Consumers seek out high-protein foods for their pets
Packaged Facts research found that most pet owners said their pet needs a high-quality protein diet.

ROCKVILLE, Md. – Protein currently is the top functional food trend in 2016 when it comes to human nutrition. But more consumers are tapping into the power of protein for their pets, Packaged Facts said in its Pet Food in the US report.

A 2016 Packaged Facts national survey of pet owners found that 65 percent of dog owners and 62 percent of cat owners said their pet needs a high-quality protein diet. Additionally, a November/December 2015 pet owner survey revealed the most common proteins for pet owners to feed their pets include chicken and other birds. Dog owners use red meat next, while cat owners use fish, according to the survey.

Statistics from the American Pet Products Association’s annual Pet Ownership & Annual Expenses survey reveal that 65 percent of US households, or 79.7 million homes, own a pet. Of that number, 54.4 percent of households own a dog while 42.9 percent of households own a cat.

In 2015, overall spending in the pet industry reached a record $60.28 billion, with food accounting for $23.5 billion of spending on pets.

“The pet humanization trend is alive and well and continues to drive growth at the premium end of the market,” Bob Vetere, president and CEO of APPA, said during a presentation at the Global Pet Expo in March. “As millennials prepare to take the reins from the baby boomer generation as the primary demographic of pet owners, they stand to further develop this trend.”

For 2016, APPA forecasted that US consumers will spend $62.75 billion overall and $24.01 billion on food alone.