Pet Food Industry Analysis


To understand the market for cat and dog food products in Canada, including the ratio of cat to dog owners, messaging on cat and dog food products, and whether pet-owners with both dogs and cats purchase the same brand for both.

Early Findings

Market Size and Data

  • The Canadian dog food market is worth an estimated one million CAD.
  • Alternatively, the total pet food market in the country is worth $1.9 million CAD.
  • The pet food market in Canada is expected to reach a valuation of $392.1 million USD by 2024, with a forecasted CAGR of 4.27 percent between 2019 and 2024.
  • Dry food represents the largest share of the pet food market in Canada, "followed by snacks and wet foods".
  • Additionally, dog food specifically dominates the pet food industry in Canada.
  • Major players in the Canadian pet food market include Mars Pet Care Inc., Nestle Purina Pet Care, Hill's Pet Nutrition, the J. M. Smucker Company, and Blue Buffalo.

Pet Ownership Data and Statistics

  • In 2018, there were an average of 8.3 cats and 8.2 dogs in Canadian households.
  • More specifically, "37 percent of Canadian households owned one or more cats, [while] 32 percent owned dogs".
  • "Fifty-seven percent of Canadian Households own pets which equates to 7.5 million households."
  • In total, there were 5.9 million pet dogs and 7.9 million pet cats in Canada in 2017.
  • Both numbers have grown in the past two years and, for the first time, the ownership numbers are nearly equal.
  • At the end of 2018, there 8.2 million dogs and 8.3 million cats in the country.

Industry Trends and Findings

  • The Canadian pet food market is trending towards a demand for premium brands, in part as a result of the "increased humanization of pets" in the country.
  • However, despite this growth in the online industry, grocery stores still lead the industry in sales of dog food.
  • More and more pet owners have been turning to online vendors to purchase food for their cats and dogs, with the dog-food industry specifically seeing significant growth in the online sector recently.
  • "Nestlé Purina PetCare Co and Mars Canada Inc remain the leading players in dog food with their well-known branded products, presence in both wet and dry dog food and widespread distribution through both mass and specialist retailers."
  • While the United States possesses the largest market share of the global dog food industry, "Canadian manufacturers’ increasing focus on natural and organic product offerings continues to gain them dog food sales".

Research proposal:

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