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Product Safety and Alternative Pet Foods: North American Market Outlook

Billions of dollars in pet food brand sales are now up for grabs as a result of the pet food recall crisis and its ongoing effects, according to this timely special report from Packaged Facts. Coining the term “alternative pet food,” the report identifies the main beneficiaries in this brand-switching trend as “high-quality pet foods chosen as alternatives to traditional brands,” including high-end natural and organic pet foods; fresh pet foods including raw/frozen, refrigerated, and homemade; and 100% U.S. sourced, locally grown, and other smaller-batch pet foods. Together, these product segments currently account for less than 10% of North American pet food sales, but the growing consumer perception that these products are safer than traditional mass-produced pet foods—on top of numerous other favorable trends covered in the report—virtually guarantees high double-digit growth rates for at least the next two years.

Following a recap of relevant events pertaining to the devastating pet food recalls of spring/summer 2007, the report traces the government response, the industry response, and the consumer response to the crisis—all the while keeping an eye on implications for North American sales of alternative pet foods, which are now being positioned as both safer and healthier than traditional pet foods. For alternative pet foods as well as the pet food market as a whole, this forward-looking analysis factors in both the short and long-term impact of the recall while also exploring related trends, such as levels of consumer awareness of the recall and current and expected effects on purchasing behavior, more direct company oversight of ingredients sourcing and production, new labeling standards for pet foods, new organic pet food standards, new product trends in alternative pet foods, new technologies in fresh pet foods, and increased government oversight of the industry.

Report Methodology
The information in this report was obtained from both primary and secondary research. Primary research entailed attendance at industry trade shows; informal interviews with members of the trade; and an on-site examination of the retail milieu, including mass-market outlets, pet specialty shops, and veterinary clinics. Secondary research included extensive Internet canvassing and research- and data-gathering from relevant trade, business, and government sources; company reports including annual reports, 10Ks, and other financial releases from public companies; company profiles in trade and consumer publications; and other reports by Packaged Facts, which has been reporting on pet-related markets for nearly two decades.

Our market size estimates are based on Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) data for tracked mass-market retailers (supermarkets, drugstores, and mass merchandisers other than Wal-Mart), independent pet store sales-tracking surveys, reported revenues of marketers and retailers, and figures appearing in the trade press. Information on new product introductions is derived from reports in the trade press and online, as well as detailed data from Productscan Online, a service of Datamonitor, Ltd. Our analysis of consumer demographics derives primarily from the Simmons Market Research Bureau (New York, New York) spring 2006 consumer survey, which is based on approximately 30,000 respondents

What You’ll Get in this Report
Product Safety and Alternative Pet Foods: North American Market Outlookoffers unique perspective on this burgeoning market. No other market research report provides the analysis and trends coverage that this report offers. Plus, you’ll benefit from extensive data, presented in easy-to-read and practical charts, tables and graphs.


  • Introduction
    • Scope and Methodology
      • Scope of Report
      • Report Methodology
    • The 2007 Pet Food Crisis
      • Menu Foods Recall Is Biggest Pet Food Recall Ever
      • Recall Extended to Treats, Chews, Dry Foods
      • Recall Net Widens to Include More Ingredients, Other Contract Producers
      • Previous Recalls and Safety Issues
    • The Government Response
      • FDA Scrambles to Recall Products, Alert Consumers
      • Senate Hearings Criticize Government Response, Call for Stricter Standards
      • Spotlight Shifts to Human Food Safety
    • The Industry Response
      • Pet Food Institute Spearheads Industry Response
      • Response from Pet Food Companies Is Universal
      • Retailers Respond
      • Lawsuits…
      • …and Buyouts
    • The Consumer Response
      • Universal Awareness
      • Class-Action Lawsuits
      • Pet Owners Mobilized Online
      • Early Polls Attempt to Quantify Impact on Consumer Behavior
  • Market Outlook
    • Billions of Pet Food Brand Dollars Up for Grabs
      • Alternative Pet Foods Stand to Gain
        • Table Effect of Pet Food Recall on Pet Food Sales in Pet Specialty Stores, May 2007 (percent)
        • Table Share of U.S Pet Food Expenditure by Income Bracket: 1994, 1999, 2004, and 2009 (percent)
        • Table Alternative Pet Food Marketing Claims: 2005, 2006, and 2007 (number)
      • Natural and Organic Pet Foods
      • Raw/Frozen and Refrigerated Pet Foods
      • Refrigerated Pet Food and New Forms of "Fresh"
      • Back to Homemade?
      • Human-Grade Foods and Food Certification
      • The Next Big Thing: 100% U.S. Sourced Ingredients
      • Also On the Ups: Locally Grown
      • More Rigorous Company Oversight of Production
      • More Detailed Ingredient Declarations
      • The New Food Safety Buzzword: Traceability
      • Positioning on Product Safety: A Long-Term Strategy
      • More Companies Will Acquire, Build, or Upgrade Plants
      • Additional Government Regulation?
      • Continued Pressure from Online Pet Community
      • Restoring Consumer Confidence, One Pet Owner at a Time

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