Europe still a global pet food leader

Despite financial struggles in some European countries, pet care and pet food are still strong economic sectors in the region, with Western Europe accounting for about 30% of the total US$98.3 billion pet care market, according to Euromonitor International. While much smaller, Eastern Europe, at about 6% of the global market, is growing quickly at more than 6% annually.

World leaders in Western Europe

Western Europe is home to four of the top 10 global pet care markets, as shown by 2013 data from Euromonitor: The UK is third (after the US and Brazil), France is fifth (behind Japan), Germany is sixth and Italy, seventh. All but Italy claimed pet care market values of more than US$5 billion.

The UK is also one of the leading markets worldwide in wet pet food, producing 2.465 million metric tons of product annually. Germany, France and Italy rank high for wet pet food, too, producing 1.811 million metric tons, 1.363 million metric tons and 1.26 million metric tons of product, respectively. France also makes the list of top dry pet food manufacturers, coming in at 1.961 million metric tons annually, according to Euromonitor.

Growth in Western Europe may be lagging but is not completely stagnant, with the region achieving slightly more than 2% growth from 2009 to 2014. Going forward, the categories within the pet market slated to increase vary by country. France will see top growth in cat food sales, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.8% (US$1.986 billion in 2013 to US$2.167 billion in 2018). Germany will see the fastest rise in its dog food market, at 0.8% (US$1.56 billion to US$1.621 billion between 2013 and 2018), as will Portugal (2.9%; US$226 million to US$260.6 million). Belgium will grow quickest in its small mammal/reptile food market, at 1.9% CAGR (US$12.9 million to US$14.2 million) between 2013 and 2018.

Nine of the 30 largest petfood companies globally are headquartered in Europe, based on 2012 revenue data provided to Petfood Industry for the Top Pet Food Companies Database ( Looking at petfood leaders within Western Europe, Germany hosts several top companies, with Spain, Italy and the UK also well represented (see Table 1 and

Eastern Europe on the rise

Russia is also among the top 10 largest pet care markets, ranking eighth, just behind Italy. It is also the second fastest-growing market, behind only Brazil, and leads the way in Eastern Europe, where pet care and petfood spending is on the rise.

A significant portion of Russia’s US$3 billion in pet care sales comes from cat food, which reached US$1.8 billion in 2012, Euromonitor said. The category grew 21%, up from US$1.49 billion the year before, as more and more Russian cat owners began buying commercially prepared petfood. Dog food came in second in 2012 at US$836.5 million, with petfood for other species registering only $21.1 million in sales.

While other markets in Eastern Europe are not nearly as large as Russia, several are coming on strong and growing quickly (see Figure 1). For example, Romania pet care sales are increasing more than 7% a year. In the Czech Republic, dog food is showing 2.8% annual growth. In Hungary, Partner in Pet Food has staked its claim as a major manufacturer of private label and branded petfoods, ranking 21st globally according to the Top Petfood Companies Database.

Read more on the European petfood market

Learn about current European pet food market trends and get the latest data and research at Petfood Forum Europe 14 June 2017.