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    Natural Supermarkets See $77 Million in Pet Sales: Study

    This contrasts with traditional supermarkets, which have seen sluggish growth in the category.

    Buoyed by consumer safety concerns in the wake of the spring 2007 pet food recall, manufacturers of pet products who sell through natural supermarkets enjoyed double-digit sales growth over the past year, according to a new report from market research firm Packaged Facts.

    Analyzing data from SPINSscan, Packaged Facts' "Natural Supermarket Pet Department Close-Up" found that retail sales of pet products through natural supermarkets totaled $77.2 million for 2007, up 22 percent over 2006, when sales rose 13 percent. Cat food posted the highest rate of growth during that time, at 28 percent, followed by dog food at 25 percent and pet supplies at 19 percent.

    This strong performance in natural supermarkets contrasts sharply with the sluggish sales performance of pet products in the traditional supermarkets, according to Information Resources, Inc.'s InfoScan Review data for supermarkets, drug stores, and mass merchandisers except Wal-Mart, overall pet department sales rose by just 2.8 percent in 2007 and by just 2.3 percent during the 52 weeks ending April 20, 2008.

    "Pet product marketers ignoring the natural pet channel do so at their own peril," noted Tatjana Meerman, publisher of Packaged Facts. "For several years as of 2008, natural supermarkets have significantly outperformed more traditional counterparts. Similarly, the pet departments of natural supermarket retailers are far outperforming those of most other retail channels, and there is ample room for these departments to expand."

    Regarding pet products, the natural sector is one area that has seen significant sales growth over the past decade. According to the study, sales of natural pet products through all retail channels grew 41 percent in 2007 to reach $1.3 billion, with double-digit annual percentage gains predicted through 2012.

    The study examines the pet departments of natural supermarkets, and provides detailed sales data for the channel overall as well as for seven product categories, including dog and cat food, pet snacks, pet supplements, and pet care. It also provides in-depth market share stats and profiles of leading brands in the natural supermarket channel.

    The full report is available at www.packagedfacts.com/Natural-Supermarket-Pet-1829722/.

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