Content of the study:
The pet food market - Italy

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1.1 Definition and presentation

The pet food category mainly includes food for dogs, cats, birds, fish, small reptiles and mammals. It is part of the broader feed category, which includes both pet food and farmed animal feed.

The main segments of the pet food market are identifiable by type of feed, and are:

  • Wet
  • Dry
  • Snack & Treat

The Italian pet food market as a whole continues to grow, in line with the considerable number of pets. In the main segment (dogs and cats) it is interesting to note a positive trend in all product categories, with marked differences in terms of quality/price and distribution channels. On one hand the greater importance given to food composition, origin of the ingredients and nutritional benefits have driven the rise of multiple product categories. On the other hand, the humanization of pets and the increasing attention of consumers have guided their shopping habits. Thus, the supply has evolved and with it, consumers’ demand towards many product assortments.                                                                                                

N.B. Given the tremendous impact of the dogs and cats segment on the overall market size, most of the information and the estimations will refer to the first; unless otherwise specified.

1.2 A growing European market

The European market represents about a quarter of the global pet food market - estimated in **** at ** billion euros [***]. Sales values have been growing since ****, reaching a more or less stable evolution in the two-year period ****-**** with values around ** billion euros. The peak in terms of value growth was reached ...

1.3 The Italian pet food market maintains a stable growth

Market size of cat and dog food Italy, ****-****, in million kg and million € Source: ****

The Italian pet food market consists of two segments: Dog and cat food (***) Other pets food (***) The market value of the pet food industry in Italy in **** amounted to over * billion euros - +*,*% compared to the ...

1.4 International trade of pet food

International trade of dog and cat food Italy, ****-****, in million $ Source: ****

Italy imports a greater value of cat and dog food than the value it exports. Indeed, its coverage rate – given by the ratio between exports and imports – is less than ***%. In **** both exportations and importations experienced a similar percentage ...


2.1 Italy’s position in the European pet scene

Europe represents a considerable segment of the world pet food market. A first explanation of its position can be found on the demand side in the high number of pets owned by member states. In fact, a European overview shows that about ** million households own at least one pet. Europeans seem ...

2.2 Italians and their pets

Italians are animal lovers: the territory counts circa **.* million domestic animals, a significant figure because it reflects the number of Italian residents – according to Istat amounting precisely to **.* million in ****. There is a *:* ratio between individuals and pets. The high figure though is **% made up exclusively by domestic fish. Pet birds ...

2.3 Purchasing habits: characteristics of the pets, ingredients, recommendations

What do Italians consider when buying pet food? As pets have started to cover a more prominent role within the family circle, their specific characteristics have been driving purchasing decisions – with **% of dog owners and **% of cat owners taking those into account when buying pet food.

Main criteria influencing dog food ...

2.4 Pet food by geographical location and monthly expenditure

There are not considerable geographical differences in terms of pet food purchase habits when considering each standalone variable. Undoubtedly dog and cat food represent the most consistent spending throughout the territory. The islands have the highest percentage of individuals across all pet food purchases (***), while the Southern, Central the North Western ...

2.5 The Internet’s influence on buying patterns

Consumers purchase their food on the internet: this trend has gained in importance in the recent years, with consumers spending more and more on online grocery websites. The latter is observable also in the pet food category, with an increasing demand. By far, Italians have stated that the ability to find ...


3.1 A concentrated market in the hands of the multinationals

The European pet food market presents a fragmented image, with an estimated *** production companies in **** employing:

Directly: ***.*** individuals Indirectly: ***.*** individuals


The Italian pet food market on the other hand presents a more solidified image, with a few players owning considerable portions of the market. Indeed, multinationals Nestle, Mars and Hill’s ...

3.2 A slow revenue growth for the Italian production

The industry involves a number of actors with specific roles and responsibilities, which can be assembled and form * macro categories of business flows:

Raw material flow Transformation flow Sales flow

From raw materials to final products in the hands of the consumers, there are several transformation steps, which can be broken ...

3.3 Distribution: grocery retailers maintain their predominant position

Outlook of the channels

The Italian distribution landscape for pet food incorporates the channels through which the product can reach the consumer, distinguishable in three segments:

Traditional retailers Specialized stores Other

Source: ****

The many different distribution channels experience diverse performances and evolutions. Considering exclusively the three segments of the graphs below ...


4.1 Breakdown of pet food

The supply side is composed of the different categories of food available for pets. There are multiple variables to use in order to breakdown and segment the market:

Type of pet; Food origin: packaged industrial food (***) or cooked food/leftovers; Food composition: dry or wet products; Food functionality:

General packaged foods: ...

4.2 Revenue dominance of two pets

As both mentioned and seen graphically the incidence of dogs and cats on the pet food market is remarkably higher than all other animals. The more than *-billion-euro market for the first category of pets is split between cats and dogs fairly evenly. Cat food revenue though is the dominant ...

4.3 The battle between dry and wet foods

Dry products represent Italians’ preferred choice when it comes to feeding their dogs, conquering circa **% of the market share. Cat owners endorse a mix between dry and wet food products as their main option (***). Only **% chooses to buy exclusively wet food for both their cats and dogs.

Dog food by category Italy, ...

4.4 Specific foods’ aggressive growth

GIPFs (***) and monoprotic foods – **% and **%. The latter confirms an increasing interest towards more tailored and premium offerings.

Dog food by category Italy, ****, in % Source: ****

Cat food by category Italy, ****, in % Source: Assalco Biologic and dietary food - between *% and **% of the market - have aggressively increased in recent years. Packaging: sacks ...

4.5 Channels’ offerings and brand positionings

The supply side of the pet food market is composed of the main distribution channels and their products. The table below provides a summary of the **** outlook of the industry, with pet shop chains driving the product offering with almost **** variations, followed by traditional pet shops (***) with circa ****. Supermarkets though take ...


5.1 The European and national regulatory framework

Directive ****/**/EC

The European Directive ****/**/EC defines feed as " products of vegetable or animal origin, in their natural state, fresh or preserved, and products derived from the industrial processing thereof, and organic or inorganic substances, used singly or in mixtures, whether or not containing additives, for oral animal feeding".

This Directive ...

5.2 Nomenclature and Harmonized System of World Customs

The Harmonized System is an international nomenclature for the classification of products. It allows participating countries to classify traded goods on a common basis for customs purposes. At the international level, the Harmonized System (***) for classifying goods is a six-digit code system. [***]

The HS comprises approximately *,*** article/product descriptions that appear ...


6.1 Segmentation

  • Nestlé Italia
  • Mars Italia
  • Hill's Pet Nutrition
  • Monge
  • Morando

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Reviews (1)

Reviews (1)

The pet food market - France

Publicado en 18/05/2022 by Murielle Céranic - Anifeel

Quite Excellent

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Customer cases and references
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