Canada: North American Neighbors Pet Foods Virtual Market Showcase

Virtual Trade Event
December 6-7, 2022
Illustration representing an FAS virtual trade event

The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service is recruiting qualified and export ready U.S. food processors with a minimum sale of $1 million in the U.S. to participate in the North American Neighbors Pet Foods Virtual Market Showcase. The virtual market showcase will take place December 6-7, 2022.  This event will help small business enterprises meet with interested Canadian brokers, distributors and importers that can help them to sell their products in Canada and obtain listings in key retailers.  

In 2021, the United States recorded global dog and cat food exports valued at $2.1 billion, of which approximately 47 percent was destined for the Canadian market. Over the past five years, U.S. exports of dog and cat food to Canada increased from $640 million in 2017 to $977 million in 2021, an increase of 53 percent. According to Statistics Canada data, there are approximately 28 million pets in Canada, including 15 million dogs and cats. Dog food is the leading pet food category, followed by cat food, and then by other forms of pet foods including fish and birds. Pet food in Canada is largely purchased through three retail channels, including retail outlets, veterinarians, and online. During the pandemic, there was an increase in consumers purchasing pet food online. Market Research firm Packaged Facts projected that e-commerce sales account for 27 percent of total pet foods sales, a trend that is likely to grow in future years.  

Canadian pet food buyers trust U.S. food manufacturers to supply safe and consistent foods for their pets. Through the years, several iconic U.S. pet food manufacturers have maintained a strong market share in Canada.  However, recently, smaller boutique brands have entered the market by offering specialty and premium pet foods as more pet owners look to enhance their pets’ diet with pet food made of nutritional and high-quality ingredients.

  • Canada’s dog food market is valued at approximately $2.1 billion and cat food is valued at $1.1 billion
  • Dog and cat treat demand is growing at a rate of approximately 6 percent per year
  • Canadian pet food buyers trust private label products
  • Ethically and sustainably produced dog and cat foods is a growing trend in the pet food category
  • Canadian consumers increasingly demand fresh and nutritious ingredients for their pets

Canadian pet food retailers continue to rely on imported foods and seek innovative products from the United States. In addition, Canada and the U.S. have an integrated food supply chain, which helps ensure reliable and consistent delivery of product throughout the year. 

How to Apply

Application Deadline: October 31st, 2022

Status: Closed

Data and Analysis

International Agricultural Trade Report

Opportunities for Expanding U.S. Pet Food Exports to Canada

Canada is the United States’ largest export market for pet food, specifically dog and cat food, and the third-largest export destination for all U.S. agricultural products. Canada is also the largest U.S. export market for high-value consumer-oriented products due to proximity, refined transportation logistics, a free trade agreement, and a science-based regulatory environment.