Dry dog food, or kibble, remains a staple in nearly all US dog owners’ homes, with nearly 94% of US dog owners using kibble consistently over the past decade, while sales of wet or canned dog food have also increased. 35% to 38%.
“Dry is a very successful product format, and has been for decades,” David Sprinkle, publisher and research director for research firm Packaged Facts, said during a presentation at Petfood Forum 2021.
According to Packaged Facts data collected from MRI Simmons, from spring 2013 to spring 2021, the Blue Buffalo, Purina One, and Hill’s Science Diet dry dog foods increased in usage. Blue Buffalo rose from 3% of dog owners who use the products to 8.9%. Purina One grew from 4.6 to 8%. Hill’s increased from 4.8% to 6.9%.
“Blue Buffalo has really made it to the top,” said Sprinkle. “Purina One is doing very well for itself, with its prime position within the mass market. You can see that Hill is gaining some new strength, in part due to a case of dilated cardiomyopathy, where a little more of the pendulum swings into the science position, rather than its normal swing” .
During the same period, US usage rates for Pedigree, Beneful, Purina Dog Chow, and Kibbles’ N Bits declined. The percentages decreased from 10.7% to 7.7%. The beneficiary decreased from 13.1% to 6.1%. Purina Dog Chow fell from 8.6% to 6.1%. Kibbles ‘N Bits fell from 8.7% to 5%.
The results were similar in research by financial services firm Jefferies, which is also presented on the Petfood Forum. According to a Jefferies survey on pet owner brand preference, dry food remains the most popular dog and cat food. Of the 1,450 survey participants, 81% reported using dry pet food, while 50% used wet or canned varieties. 17% bought fresh pet food while 9% bought raw materials. However, when asked what products they would buy if cost and availability were not a factor, these numbers have changed. Kibble is down to 36% and getting wet to 21%. However, 34% of respondents would buy fresh and 7% raw, if money was no object and products were readily available.
Based on this survey, Jefferies ranked the 15 best pet food brands that pet owners have named:
- Purina (unspecified sub-brand) – Nestlé Purina – 13%
- Blue Buffalo – General Mills – 7%
- Other (Above: Fromm #27 at 1%) N/A – 7%
- Benifol – Nestle Purina – 7%
- Ratios – Mars – 6%
- Dog food – Nestlé Purina – 5%
- Private label Kirkland Costco – 4%
- One – Nestle – Purina – 4%
- Pro Plan – Nestle Purina – 4%
- Hills Science Diet – Colgate – 3%
- Taste of the Wild – Diamond Bit Co. – 3%
- IAMS – Mars – 3%
- Rachel Ray Nutrich – GM Smoker – 3%
- Royal Canin – March – 3%
- Kibbles & Bits – GM Smoker – 3%