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Latest trends in dog treats America 2016/ 2017


us-pet-food-spending As Australians are followers of American trends in so many ways, I thought you might look at what they are doing in dog treats lately.

“(Dog) Treats have .. yet to gain the market share numbers of pet food for either cats or dogs, for many reasons – they can be seen by consumers as an “extra” in terms of their pets’ nutrition”.

Besides stating the obvious that dog food (not dog treats) should be the major spend by dog owners, it is curious that the report suggests that in fact the spend is anywhere nearly equal.

The amazing thing about the lead graphic is that ‘treats’ actually are a higher spend than the low end dog food market ‘value pet food’.

The main reason for this is probably that low end dog food is mostly grain, and low priced, while ALL dog treats are lumped together in one bar, and include often very high margin (often still grain based) treats in pretty packaging.

The fact that ‘Premium pet food’ represents half of the total ‘pet food market’ should be a good sign, but pet food has dog food as a subset, and premium pet food is still typically 30% meat, ie not nutritionally a premium amount.

DOG TREAT spend per month trend USA

” According to Packaged Facts data, 28% of cat owners and 15% of dog owners spend less than US$5 per month on treats (see Figure 2). But another 15% of cat owners and 17% of dog owners spend more than US$30 per month. The majority of cat and dog owners, however, spend less than US$20 per month.” Ref

These facts would be a lot more impressive with more specific dog treat type information behind it (which is conveniently supplied below). However remember that many premium brands still supply very small amounts of questionable treats at very high prices, meaning that the dollar amounts don’t always translate to nutrition value for their dogs.

US-month-spend dog treats dog food Pet treat purchasing by type USA

” According to Packaged Facts,  27% of dog owners have purchased pet jerky in 2015. 31% of dog owners gravitate towards rawhide/natural chews, 36% of dog owners purchase dental chews for their pets, and 77% of dog owners have purchased some other type of treat in 2015.”

The main thing that makes us happy here is that 27% of dog owners purchased “pet Jerky” in 2015 – but this information does not include the frequency or purity of the jerky. If they bought heavily processed jerky once per year that does little to benefit their dog.

And that is where our praise of the market ends.  The reason that I say ‘the market’ is that consumers buy what is advertised and what is promoted in store. If major brands don’t supply meat treats, or the shelves make it hard to buy the product, then naturally the percentage of people buying natural dog treats will be lower, because the big brands control the market.

People trust vet recommendations (in adverts) and often what their preferred bricks and mortar store sells. Unfortunately, this is almost all grain based, for profit motives, not health.

While this information is for 2015 its amazing that “raw hide” is lumped with ‘natural chews’.  I would consider that in our store natural chews = jerkies. We sell them as 100% meat based dog treats. Rawhide however has been widely promoted as being a major health hazard to most dogs and ideally should be removed from the market altogether. We have never sold rawhide.

US-treat-by-type Dental chews dog treats popularity

While 36% of dog owners in the US purchase dental chews, which is great, the shame is that this category is probably the commercial NON MEAT one. Meaning that dental chews no doubt are compressed vegetable rubbish that dogs would NEVER encounter in the wild.

Dogs clean their teeth by ripping apart prey, and chewing bones. They don’t brush their teeth, nor do they eat compressed vegetable matter. In fact, our 100% meat dog treats like roo jerky and beef jerky, roo tendons, roo cartilage etc are perfect teeth cleaners and are what dogs would encounter in the wild.

The fact that the survey separates out ‘Dental chews’ from ‘Pet jerky’ and ‘Natural chews’ is the clue to the insidious commercial spread of fake dog treats like green ‘dental chews’. They might get the job done but have no significant nutritional value.

In our world, and the natural dog world, Pet jerkies and Natural chews ARE natural dental chews!

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