While you’re eating leftover pizza tonight, your dog may be having a feast!
A record number of cats and dogs are chowing down on gourmet food. In fact, in the last year, mom and pop pet food companies - on up to powerhouse animal food brands, like Purina - racked up nearly $20 billion in luxury pet food sales. And companies are racing to add luxury lines to keep up with the huge demand.
Some examples of fine dining for pets: How about French Country Café, a beguiling mixture of duck, brown rice, carrots, Golden Delicious apples and peas that’s offered by Merrick, a small family-owned company in Texas. Or how about Kauai Luau – a mixture of chicken with brown rice, sweet potato, prawns, egg, and kale in a lobster consommé. That comes from Petropics, another small company.
And Purina is rolling out more fancy options this winter, too, like short ribs, egg soufflé, and beef brisket.
And experts say that even though gourmet pet food is triple the price of regular pet food, the industry will only get bigger.
David Lummis is a pet-industry analyst – and he says, it’s now considered socially acceptable to treat pets as members of the family. And just as parents spend every last dime on their kids – people spend lavishly on their pets.
Other factors pushing the luxury pet food trend? Aging pets and a growing population of empty-nest pet owners willing to spend money on them. Half the households in America have a pet – and in most of them, the pet is middle aged or elderly, and may need a special diet. And with fewer people having kids – and the human population aging – all that love and affection has to go somewhere. And it’s landing in the dog’s bowl.