Pet Treat Sales Continue to Trend Up –

By Pet Product News Staff

Published: 2019.10.15 08:30 AM

U.S. retail sales of pet treats is expected to hit $6.7 billion by the end of 2019, up from $6.5 billion last year, according to market research firm Packaged Facts’ report Pet Treats and Chews in the U.S., 3rd Edition. Among a range of industry developments, innovation and market growth have notably been fueled by human-food trends, according to the report.

“Pet treats have come a long way in the past 20 years, with the aisles of pet stores closely resembling the snack aisles of human foods at supermarkets and products positioned as better-for-your-pet,” said David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts, which is headquartered in Rockville, Md. “Limited-ingredient products, grain-free options and superfood ingredients are all in high demand, with innovative new product entries hitting the market on a regular basis.”

Products containing cannabidiol (CBD) have been “arguably been the most discussed trend of 2019,” according to the report. 

“CBD supplements are in high demand in human markets, credited with treating conditions ranging from anxiety to asthma,” Sprinkle said. “The use of CBD has crossed over into the pet market, with usage spiking after the passage of the most recent Farm Bill in December 2018, which took a significant step towards separating hemp and hemp-derived CBD from marijuana-based products.”

Pet owner interest in CBD centers on relieving anxiety and stress issues in pets, but owners also view CBD as an alternative treatment for issues including pain management and allergies, according to the report.

“Perhaps not surprising given the massive consumer interest in and media coverage of CBD supplements, Packaged Facts’ 2019 Survey of Pet Owners reveals that 11 percent of dog owners and 8 percent of cat owners have used [CBD/hemp] supplements or treats for their pets,” officials said. 

“The momentum behind CBD pet treats is part of consumers’ ongoing interest in functional treats in general,” officials added. “Pet owners have long turned to functional treats to address a wide variety of health concerns, essentially ‘killing two birds with one stone’ by providing their pets with a tasty reward while at the same time treating their health conditions. For many pet owners, functional treats provide more value for the money than indulgent treats or health supplements alone.”