6 companies sold 43% of pet food in 2018,WRITTEN BY TODAY’S VETERINARY BUSINESS IN MAY 2019


Five of the six biggest dogs in pet food manufacturing are leaders in the therapeutic diet sector, too.

Petfood Industry magazine, in its May 2019 issue, found that Mars Petcare Inc., Nestlé Purina PetCare, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Diamond Pet Foods and General Mills combined last year to sell $39.3 billion worth of pet food worldwide. Together they took in 43% of the $91.1 billion that the market research firm Euromonitor International believes was spent on pet food globally.

Each of the five companies sells veterinary formulas that make up a minority share of overall revenue. They and the one outlier are:

  1. Mars Petcare, the owner of Royal Canin therapeutic diets and mass-market brands such as Pedigree and Iams. Petfood Industry estimated total worldwide sales at $18.1 billion in 2018.
  2. Nestlé Purina, which makes Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets as well as more than 20 consumers brands, such as Alpo, Beneful and Castor & Pollux. Total sales reached $13.2 billion.
  3. J.M. Smucker, which has no veterinary line but sold $2.9 billion in pet food through brands ranging from Meow Mix and Kibbles ’n Bits to Gravy Train and Rachel Ray’s Nutrish.
  4. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, whose $2.3 billion in 2018 revenue came from veterinary-channel Prescription Diets and mainstream brands Science Diet, Ideal Balance and Healthy Advantage.
  5. Diamond Pet Foods, which launched the Diamond Care therapeutic line in 2016. The company sold $1.5 billion worth of food in 2018, mostly from Diamond Naturals, Premium Edge and Taste of the Wild.
  6. General Mills, which paid $8 billion for Blue Buffalo in 2018. Blue makes the Natural Veterinary Diet line as well as Basics, Wilderness, Freedom and Life Protection Formula.

Petfood Industry did not break out sales of therapeutic diets.

The American Pet Products Association estimated that the U.S. pet food market totaled $30.32 billion in 2018. The market research firm Packaged Facts reported that retail sales of dog and cat food reached $27.15 billion.