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The US cat food market witnessed value sales reach $6.4 million during 2012, with the industry forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3% over the next five years. Volume sales have also been predicted to rebound, and are expected to increase by 1% annually over the same time period.
The cat population of the US grew by 2% in 2011, but is expected to be largely flat in 2012. The population of household cats peaked in 2008, at 86.8 million cats. Cat populations are expected to rebound to pre-recessionary totals by 2016.
Primarily, two types of player categories essentially drive the the US cat food industry. One comprises of specialty firms producing pet food exclusively meant for addressing health related or other specialty pet food requirements. The other market structure is made up of players focusing on large -scale food manufacturing.
The US cat food market remains fairly consolidated among leading manufacturers, with Nestlé Purina PetCare Co defending its strong lead. US consumers gravitate towards brand names, with high awareness for iconic brands like Friskies, Fancy Feast (Nestlé Purina PetCare Co), Meow Mix (Del Monte Foods Co) and Whiskas (Mars Inc). Innovation within these brands, such as new flavours, formulations and healthy product lines, are the key driver of new sales.
Nestlé Purina PetCare Co had the largest market share again in 2011, with 45% of retail sales. The company is bolstered by owning the two largest brands within cat food. Del Monte Foods Co holds second position, with a 13% share, followed by The Iams Co (Procter & Gamble) with 9% of the category. Private label products accounted for 9% of retail values in 2011, with Wal-Mart Stores Inc leading the pack.
While pet foods are not as sensitive to shifts in the wider economy as other discretionary items, a pronounced downward turn in the US economic outlook could negatively impact the positive growth forecast for the US cat food market.
For more information on the US cat food market, see the latest research: US Cat Food Market
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