than 100,000 people for thousands of clients each week. As a trusted partner in the post-digital world of talent, Randstad advances the careers and business success of candidates and clients through a combination of the best of high-tech and high-touch processes.

Employing over 6,500 recruiting experts through approximately 1,100 offices and client-dedicated locations, Randstad North America provides outsourcing, staffing, consulting and workforce solutions within the areas of engineering, finance and accounting, healthcare, human resources, IT, legal, life sciences, manufacturing and logistics, office and administration and sales and marketing. Learn more at www.randstadusa.com.