Despite the economic crisis in Italy the demand for petfood continues to grow offering lucrative opportunities for US petfood manufacturers.
Leading factors for this growth include the increased importance of pets in Italian families and better marketing via large-scale outlets and specialised stores. According to the National Association of Manufacturers for Food and Care of Companion Animals (ASSALCO), roughly half of all Italian households include either a dog or cat.
In 2013, Italians spent €1.7 billion to feed their domestic animals, and imported €6 million in pet food from the U.S. Dry dog food is the leading import, followed by wet cat food.
Demand for imported pet snacks and treats far exceeds local production. Italy is the third largest European importer of pet food from the United States, behind the UK and the Netherlands.