Top of the Line
BY LINDSE Y GE TZ
Dog owners increasingly want to give their pets the best diets possible,
and, in turn, superpremium food sales continue to climb.
Pet owners’ desire to feed their companion animals quality food has helped superpremium diet sales soar—in a very short amount of time. According to market research firm GfK, in
2017, sales for superpremium dog food reached about $2 billion in
pet specialty, which more than doubled the category sales for 2012.
Superpremium dog food represents about 38 percent of overall dog
food sales in the pet specialty category, according to the firm.
“One reason for the rapid growth of the superpremium category
is the need to differentiate from the standard ‘natural’ offering,” said
Natasha Davis, client service manager for GfK. “Currently, natural
represents more than 70 percent of overall dollar sales in pet specialty.
[The superpremium category is roughly 91 percent natural] and leans
toward premium claims such as grain free and preserved.”
As more dog owners begin to understand the link between
high-quality nutrition and health, industry participants believe that
even more will shift toward superpremium diets.
“Pet parents are starting to realize that daily diet is critical for an-
imal health,” said Todd Rowan, senior vice president of sales and
marketing at Bixbi Pet in Boulder, Colo. “Ingredients matter.”
In addition, consumers are beginning to have a better understand-
ing of how diet and nutrition can impact their own health and are
making similar comparisons when it comes to their canine compan-
ions’ diets, said Patti Vincent, owner of Puppy Love Dog Store in
“They are seeing that many disorders can be treated and improved
by careful regulation of diet,” Vincent said. “Taking the pharmaceu-
tical prescribed pill—with certain side effects—is not always the
As a result, pet owners seek out fresher, more natural foods for
“Superpremium diets are replacing grain-based, carb-filled diets
as consumers become more educated on the benefits of species-appropriate diets containing quality meats and fresh whole ingredients,” said Karen Neola, founder of My Perfect Pet in Poway, Calif.
“One reason for the rapid growth of the superpremium category is the need to
differentiate from the standard ‘natural’ offering.”
—Natasha Davis of GfK A