NEW YORK — From Petco’s WholeHearted premium frozen dog food to Amazon’s Wag-brand dog “jerky,” more and more retailers are unleashing on-trend private brand food, treats and accessories for man’s best friend and other pets.
Such efforts have paid off, as store brand pet product dollar sales in all U.S. outlets surpassed $4.8 billion for the 52 weeks ended May 2023, according to Circana. Pet food sales were $1.5 billion, a 27.7% increase from the prior year; litter, $381 million, up 22%; pet treats, $635 million, a 21% gain; and pet supplies, $2.3 billion, a 7.3% uptick.
Pet products will be in the spotlight at PLMA’s 2023 Annual Private Label Trade Show. Themed “The Store Brands Phenomenon,” the show will be held November 12-14 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Chicago. With more than 1,500 exhibiting companies and 5,000 individuals attending, the show is the largest event for store brands in North America.
“The soaring retail sales reflect the high level of product innovation and line expansions in the private brand pet business,” said PLMA president Peggy Davies. “All types of products that cater to dogs, cats and other animal companions will be showcased at the 2023 Private Label Trade Show.”
Along with food and treats, products on display will include shampoos, conditioners, balms, beds, accessories, toys and litter.
With the humanization of pets being a key driver of sales, the show will feature value-added products like premium pet food, and treats made with ingredients that provide weight, joint and urinary care.
The show’s emphasis on pet products comes at a time when two-thirds of U.S. households own a pet, according to the American Pet Products Association. For the first time, pet ownership is evenly split between the two younger generations (Gen Z and Millennials) and two older generations (Gen X and Baby Boomers).
In-person shopping has grown and is now preferred by nearly 50% of pet owners, led by Gen Xers and Boomers, according to the APPA.
Among the many pet-centric private brand on store shelves: Petco’s WholeHearted squeezable puree cat treats; Hy-Vee’s Paws Happy Life fragrance-free cat litter with baking soda; Kroger’s Pet Pride sweet potato wrapped with chicken dog treats; and Albertsons’ Signature Pet Care training pads and cat litter scoopers.
When it comes to all things nonfood, the Annual Private Label Trade Show represents one-stop shopping for the country’s retail buyers. It’s the only CPG event that covers all non-food grocery categories. Along with pet care, there will be beauty and cosmetics, personal and self-care, household and laundry, OTC medicine, vitamins and supplements, paper goods and plastics, kitchenware, general merchandise, among other categories located in the South Hall.
In addition, the show features shelf-stable groceries; beverages; fresh, frozen and refrigerated products; organic; and foodservice products throughout the show floor.