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11 Pet Food Industry Statistics to Know in 2024: Trends & Market Size

Written by: Matt Jackson

Last Updated on May 13, 2024 by Dogster Team

World & US Pet Food Industry Facts and Statistics

11 Pet Food Industry Statistics to Know in 2024: Trends & Market Size

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

The global pet food market is worth approximately $150 billion and, despite recessions and cost of living crises occurring around the world, this is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. This growth will be fuelled by an increasing pet population size, as well as possible changes in attitude towards premium foods. Experts also expect some further growth within the e-commerce sector.

Because they typically cost more to keep and, on average, eat more than cats and other animal types, dog food makes up the majority of the global pet food supply, while Europe is the biggest manufacturing region for pet food supplies. However, it is the U.S. that has the largest pet food industry, globally, and this only looks set to increase with time.

Below are 11 statistics related to the pet food industry, including figures for the global industry and some U.S.-specific stats and trends.

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The 11 Pet Food Industry Statistics

  1. There are between 700 million and 1 billion pet dogs in the world.
  2. There are approximately a billion cats worldwide, including strays and wild cats.
  3. The global pet food market is worth around $150 billion.
  4. The market is expected to grow to $180 billion by 2028.
  5. Mars Incorporated and Nestle S.A. are the two biggest companies in the pet food market.
  6. More than 35 million metric tons of pet food is produced every year.
  7. Dog food accounts for approximately 60% of the global market.
  8. Europe produces more pet food than any other region.
  9. 58% of pet food produced is dry food.
  10. The US is the largest individual pet food market in the world, worth $60 billion annually.
  11. Chewy and Amazon account for 70% of online pet food sales in the US.

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Pet Populations

1. There are between 700 million and 1 billion pet dogs in the world.

(World Population Review 1)

Although it’s impossible to say with any great accuracy, there are believed to be between 700 million and 1 billion pet dogs in the world, which is why the pet food industry is such a significant market. 2021 saw a sharp increase in the number of dogs kept by people in most countries, as they took on new pets to try and overcome the solitude of lockdowns.

However, this has led to an increase in the number of dogs that have been put up for adoption since, as people return to work and no longer have as much time to care for their dogs.

group-of-dogs-with-owner
Image Credit: SpeedKingz, Shutterstock

2. There are approximately a billion cats worldwide, including strays and wild cats.

(World Population Review 2)

Including stray and wild cats, there are believed to be around a billion cats in the world, which means there is one cat for every eight people on the planet. Many countries have an over-population problem which has manifested itself in large populations of cats living on the streets of towns and cities.

Of the 1 billion global cat population, 100 million are wild cats including big cats. Nearly half the population is believed to be stray or homeless cats, and around 350 million live as pets in peoples’ homes.

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The Global Pet Food Market

3. The global pet food market is worth around $150 billion.

(Statista)

The global pet food market is worth $150 billion a year. Pet food industry figures include food for all pet types, although this primarily means cats and dogs. It also refers to both wet and dry food and also includes treats. Fresh food that is designed, packaged, and sold specifically for pets is included in the figure.

It also takes into account physical sales in pet stores, food bought at grocery and convenience stores, and pet food bought online and delivered to the home.

dog looking at the cat that is eating its food
Image Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

4. The market is expected to grow to $180 billion by 2028.

(Statista)

Although there is a cost-of-living crisis that arose as a result of COVID-19 and exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, the pet food market is still expected to continue expanding in the coming years at a rate of around 5% CAGR.

At that rate, the market will be worth $180 billion by 2028 and could reach $200 billion by 2030.


5. Mars Incorporated and Nestle S.A. are the two biggest companies in the pet food market.

(Fortune Business Insights)

Although there are hundreds of pet food manufacturers in the world, with manufacturers found in most countries, there are two companies that stand out as being the biggest, and both companies are more commonly associated with chocolate rather than pet food.

Mars Incorporated owns brands including Pedigree, Royal Canin, and Whiskas. Nestle S.A. owns Purina, Friskies, and Felix. These brands are popular in most territories and the foods are generally available in grocery stores, as well as specialist stores, which makes them easy choices for owners.

woman buying dog food at pet store
Image Credit: BearFotos, Shutterstock

6. More than 35 million metric tons of pet food is produced every year.

(Feed And Additive)

In total, 35 million metric tons of pet food is produced every single year. This includes food for all pet types, as well as all food types including both wet and dry food. Typical pet foods include a combination of meat and plant-based ingredients.

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Market Shares

7. Dog food accounts for approximately 60% of the global market.

(Fortune Business Insights)

Although the populations of cats and dogs look similar, when you consider the pet populations, there are up to twice as many dogs as cats. And the average dog weighs more than the average cat, which means it eats more each day. As such, it is not surprising that dog food accounts for the majority of pet food manufactured.

Approximately 60% of pet food is dog food, with around 35% being cat food, and the remainder being food for other animals including birds, fish, and small pets.

golden retriever dog eating healthy dry food from bowl at home
Image Credit: AYO Production, Shutterstock

8. Europe produces more pet food than any other region.

(Feed And Additive)

Pet food is produced around the world, but with approximately 11% of the world’s supply being manufactured there, Europe is the largest manufacturing region. Despite this, Europe was the only region in 2023 where production actually fell. Experts blame disruptions to the supply chain as well as financial pressures caused by inflation.

China increased its pet food production by 6% during the same time, with Brazil witnessing a similar increase but Oceania saw the biggest gains, adding more than 7.5% to their output.


9. 58% of pet food produced is dry food.

(Feed And Additive)

In terms of food types, dry food and wet food prevail within both the cat and dog food segments, although fresh and frozen foods are increasing in popularity thanks to the perceived nutritional benefits that these offer compared to commercial diets. Dry food is usually preferred because it offers a longer shelf life while still meeting the nutritional benefits of the animals eating it.

Wet food is comparatively more expensive and doesn’t last as long once opened. 58% of all pet food purchased is wet food, although it is believed that this figure might drop as people continue to look for ways to save money on pet products.

Schnauzer puppy dog eating tasty dry food from bowl
Image Credit: Maximilian100, Shutterstock

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The US Pet Food Market

10. The U.S. is the largest individual pet food market in the world, worth $60 billion annually.

(Statista)

The U.S. is the single largest pet food market in the world, which isn’t surprising considering it is believed to have the largest pet dog population with around 90 million pet dogs across the nation. The U.S. is also believed to have the largest pet cat population with approximately 75 million feline companions sharing peoples’ homes.

As a result of these massive pet populations, the U.S. pet food industry is worth $60 billion per annum and is expected to experience further growth in the coming years.


11. Chewy and Amazon account for 70% of online pet food sales in the US.

(Pet Food Processing)

E-commerce sales are not as common as those in bricks and mortar stores, but they make up around 30% of all sales. And, within the e-commerce pet food industry in the U.S., two websites dominate. Chewy has a 36% market share in this forum, representing a slender lead over Amazon’s 34% market share.

Walmart, PetSmart, and Petco have a combined market share of around 16%. These companies are traditionally brick-and-mortar stores but are looking to take some of the e-commerce market.

Woman Buying Products Online with dog
Image Credit: Andrey Popov, Shutterstock

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do pet owners buy more dry or wet food?

Generally, owners buy more dry food, and this is true of both dog and cat owners. Dry food is viewed as more convenient. It has a longer shelf life once opened, it causes less mess, and it can be left down for pets to graze on.

Wet food needs to be lifted after an hour or two, and even though it can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days once opened, it can start to smell. Frozen and raw food are becoming more popular, and pet food subscription services are also becoming commonplace.


Who is the largest pet food company?

Mars is the largest pet food company in the world, taking all of its brands and sales into account. The confectionery company owns brands including Pedigree and Whiskas.

As well as being some of the most recognized brands, these are widely available in convenience stores as well as grocery stores, while some other brands are only available in specialist pet stores or online, helping ensure that they sell well in all territories and to most owners.


Which country buys the most pet food?

The U.S. has the largest populations of dogs and cats, and, because of this, they have the largest pet food industry of any country, both in terms of volume and revenue.


Is pet food regulated?

Pet food is regulated in most countries. In the U.S. it is regulated by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In Europe, it is regulated by FEDIAF and member states, and in the UK, it is regulated by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

However, not all countries regulate pet food. In Australia, for example, regulations are essentially voluntary, and they are self-regulated.

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Conclusion

The pet food industry is a massive global market worth approximately $150 billion a year in revenue. Although the U.S. buys and consumes more pet food than any other market, Europe is the region that produces the most pet food, including wet and dry food.

The market is expected to continue to expand at a rate of 5% per annum for at least the next few years, and likely into the next decade.

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