Wholesale Pet Food: Main Types and State of the Market

Nick Mirev
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    Owning pets has become increasingly popular in the past few decades. That is one of the reasons why the market for wholesale pet supplies has increased in size in the US and globally. Furthermore, there are innovations and new pet-related goods on the market. That is why you can find a wide array of products in the catalogs of wholesale pet food suppliers. In fact, as some households have multiple pets, there’s a rise in D2C sales of pet food and supplies in large quantities.

    In this article, we’ll share more details about the main types of pet food offered by wholesale businesses and our predictions about the future of the pet food market.

    Main Types and Categories of Wholesale Pet Food

    As there are hundreds of brands and types of pet food, there are multiple categories and subcategories of these goods. Some retailers divide products based on animal type while others prefer to categorize items based on their ingredients. Here are the main categories of pet foods.

    By Type of Pet

    1. Dog food
    2. Cat food
    3. Fish food
    4. Small animal food
    5. Bird food
    6. Food for other animals. This includes products for reptiles, farm animals, horses, and other less popular pets.

    By Type of Food

    1. Wet pet food. It’s usually available in pouches or cans. This type of pet food is moisturized and is usually tastier for our furry friends. Canned pet food comes in various flavors and can help with hydration, especially during the summer months. The main disadvantages of wet pet food are the short shelf life after opening and its retail and wholesale price (it’s more expensive than dry food).
    2. Dry pet food. This is the most common type available. Many pet stores also offer to buy dry pet food in bulk. It usually comes in kibble form. One of the reasons for their popularity is the lower price compared to canned food. In addition, kibble food is easy to store and it helps the pet's dental health. Keep in mind that the quality of pet food can vary significantly. Make sure to always buy reputable brands when you purchase retail or wholesale pet food.
    3. Prescription pet food. This specialized category of pet food targets different health conditions in our beloved furry friends. Some prescription diets might aim to manage weight while others might target different health concerns like kidney disease or skin problems.
    4. Pet treats. There are multiple subcategories of treats. Some of them are soft and chewy while others are shaped like bones and are suitable for pets with aggressive chewing habits.
    Key takeaway: The demand for pet food has increased in recent years. There is a wide variety of products for pet owners to pick from. Small retail pet stores or businesses like veterinary clinics might purchase wholesale pet food.
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    The Pet Food Market

    According to estimations, the global retail and wholesale pet food market surpassed 100 billion US dollars in 2023. Until the end of the decade, the market is expected to grow 4.4% annually. There are two main driving factors for the increased demand:

    • The number of pets is constantly increasing;
    • Pet owners pay more attention to the health of their four-legged friend. Therefore, they’re more likely to spend more on specialized high-quality pet food.

    The pet care market has also increased in size in recent years. It includes various items such as wholesale pet clothes and accessories. Furthermore, pet services are becoming more popular as well. A lot of new businesses like pet grooming salons and pet bakeries have emerged in recent years.

    According to research, more than 40% of the revenue generated by the pet food market was attributed to dog food. That’s no surprise as they are the preferred pets in many countries. In addition, adoption of dogs has become more popular in recent years. This has increased the demand for more expensive pet food that targets the health concerns of adopted dogs.

    Cat food is the second most popular type of retail and wholesale pet food. The average food consumption of cats is much lower compared to dogs. That’s why the demand for cat food is not as high.

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    Other Popular Pet Supplies

    Business owners that purchase wholesale pet food and sell it retail also benefit from the opportunity to offer other pet supplies. That is convenient for customers who wish to purchase all needed pet products simultaneously. In fact, the subscription model has also risen in popularity in the pet food industry. It helps households automate the pet food ordering process and helps businesses plan their stock levels and business goals better. Other than pet food, here are some other popular categories of pet supplies:

    1. Toys. Just like us, pets need entertainment and fun. That’s why pet owners often purchase new toys for their beloved furry friends. These toys also answer to the biological instincts of pets.
    2. Apparel. There are various types of pet clothes. Some are suitable for the cold winter months while others can be related to the Holiday season. 
    3. Accessories. This category includes products like ID tags, bowls, and other accessories that are part of the daily routine of pets. Some pet stores buy wholesale products from this category while others prefer to purchase them in small quantities as there’s less demand for some pet accessories.
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    Frequently Asked Questions about Pet Food

    Whether you are considering starting an eCommerce business in the field of pet food or you’re a pet owner who’s generally curious about the niche, check out the answers to some of the commonly asked questions on pet food.

    Can You Dropship Pet Food?

    Yes. Pet supplies are one of the best dropshipping ideas as there’s a high demand for these products. The main benefit of dropshipping is that you don’t need to worry about order fulfillment and all regulations related to shipping pet food. Here’s an example of a roadmap for a business that sells pet food and supplies.

    1. Start by creating a pet-related blog and other social media channels like YouTube and TikTok channels.
    2. Sign up for different affiliate programs in the niche of retail and wholesale pet food. This can help you generate income that can later be used to build an eCommerce store.
    3. Build an online store using the dropshipping model. Expand your channels to promote the products on your dropshipping website. Check out our guide on how to start a dropshipping business.
    4. Once your number of orders has increased significantly, consider changing your business model towards owning the stock instead of dropshipping it. To do that, you’ll need to find suppliers of wholesale pet food and other pet-related products.

    Is Selling Pet Food Profitable?

    Yes. As the number of pets globally US increases, the pet supplies industry is growing. In fact, pet food is among the best high-demand product categories to sell. It can be a profitable business to sell retail or wholesale pet food. As the market is very competitive, businesses starting in this niche should benefit from modern eCommerce marketing techniques in order to compete with already established brands.

    The easiest way to start an e-commerce store that specializes in pet food is to partner with wholesale dropshipping suppliers. These businesses can take care of the shipping and handling of products. Another profitable business idea is to purchase wholesale pet food and sell it retail. However, this might require investing more in storage.

    What Is Pet Food Made Of?

    There are various types of pet food on the market. Most of them include the following key ingredients:

    • Protein. Chicken, beef, or lamb are the most common types of animal protein used in pet food. Plant protein options include soy, pea beans, and other legumes.
    • Carbohydrates. Producers of wholesale pet food purchase wholesale grains and use them as an ingredient.
    • Added nutrients. Vitamins are also important components. 
    • Preservatives and enhancers. Preventing spoilage in pet food is very important. That’s why manufacturers include natural preservatives such as vitamin E. Adding flavor enhancers is also common.
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