New research finds that the country’s 500+ pet food manufacturers not only provide balanced, safe meals for America’s dogs and cats, but also stimulate the overall agricultural economy through the purchase of ingredients, labor and services from related industries. With over two-thirds of U.S. households owning a pet and over $30 billion in pet food sales, the Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER), North American Renderers Association (NARA) and Pet Food Institute (PFI) came together to better understand what goes into the production of pet food.
The partners commissioned Decision Innovation Solutions (DIS), an economic research and analysis firm, to examine the ingredients used in the production of pet food (i.e., dog and cat food only). DIS crafted a reverse engineering methodology to determine the ingredients used and value of those ingredients in various pet food products, without knowing the recipe. Using data from a representative sample of pet food sales from June 2018 to June 2019, DIS used expert analysis to estimate the economic multiplier effect the pet food industry has on the broader agricultural community.
Overall, the report found that U.S. pet food manufacturers use roughly 8.65 million tons of animal- and plant-based ingredients for dog and cat food to provide the complete nutrition that pets need, at a value of $6.9 billion. More than 500 safe and nutritious ingredients are used, demonstrating the diversity of options available to shoppers at various price points to fit their budgets. Often using leftover ingredients made from the production of human food, such as bakery or brewery items or parts of the animal that humans don’t eat, the report also highlighted the pet food industry’s commitment to reducing agriculture’s environmental impact.
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