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Pet food, cleaning supplies show strong growth

NFM Staff

April 24, 2008

4 Min Read
Pet food, cleaning supplies show strong growth

Natural products in nonfood general merchandise categories are experiencing strong sales growth. Pet food & care is leading this growth in both naturals supermarkets and conventional food, drug and mass-merchandise outlets, with a combined-channel sales increase of 47 percent versus a year ago. The household cleaners & supplies category also continues to have strong growth, with a 21 percent combined-channel sales increase versus a year ago.

Pet food & care
Sales of pet food & care increased by 73 percent in conventional FDM outlets, and 18 percent in naturals supermarkets. Cat food is now the leading overall segment. With combined-channel dollar growth of 147 percent, or sales increase of more than $35.2 million, the cat food segment surpassed both dog food and pet treats & snacks for the first time. The dog food segment also experienced significant growth, with sales growth of $22.1 million, or 67 percent versus a year ago. In naturals supermarkets, dog food is still the biggest seller, with a 41 percent share of all pet food & care sales, while in conventional FDM, the pet treats & snacks segment is tops, with a 37 percent share of category sales. Pet supplies and pet treats & snacks had relatively flat growth, while other pet food, pet body care and pet supplements had negative growth in conventional and naturals retail outlets.

The category's top five brands account for 70 percent of sales in conventional FDM and 49 percent in naturals supermarkets. Leading brands in naturals supermarkets include Pet Promise, PetGuard, Newman's Own Organics and Wellness, whereas in conventional FDM, top natural brands include Greenies, Purina One Natural Blends, Naturals From Purina and Nylabone. Not only do top brands differ by channel, but so does product selection: There are 250 brands in naturals supermarkets and 75 in conventional FDM.

Household cleaners & supplies
Sales of household cleaners & supplies in naturals and conventional stores increased by $28.7 million during the most recent 52 weeks. In naturals supermarkets, the liquid laundry segment leads the category in both growth and volume, with a 23 percent sales increase, or absolute dollar growth of more than $4.8 million, versus a year ago.

In conventional FDM, cleaning supplies is the fastest-growing segment, while bath, kitchen & other cleaners experienced the highest dollar gain, with more than $8.3 million in incremental sales versus a year ago. Bath, kitchen & other cleaners is also the largest segment, representing 43 percent of the total category's cross-channel sales and 56 percent of the sales in conventional FDM. Liquid laundry products is the second-highest combined-channel volume generator, and is the leader in naturals supermarkets, with a 37 percent share of total category sales. The dishwashing products segment is also experiencing steady growth, while the powder laundry segment has declining sales in naturals supermarkets and relatively flat sales in conventional FDM.

The top five brands comprise 77 percent of the category's dollar share in conventional FDM and 76 percent in naturals supermarkets. In naturals supermarkets, brands with the highest dollar sales include Seventh Generation, Ecover, Earth Friendly Products and Mrs. Meyer's. In conventional FDM, top brands include Method, Seventh Generation, Murphy's and Simple Green. As with pet food & pet care, naturals supermarkets offer more variety in household cleaners & supplies than do their conventional counterparts: There are 184 brands in naturals supermarkets and 37 in conventional FDM.

With combined-category dollar growth of more than $90 million, pet food & pet care, along with household cleaners & supplies, are categories to watch.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 11/p. 46

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