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Pet products get a healthier vibe

The ‘humanization’ of pets continues with better-for-them treats and products

U.S. retail sales of dog and cat treats were expected to reach $9.87 billion by the end of 2021, after two years of double-digit increases, according to Packaged Facts’ Pet Treats and Chews in the U.S. report.

Sales growth in treats has consistently outpaced the more mature pet food market and pet supplies in general, the report noted, and this growth accelerated with the COVID-19 pandemic. “Pet owners spending more time at home with their pets has translates into more opportunities for treat-giving,” said Packaged Facts analyst Shannon Brown, “and an increased focus on health and wellness has resulted in more interest in functional treats.”

Pet owners have become more strategic about the types of treats they purchase, favoring treats with a better nutritional profile and cutting back on those perceived as “empty calories.”  In a related crossover from the human food industry, a significant share of pet treat buyers are interested in alternative protein or vegetarian options, due to environmental or animal welfare as well nutritional concerns.

Here are some of the newest products for pet-owning shoppers looking to ‘treat’ their furry friends.

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