The Current State of the Pet Food Market

Despite the fact that recent times have been tough economically, one market which continues to shine is the pet food market. We, as pet owners, always want the best for our pets and that is something which has been reflected in the sales of pet food. Below we’ve gathered some statistics on the amount of pet food sold in the UK and the money being made on it – you might be surprised by some of the findings.

It seems that there is a general trend that the premium pet foods are becoming more and more popular amongst pet owners. These premium brands are often formulated to be breed, age or condition specific.

The Recent History of the Pet Food Market

Figures for 2000-2007 (£Millions)


Dog Food – Moist

Dog Food – Dry

Cat Food – Moist

Cat Food – Other



273 556




296 539




317 527




340 525




357 516




375 524




388 536




400 555



The UK pet food market was worth £1.49bn in 2001 4.2% rise on 2000

Increase of almost half a billion between 2001 – 2009


In the UK, value sales for premium dog and cat food grew 9.2% during 2006 to £655 million


Four companies—Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, Mars, and Colgate-Palmolive—are thought to control 80 percent of the world’s pet-food market, which in 2007 amounted to $45.12 billion for cats and dogs alone.

The UK’s pet food industry is now said to be worth close to £2bn a year supplying and estimated 10 million dogs and 8 million cats in the UK

Despite the economic downturn, the pet food industry has witnessed a move towards “premium product” ranges, such as Royal Canin or Hill’s Nutrition breed or condition specific foods.

The cat and dog food market has remained robust: in 2009, the market grew by 4% to reach £1.8 billion. By contrast, volume sales have remained fairly static, largely due to the switch from wet to dry food in the dog food market.

Market shares

In the UK, two companies dominate the pet food market:

  • Mars’ Masterfoods (45 per cent market share) has a brand portfolio that includes Whiskas, Pedigree, Kitekat, Cesar and Sheba
  • Nestlé Purina Pet care (32 per cent market share), Nestlé’s brands include Felix, Friskies and Bakers Complete.

Whiskas canned is the number one brand, with sales of £87.5m. It is followed by Pedigree canned (£82.1m) and Nestlé’s Felix canned (£82.0m).

When choosing a pet food, 14% of pet owners opt for the highest quality available whereas 9% choose the cheapest available.

About James Watts

BSc Bioveterinary Science. Editor of PetSci. When I'm not writing, learning, discussing, or reading about animals, you know it's the weekend! Currently developing PetSci HealthTrak, the fast and easy way to monitor your pet's weight and calorie intake. HealthTrak offers a simple way to track your pet's progress, helping them achieve a healthy weight and a long, happy life.

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