On October 10, 2013
Human food trends and the petfood industry
Taking a look at some of the top human food trends right now, and their connections to the pet market
The humanization of companion animals is no trade secret, and the phenomenon is only getting more prominent. As a result, many of the top human food trends have found their way into the petfood market-particularly those that focus on the health and wellness of our furry family members. Better health through nutrition is a significant topic these days in the human food industry, according to The Hartman Group Inc.'s report, "Ideas in Food 2013-A Cultural Perspective." Sugar in particular is a red flag for some consumers, with fructose bearing the brunt of the scrutiny. Added sugar, according to Hartman, is being linked to systemic inflammation, which in turn can lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and a whole host of other medical ailments. Gluten-free has become a mainstream idea and product sell, and that has led to the desire for alternative ways to gain the nutritive benefits of whole grains, nuts and seeds. Nut meal, coconut "flour" and raw, sprouted, popped and puffed grains are some of the other options companies are now providing for consumers. Other health/nutrition connections in human food trends, according to Hartman's report, include eating more plant-based foods, supporting locally sourced foods and using foods as medicine (whole grains, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, botanicals). This trend is just as significant in the petfood industry, where companies are coming out with grain-free dog and cat food and treats, products that boast no added sugars (or dyes or artificial preservatives), and products rich in nutrition additives ...