pet supplements have always overlapped in terms of ingredients, but now the marketers
making the products are becoming interchangeable. The line is being crossed
from both sides, as more supplement marketers edge into food with function-infused
chewable tablets and treats—as Nutramax has recently done with its joint health
Dasuquin soft chew—and as more petfood marketers delve into nutraceutical foods
and treats. No surprise, therefore, that condition-specific foods are a growth
area in the petfood market and that nutraceutical treats are the current bright
spot in the pet supplements market.
Packaged Facts’ March 2011 report, Pet Food in the U.S., 9th
Edition, sales of nutraceutical treats for dogs and cats rose 13% in 2010, more
than double the 6% rate posted by traditional supplements. The top segments are
joint/senior and skin/coat, with weight-related products also picking up steam.
In the veterinary channel, other conditions subject to targeted nutrition
include cognitive health, eye health, cancer and diabetes.
large and small continue to launch products boasting functional ingredients
including omega-3 fatty acids, taurine, L-carnitine, MSM (methyl sulfonyl
methane), glucosamine, chondroitin, dietary fiber, probiotics and antioxidants.
Iams’ new ProActive Health Canned Cat Food, launched in 2010,
features prebiotics FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides) and is promoted with the copy,
“Feeding a diet with prebiotics helps promote good bacteria to aid in digestive
health and support a cat’s defenses.”
Also in 2010, Nestlé Purina re-introduced Purina One SmartBlend, with the Premium Adult Cat Food featuring
omega-6 fatty acids and antioxidants and the Healthy Kitten Formula featuring
DHA. Del Monte’s new Everyday Healthy Dog Snacks, extending the Milk-Bone
Essentials Plus+ line, include Hip & Joint Crunchy Bites (glucosamine and
chondroitin), Oral Care Crunchy Bites (parsley leaves and spearmint) and
Optimal Health Biscuits (antioxidants, glucosamine, calcium and fiber).
senior dogs is an especially hot area in functional petfoods. During 2010, Mars
added Pedigree Healthy Joints, which
contains glucosamine and chondroitin, and Healthy Longevity, which contains fish
oils rich in DHA and omega-3s and is “specially formulated to provide adult
dogs with the special nutrients they need to support their hearts, minds and
2010, Hill’s added Science Diet Healthy
Mobility Adult Dry Dog Food in Original, Large Breed and Small Bites varieties.
The product contains omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate
from natural sources and is touted as “Tested nutrition to enhance active mobility
in just 30 days.”
marketers are moving straight into the pet supplement fray. Most notably,
during 2010 Iams teamed up with Nutramax to introduce a new line of supplements
bearing the Iams brand name along with established brand names licensed from
Nutramax. The new Iams Premium Protection supplements, which are sold in both pet
specialty and mass-market outlets, come in three varieties: Cosequin Joint
Health, Dermaquin Skin and Coat and Cosevite Multi-Vitamins.
the supplements were being test-marketed in selected Walmart and Target stores,
with plans to take the product national as early as 2011. “Pet nutrition has
evolved in recent years, giving pet owners different food formulas for older or
indoor animals—even specialized right down to breed in some cases. This is the
next level,” Katy Nelson, DVM, a veterinarian in the Washington, DC, area and
spokeswoman for Iams, told The State (Columbia, South Carolina).
has also made a direct move into pet supplements. After launching the
condition-specific Purina Veterinary Diets line into the veterinary channel in
2009, the company introduced FortiFlora—a probiotic supplement—into the
channel. Designed to support GI tract and immune system health, the product contains
a strain of probiotic proven to promote intestinal health and balance.
crossing directly into pet supplements from petfood is Merrick Pet Care, which in
2009 debuted Elements Daily Supplement Mix. Available in Vision, Joints and
Breath Formula varieties, the supplement is both sold separately, so it can be
added to food, and included in the production of some of Merrick’s petfoods.
supplement marketers concerned with the additional competition, the bright spot
is that—as huge petfood makers like Nestlé Purina, Mars, Iams and Hill’s continue
to invest heavily in novel ingredients—more pet owners are exposed to supplements
like glucosamine and omega fatty acids, helping them gain legitimacy and
establish a track record of safety. Ironically, functional petfoods and the top
dogs behind them could be an important touchstone in pet supplements’ quest for
regulatory recognition and increasing consumer acceptance.
information about the petfood market.
5 small steps would streamline information on petfood ingredients to help communicate with pet owners
The lowly pea appears to be an effective ingredient for the next generation of dog and cat diets
Tomato pomace has the potential to provide additional nutrition and health benefits
When searching for that probiotic to maintain that relationship for your pet, there are multiple considerations to contemplate including the lifestyle of that animal and the nutritional challenges it faces
As the nutraceuticals and functional ingredients market grows, will strict regulations stifle its climb?
The pet nutraceuticals market has been experiencing rapid growth, showing no signs of slowing down.
Learn about more companies and how they are lending a helping paw and claw to their own cause campaigns
Petfood companies who promote their support of causes in their marketing campaigns are staying innovative in these uncertain times
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It's the finishing touch that can meet both owner and pet needs.
The question is whether they provide additional benefit to the dog or cat
What is this quiet, unassuming ingredient, and should it be there?
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