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Pet Food News / Pet Food Market Trends / Pet Food Packaging
On October 14, 2013

Human food trends carry over to petfood packaging

Consumers want petfood labels with similar look, information as human food packaging

Petfood marketers have realized over the years that consumers are not just looking for cute pictures when shopping for food for their pets, but they are shopping for petfood just as they would food for themselves. As a result, a few key trends can be seen in marketing for human foods and marketing for petfoods.

An article from Packaging Digest points to five similarities that can be found in packaging and marketing of both human and petfoods: nutritional tables, photography and food styling, brand stories, on-packaging language and imagery.

1. Nutritional tables/food pyramids

Consumers are more educated now about their own food and petfood, as issues like obesity and allergies affect both humans and pets. Companies are featuring nutritional tables and food pyramids prominently on packaging to let consumers know what vitamins and nutrients are in the food.

2. Better photography/food styling

Instead of photos of people and pets, food packaging is focused on the actual food. "Photography styling is less propped and more real, with food appearing the way you'd see it in real life-scattered across a table, as opposed to perfectly (and fakely) sitting in a bowl. The goal: for consumers to think, 'That looks good, that looks tasty, that looks healthy' in the same way they do when they see something appetizing for themselves," the article says.

3. Brand story

The premium and human food trend is also carrying over into petfood. Consumers are more inclined to purchase something they feel is made by a small company, asking "Where does it come from? How is it made?" In response, petfood companies are putting their stories on the packaging to make their brand's purpose clear.

4. "No" language

Consumers are selecting foods that contain and don't contain ingredients similar to those in their own foods. So, companies are putting phrases like "no wheat" and "no artificial preservatives" on the packaging.

5. Animal nature

Petfood packaging illustrations are showing animals in the wild to convey the message that animals are eating what they instinctually would hunt in the wild. This trend of marketing "limited-ingredient diet" foods shows companies are recognizing the physiology of pets as animals and providing high-protein foods.

The article also notes that pet treat packaging has changed over recent years, as well. Treat packaging is now emphasizing the ingredients and link to a specific health benefit, rather than just good taste.

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Read the April issue of Petfood Industry!

April 2015

The April 2015 issue of Petfood Industry looks at different pet food markets around the world. Read about Sojos, a US company which aims to transform the lives of pets through raw pet food. As these specialized diets become increasingly popular in the dog and cat food markets, learn how such trends are carrying over into bird and small animal food. Plus, see how pet food companies in Russia are reacting and reconsidering production strategies in the wake of rising prices due to exchange rate fluctuations.

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