This year’s APPA (American Pet Products Association) report paints a rosy picture: people have more pets than ever and are spending more money than ever. In fact, growth over the last 12 months was a whopping 4%!
Ok. I’m being sarcastic, in case you couldn’t tell. Because let’s be real, the consumer price index went up around 2% last year. So, this says to me that pet food sales are basically keeping up with inflation and cost of living-type calculations.
In reality: pet food sales are flat – at least overall across the whole industry.
But, our manufacturers know that their small segment of the giant market is growing exponentially. Which means the average sales for the regular pet food sector is actually declining.
That explains a lot.
It explains the all out war we are currently witnessing against the grain-free sector. It’s interesting because those are the higher priced foods (compared to the standard grain-filled feeds).
Sounds like what’s really going on, at least before the DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy) battle, is the grain-free sector was still growing and the grain-full sector was losing enough ground that shareholders felt it was necessary to fight back.
Where we fit into the picture is to continue educating and collecting data. Educating our public about the health benefits of our products. Data collection means science-based information.
As a group, we talked last year about the need to prove our products carry sufficient taurine, as well as cysteine and methionine, to prevent diet-related DCM. I encourage those who haven’t supplied their information yet to send it in. For those who have provided the data – you rock!
We, too, can use science to demonstrate our products are the best.
And continue growing exponentially! How will the rest of the industry fall-out? We will see. Meantime, we are watching to see if/where the attack will come on our sector.