Product trends: Small animal and bird food market
Functional formulas and natural ingredients seem to be what every pet owner wants, no matter how small (or feathered) the pet
According to Melissa Ross, marketing operations manager for Oxbow Animal Health, the future for the bird and small animal petfood and treat market will continue to be focused on natural, wholesome ingredients with an emphasis on functional, wellness-based formulas. "As the popularity of small animals as pets has grown, so too have the demands of their owners. Whereas ten or fifteen years ago, the choices in the small animal marketplace were extremely limited, the small animal shelves are now overflowing with options," Ross explains. "Today’s small animal pet parents are dedicated label readers and want to know exactly what goes into the food or treats they’re offering to their animals. This kind of passion not only benefits the overall health of pets, but it holds the industry accountable to use healthy, high-quality ingredients and to present them with an appropriate level of transparency to consumers.
"A growing percentage of consumers in the small animal market are interested in ingredients they feel will offer their pets the best quality of life as well as the greatest longevity," Ross continues. "For some pet owners, there are specific ingredients or characteristics they feel will best benefit their pet. For instance, a growing number of pet owners are interested in organic options for their small pets." For many small pet owners this means choosing a premium food, and they expect the nutrients, minerals and vitamins to provide benefits to their pet's health, especially for the price. "While supplements are commonplace in the dog and…