As of August in mass market retailers, refrigerated pet food sales had
dropped from their COVID stock up spike of 51.7% growth down to 13%, but itstayed positive and returned ahead of year over year growth rates that theysaw previous to COVID, 44.1% compared to 32%.
In February, pet food market analysts with Nielsen Global Connect observedthat mass market wet pet food sales were growing year-over-year at 6% forconventional shelf-stable varieties and 32.9% for refrigerated pet foods.Similarly, premium wet pet food sales in pet specialty sales growth stood at18.6% for shelf-stable, frozen at 44.3% and refrigerated pet food growing 22%.Then the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic radically altered established pet foodcustomer buying patterns. As of the four weeks ending August 8, refrigeratedwet food had reached a higher sales growth rate than before the pandemic inpet specialty retailer outlets and in food, drug and mass market.
“We can see prior to COVID…both of these segments performing very well, withrefrigerated growing quite a bit faster than shelf stable wet food,” SeanSimpson, associate client director for Nielsen, said during his presentationat Petfood Forum CONNECT. “The COVID spike saw a pretty big bump for both ofthese segments. But post COVID we could see that shelf stable dropped intonegative and flat, [then] quickly returned to positive, but refrigerated foodheld consistent.”
Wet pet food sales during pandemic
As of August in mass market retailers, refrigerated pet food sales had droppedfrom their COVID stock up spike of 51.7% growth down to 13%, but it stayedpositive and returned ahead of year over year growth rates that they sawprevious to COVID, 44.1% compared to 32%, Simpson said.
“Within the traditional pet specialty retail side, we again can see premiumwet food growing much faster than traditional shelf stable wet, prior to theCOVID spike, during the COVID spike and then post COVID spike as well,”Simpson said. “Refrigerated stayed positive throughout the COVID lockdownperiod. Frozen food stayed positive throughout this period within pet retail.Dropping down from 44% growth to 4% growth, but staying positive andeventually jumping up to about 13% growth year over year. Refrigerated wetfood was similar to what we saw on the total channel. It dropped down into thenegative, then improved to positive, with refrigerated or fresh foodperforming better than shelf stable wet. Heading into August, seeing thehighest growth year over year for the wet food category within traditional petretail at 25% growth year over year.”
Source: Petfood Industry
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