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Pet Treats and Chews in the U.S.


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Pet Treats and Chews in the U.S.

Pets love treats, and pet owners love to give their pets treats, using “treat time” as a way to pamper their pets, add nutritional value to their diets, and strengthen the human-animal bond. Packaged Facts online consumer survey data from April 2015 show that 87% of U.S. dog owners and 68% of cat owners purchase one or more types of treats/chews, illustrating the prevalence of these products in pet owners’ pet care regimen. In Pet Treats and Chews in the U.S., Packaged Facts examines the wide array of treat and chew options available to pet owners, as well as what motivates them to choose one treat over another from the plethora of options.

With retail sales reaching $5.4 billion in 2014, the market for treats and chews is a still-growing opportunity for marketers who offer innovative products with a focus on quality. Because of the recent furor over potential safety risks associated with recalled jerky treats, pet owners in the U.S. have begun to scrutinize the treats they buy even more closely, and interest in natural, locally sourced ingredients has never been higher. Value is another driving factor, with pet owners looking for more “bang for the buck” in the form of treats that provide side benefits such as dental care or functional ingredients.

This brand new Packaged Facts report examines the market for treats and chews, breaking it out into four categories: indulgent treats, rawhide/natural chews, dental chews/treats, and nutraceutical treats. The report provides a broad overview of the market with a focus on future trends, including the importance of product safety, the encroachment of natural products in mass-market outlets, the impact of humanization on the treat market, and growth of functional and grain-free treat options. The report also provides extensive retail sales breakouts along with an examination of the competitive situation, quantifying marketer and brand shares across three product categories using IRI Multi Outlet data, and providing marketer share figures for the natural and specialty/gourmet supermarket channels using SPINSscan sales tracking data. Dozens of images of illustrate innovative pet treat and chew product while screenshots of websites provide marketing and retailing context. Packaged Facts proprietary survey data supplements trend discussions throughout the report and provides the backbone of the Consumer Patterns chapter, which also utilizes Experian Marketing Services’ Simmons survey data to highlight product and brand penetration levels. Overall, Pet Treats and Chews in the U.S. details past and projected retail sales, competitive, new product and retail trends, and trends in pet treat purchaser attitudes, demographics and brand preferences.


  • Executive Summary
    • The Market
      • Market Size and Composition
      • Market Drivers
    • Competitive Trends
      • Market Structure and Retail Dynamics
      • Mass-Market Treat Sales Controlled by Big Three
      • Brand Loyalty
      • Private-Label Treats in Need of Reboot
      • PetSmart, Walmart Lead in Treat Purchases
    • Marketing and New Product Trends
      • Pet Treat Humanization
      • Pet Owners Rely on Functional Treats
      • Grain-Free Treats Going Strong
      • Special Diet Treats Target Pet Aging, Obesity
    • Consumer Patterns
      • Dog Owners Out-Purchase Cat Owners Across Pet Treat Types
      • Two Main Drivers from Consumer Perspective
      • Total Customer Base: Dog Treats vs. Cat Treats
      • Dog, Cat Treats Both Have Two Brands with Double-Digit Draws
  • The Market
    • Introduction
      • Market Definition
      • Other Marketing Classifications
      • Report Methodology
    • Market Size and Composition
      • U.S. Retail Sales Recover Momentum
        • Table U.S. Retail Sales of Pet Treats, 2010–2014 (in millions of dollars)
      • Mass-Market Sales and Composition
        • Table IRI-Tracked Sales of Pet Treats, 2014 (in millions of dollars and pounds)
      • Pet Treat Sales Up 7% in Natural Supermarket Channel
        • Table Retail Dollar Sales of Pet Products in the Natural Supermarket Channel by Category and Segment, 2013 vs. 2014 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Share of Retail Dollar Sales of Pet Products in the Natural Supermarket Channel by Category and Segment, 2013 vs. 2014 (percent)
        • Table Retail Dollar Sales of Pet Products in the Specialty/Gourmet Supermarket Channel by Category and Segment, 2013 vs. 2014 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Share of Retail Dollar Sales of Pet Products in the Specialty/Gourmet Supermarket Channel by Category and Segment, 2013 vs. 2014 (percent)
      • Sales by Distribution Channel
        • Table Share of U.S. Retail Sales of Pet Treats Market by Channel Classification, 2014 (percent)
    • Market Drivers
      • Recalls Threaten Treat Market
      • Raw Pet Food Movement
      • Made in the USA Products in Demand
      • Pet Owners Turn to Nutraceutical Treats for Health Benefits
    • Pet Market Macrotrends
      • Economy Still a Factor in Pet Spending
        • Table Pet Owners: Overview by Change in Financial Situation Compared With 12 Months Ago, 2011-2014 (U.S. pet-owning households)
        • Table Pet Owners: Overview by Expectations for Personal Financial Situation Over the Next 12 Months, 2011-2014 (U.S. pet-owning households)
        • Table Level of Agreement With Statement: "I am spending less on pet products because of the economy," 2010-2015 (percent)
        • Table Level of Agreement With Statement: "Many pet products are becoming too expensive," 2011-2015
      • Superpremium Diluted by Mainstream Imitators
      • Pets as Family
        • Table Level of Agreement With Statement: "My dog or cat has a positive impact on my mental health," 2015 (percent)
        • Table Level of Agreement With Statement: "My dog or cat has a positive impact on my physical health," 2015 (percent)
        • Table Level of Agreement With Statement: "I enjoy purchasing pet products that pamper my dog or cat," 2015 (percent)
      • Humanization Continues to Drive Market
      • Pet Ownership and Population Trends
        • Table Household Penetration Rates for Selected Pet-Owning Classifications, 2010-2014 (percent and number of U.S. households in millions)
        • Table Age of Dogs and Cats, 2015 (percent of pet owners)
        • Table Percentage and Number of Overweight and Obese Dogs and Cats, 2014
      • Changes in Pet Food (and Treat) Regulation
      • Annual Sales Gains Expected to Rise Gradually
        • Table Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Pet Treats: 2014–2019 (in millions of dollars)
  • Competitive Trends
    • Competitive Overview
      • Market Structure and Retail Dynamics
      • M&A and Investment Activity
      • Purina/Blue Buffalo Battle Continues
      • The Honest Kitchen Treats Verified by Non-GMO Project
      • Milo's Kitchen Takes Treats on the Road
      • Celebrity Chef Launches Pet Line
      • Mass-Market Treat Sales Controlled by Big Three
        • Table Leading Marketers of Pet Treats at Food, Drug and Mass Merchandisers, 2014 (in millions of dollars and percent)
        • Table Top Marketers/Brands of Dog Biscuits/Treats/Beverages by IRI-Tracked Sales, 2014 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Top Marketers/Brands of Rawhide Chews by IRI-Tracked Sales, 2014 (in millions of dollars)
        • Table Top Marketers/Brands of Cat Snacks/Beverages by IRI-Tracked Sales, 2014 (in millions of dollars)
      • Top Brands in Pet Specialty
      • Raw Food Makes Headway in Treat Market
      • Brand Loyalty
    • Marketing Trends
      • Noteworthy Videos Fuel Consumer Interest
      • Social Media
      • Marketers Seek Consumer Input on Treat Design, Packaging
      • Cause Marketing
      • Sustainability Initiatives
    • The Retail Landscape
      • Private-Label Treats in Need of Reboot
        • Table Private-Label IRI-Tracked Sales and Category Share, 2014 (in millions of dollars)
      • PetSmart, Walmart Lead in Treat Purchases
      • Other Retailers
      • Internet and Mobile Retailing
        • Table The U.S. Pet Treats Market: Selected Leading Marketers and Brands, 2015
  • Marketing and New Product Trends
    • Innovation, Quality Key to Attracting Pet Owners
    • Natural and Organic Treats
    • Humanization
      • "Homemade" and Artisanal Treats
      • Human-Grade Ingredients
      • Pet Companies Embrace Yogurt Trend
    • Pet Owners Rely on Functional Treats
      • Functional Ingredients Provide Multiple Benefits
      • Dental Treats
      • Superfood Ingredients
      • Pet Happy Hour?
    • Grain-Free Treats Going Strong
      • Gluten-Free Proves More Than a Fad
      • Ancestral Diets a Take on "Paleo" Trend
      • Ancient Grains: A Better Option?
      • Sprouted Grains Offer Improved Digestibility, Nutrition
      • Exotic Protein Treats Provide Variety, Allergy Relief
    • Special Diet Treats Target Pet Aging, Obesity
      • Limited Ingredient Diets
      • Healthy Weight
      • High Performance Diets
    • Raw Treats Part of Raw Food Movement
      • Whole/Marrow Bones Part of Raw Food Trend
    • Trends in Chews/Jerky Treats: Moving Beyond Rawhides
    • Trends in Cat Treats
    • Refrigerated and Frozen Treats Provide Novel Formats
      • Freshpet Dominates in Refrigerated Treats
      • Frozen Treats
    • Interactive Treats Provide Fun for Pet and Owner
      • High-Tech Treats
    • Treats for a Cause
    • Overarching Market Trends Influence Small Animal Treats
      • Healthier Options
      • Species-Specific Treats
      • Humanized Small Animal Treats
    • Gummies Go Canine
  • Consumer Patterns
    • Overview of Purchasing Patterns
      • Dog Owners Out-Purchase Cat Owners Across Pet Treat Types
      • Mixed Patterns for Specialty Formulations
      • Purchasing Patterns by Shapes & Types
      • Purchasing Patterns by Targeted Health Formulation
      • Two Main Drivers from Consumer Perspective
        • Table Ownership Rates for Pets: Dogs vs. Cats, 2004-2014 (percent of U.S. households)
        • Table Purchasing Rates for Pet Treats: Dog Owners vs. Cat Owners, 2004-2014 (percent of U.S. dog- or cat-owning households)
      • Total Customer Base in Households: Dog Treats vs. Cat Treats
        • Table Household Purchasing Patterns for Pet Treats: By Number of Dogs or Cats Owned, 2014 (number and percent of U.S. dog- or cat-owning households)
      • Total Consumer Base in Pets: Dogs vs. Cats
        • Table Pet Population Base for Treats: By Number of Dogs or Cats Owned, 2014 (U.S. households)
        • Table Demographic Profile of Dog Treat Purchasers, 2014 (percent and index)
        • Table Demographic Profile of Cat Treat Purchasers, 2014 (percent and index)
    • Purchasing Patterns for Dog Treat Brands
      • Big Heart Has 4 of Top 5 Brands
        • Table Usage Rates for Leading Dog Treat Brand Lines, 2014/2015 (percent of dog-owning households)
      • Beggin' Strips, Milk-Bone Lead in Customer Base Growth
        • Table Consumer Base for Leading Dog Treat Brand Lines, 2008/2009 vs. 2014/2015 (number of households in thousands)
      • Consumer Purchasing Patterns
        • Table Purchasing Indexes for Selected Leading Dog Treat Brand Lines: Single vs. Multiple Dog Owners, 2014/2015 (index)
        • Table Overview of Milk-Bone Brand Dog Treat Purchasers, 2014/2015 (percent and index)
        • Table Overview of Beggin' Strips Brand Dog Treat Purchasers, 2014/2015 (percent and index)
        • Table Overview of Jerky Treats Brand Dog Treat Purchasers, 2014/2015 (percent and index)
        • Table Overview of Pup-Peroni Brand Dog Treat Purchasers, 2014/2015 (percent and index)
        • Table Overview of Meaty Bone Brand Dog Treat Purchasers, 2014/2015 (percent and index)
        • Table Overview of T-Bonz Brand Dog Treat Purchasers, 2014/2015 (percent and index)
        • Table Overview of Pedigree Dentabone Brand Dog Treat Purchasers, 2014/2015 (percent and index)
        • Table Overview of Busy Bone Brand Dog Treat Purchasers, 2014/2015 (percent and index)
        • Table Overview of Alpo Brand Dog Treat Purchasers, 2014/2015 (percent and index)
        • Table Overview of Purina Brand Dog Treat Purchasers, 2014/2015 (percent and index)
        • Table Overview of Canine Carryouts Brand Dog Treat Purchasers, 2014/2015 (percent and index)
        • Table Overview of Snausages Brand Dog Treat Purchasers, 2014/2015 (percent and index)
        • Table Overview of Store Brand Dog Treat Purchasers, 2014/2015 (percent and index)
    • Purchasing Patterns for Cat Treat Brands
      • Whiskas Temptations Brand Leads in Consumer Draw and Consumer Base Growth
        • Table Usage Rates for Leading Cat Treat Brand Lines, 2014/2015 (percent of cat-owning households)
        • Table Consumer Base for Leading Cat Treat Brand Lines, 2012/2013 vs. 2014/2015 (number of households in thousands)
      • Consumer Purchasing Patterns
        • Table Purchasing Indexes for Selected Leading Cat Treat Brand Lines: Single vs. Multiple Cat Owners, 2014/2015 (percent and index)
        • Table Overview of Whiskas Temptations Brand Cat Treat Purchasers, 2014/2015 (percent and index)
        • Table Overview of Friskies Brand Cat Treat Purchasers, 2014/2015 (percent and index)
        • Table Overview of Pounce Brand Cat Treat Purchasers, 2014/2015 (percent and index)
        • Table Overview of Meow Mix Brand Cat Treat Purchasers, 2014/2015 (percent and index)
        • Table Overview for Whisker Lickin's Brand Cat Treat Purchasers, 2014/2015 (percent and index)

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