Pet Food Market Trends / Pet Food Safety
Petfood Forum offers key learning, networking and business opportunities to petfood professionals from throughout the world.
On January 13, 2014

Petfood Forum and Petfood Workshop 2014 offer latest petfood research, insights

These conferences also provide a prime opportunity to network with industry peers and suppliers

Global sales of petfood topped US$69 billion in 2013, according to Euromonitor, with some market segments growing more than 5%. Petfood professionals can help their companies lead that growth by learning the latest research and industry information at Petfood Forum and Petfood Workshop 2014. As the one place the global petfood industry comes together each year, these conferences also offer a prime opportunity to network with peers and leading industry suppliers.

New to Petfood  Forum, which takes place March 31-April 2 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel near Chicago, Illinois, USA, are three concurrent discussion sessions. Held on Wednesday, April 2, the sessions will focus on important issues facing our industry: nutritional sustainability of petfoods, how distributor consolidation is affecting petfood retailing, and potential new petfood specifications and approvals from the Food and Drug Administration.

The conference portion of Petfood Forum 2014 will start on April 1 with an opening keynote by Steve Dale, a leading pet journalist, on how he embarked on his career and what he has learned throughout it from pet owners. On April 2 during lunch, Petfood Forum will conclude with a closing keynote by Wells Jones, CEO of America's VetDogs, an organization that provides guide and service dogs to US military veterans. A few veterans and their dogs will accompany Jones; on April 1, pets from Tree House Humane Society, on whose board Dale sits, will visit Petfood Forum.

Besides the discussion sessions, 21 additional concurrent sessions will address petfood ingredients; the US, Russian and Argentinean petfood markets; new ways and technologies for handling meat ingredients; new products and processes for controlling Salmonella in petfood plants; the new preventive control rule for feed under the Food Safety Modernization Act; and much more.

Petfood Workshop: Marketing  to Today's Consumers follows on April 2-3, also at the Renaissance Schaumburg. This hands-on seminar features industry experts explaining how pet owners shop, their perspectives on petfood, how to build trust and credibility with them, connecting with them through social media, reaching emerging pet owner groups and much more. For more information, visit

Petfood Forum schedule

For full descriptions of topics and speakers, please visit

Monday, March 31

12:00-7:30 pm Registration/check in

1:00-7:30 pm Exhibitor setup

5:30-7:30 pm Opening reception

Tuesday, April 1

7:00-8:00 am Breakfast

8:00-9:00 am Keynote : Steve Dale, pet journalist, relates what he has learned from pet owners, including their perceptions (and misperceptions) about petfood and pet nutrition.

9:00-9:40 am General session: Petfood market update and projections -Maria Lange, senior product manager of pet nutrition for GfK Retail and Technology USA, provides an overview of the US petfood market in the pet specialty channel.

9:40 am Grand opening of Exhibit Hall and Networking Lounge

9:45-10:30 am Coffee break in Exhibit Hall

9:45-11:30 am Visit with pets from Tree House Humane Society

9:45-11:30 am Visit Exhibit Hall

11:30 am-1:00 pm Lunch

1:00-1:40 pm

Nutrition : Role of fiber and carbohydrates in obesity and diabetes mellitus-Jennifer A. Larsen, DVM, PhD, DACVN, University of California-Davis

Marketing/retail/packaging : Online marketing A to Z: websites, social media, video marketing and more-Andrea Fischetti, Chicago Pet Video

Safety/processing : FSMA preventive control rule for feed: The petfood industry's response-Jason Vickers, Procter & Gamble Pet Care

1:45-2:25 pm

Nutrition : Effect of baking, extruding and raw ingredient selection on petfood sensory and odor properties-Kadri Koppel, PhD, Kansas State University

Marketing/retail/packaging : Using primary research to drive product innovation-Beth Vann, CEI

Safety/processing : Innovations in petfood extrusion processes-Ed Beecher, Coperion Corp.

2:25-3:00 pm Coffee break in Exhibit Hall

3:00-3:40 pm

Nutrition : Nutrition and the working canine: new work, new nutrition-Joseph J. Wakshlag, DVM, PhD, DACVN, DACVSMR, Cornell University

Marketing/retail/packaging : US petfood spending patterns-David Sprinkle, Packaged Facts

Safety/processing : Effect of petfood formulation in thermal process validation studies against Salmonella-Mary L. Bandu, PhD, Chestnut Labs

3:45-4:25 pm

Nutrition : Protein oxidation and petfood-Sara Cutler, PhD, and Ben Bowen, Kemin Industries

Marketing/retail/packaging : The Russian petfood market behind the statistics-Henriette Bylling, Aller Petfood Group

Safety/processing : Creating a paradigm shift in handling meat ingredients-Dave L. Flick, Champ Pet Care

4:30-5:10 pm

Nutrition : Phytochemicals: using plant nutrients to fight aging diseases in pets-Elizabeth Jeffery, PhD, University of Illinois, Urbana

Marketing/retail/packaging : New product development and the Argentinean petfood market-Carlos Crosetti, DVM, PhD, Gepsa Grupo Pilar

Safety/processing : Leveraging lean and just-in-time principles to save energy in petfood processing-Michael Overturf, ZF Energy Development

5:10-6:30 pm Reception in Exhibit Hall

5:45-6:30 pm Poster reception in Exhibit Hall

Wednesday, April 2

7:00-8:00 am Breakfast

8:00 am-12:00 pm Exhibit Hall and Networking Lounge open

8:00-8:40 am

Nutrition : Novel ingredient for safe, effective, natural detoxification of pets-Robert Stezinar, DVM, Nexus Outsourcing and Consulting

Marketing/retail/packaging : Opportunities with secondary packaging of petfood products-Jarlath Harkin, EDL Packaging Engineers

Safety/processing : Case study: Cooking meat slurry using inline direct steam injection-Matt Gordon and Dave Mardon, Hydro-Thermal

8:45-9:25 am

Nutrition : Common dry beans as a novel ingredient in extruded diets for canine weight loss-Genevieve M. Forster, Colorado State University

Marketing/retail/packaging : Selling natural petfood to today's discerning pet owners-Brad Kriser, Kriser's

Safety/processing : New technology: Controlling Salmonella past the primary critical control point-Richard B. Smittle, PhD, Micro-Nature

9:25-10:15 am Coffee break in Exhibit Hall, visit with US military veterans and their dogs from America's VetDogs

10:15 am-12:00 pm Discussion sessions  (also see

Nutritional sustainability of petfoods: can we create a more sustainable system? -led by Kelly Swanson, PhD, associate professor, Department of Animal Sciences/Division of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Illinois

How distributor consolidation is affecting petfood retailing -led by Mark Kalaygian, editor in chief of Pet Business magazine

Petfood ingredient specifications and approvals: Time for the industry to step up to the plate -led by George Burdock, PhD, president of the Burdock Group

12:00-1:15 pm Lunch/closing keynote:  Wells Jones, CEO of America's VetDogs, explains how his organization selects, trains, feeds, cares for and provides service dogs to military veterans

12:00-10:00 pm Exhibitor teardown

Petfood Workshop schedule

For full descriptions of topics and speakers, visit

Wednesday, April 2

12:00-2:00 pm Registration/check-in

2:00-3:00 pm Opening keynote : How to integrate your brand with programs, sponsorships and incentives 

3:00-3:20 pm Coffee break

3:20-4:35 pm First round of breakout sessions  (each an interactive workshop; attendees rotate among the four rooms):

  • Gen X, Y & Z: How to market to today's (and tomorrow's) pet parents
  • Using social media to connect with consumers
  • The art of re-packaging: How design, strong branding and smart investment can completely revamp your brand
  • Getting your product on store shelves: What retailers want, what they need to know and how to partner with the right people

4:40-5:55 pm Second round of breakout sessions

6:00-7:00 pm Reception

Thursday, April 3

7:00-8:00 am Breakfast

8:00-9:15 am  General session: Ask the experts panel -here's your chance to ask anything and everything you've ever wanted to know about petfood marketing.

9:15-9:45 am Coffee break

9:45-11:00 am Third round of breakout sessions

11:05 am-12:20 pm Fourth round of breakout sessions

Preview: Petfood Forum Asia 2014

Petfood Forum Asia 2014, scheduled for April 9 at the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre in conjunction with FIAAP/Victam/GRAPAS 2014, will feature industry experts presenting the latest research, information and insights on the petfood market, pet nutrition, petfood palatability, processing, new product development and more. Plus, participants will enjoy valuable networking opportunities with peers from throughout Southeast Asia and the world.

The latest schedule and line-up of topics and speakers for Petfood Forum Asia follows. For updates, please bookmark

8:30-10:00 Registration/check in/light breakfast

10:00-10:45 Relevance of petfood recommendations to consumers in different retail channels-Pushan Tagore, director of pet nutrition services for GfK Animal Health

10:50-11:30 Impact of dietary past on cat feeding preferences-Isabelle Guiller, global research and innovation director for SPF

11:35-12:15 Structured product development for petfood-Marcel Blok, owner and founder of Change Stranamics

12:15-13:45 Lunch

13:45-14:25 Advancements in extruded petfoods-Will Henry, director of technology and research and development for Extru-Tech Inc.

14:30-15:10 Nutritional considerations for petfood processing-Wouter Hendriks, PhD, professor of animal nutrition at Wageningen University

15:10-15:45 Coffee break

15:45-16:25 Meat or grain for dogs-or both?-Anton Beynen, PhD, head of research and development for Vobra Special Petfoods

16:30-17:10 Latest developments in petfood stack odor regulations, emission evaluation and control-Hans Schieven, founder and owner of Uniqair

Registration is now open for Petfood Forum Asia, with discounts available through February 10. Petfood professionals can register online at

During Petfood Forum Asia, petfood professionals will hear new research and glean insights from industry experts on the petfood market, pet nutrition, petfood palatability, processing, new product development and more.
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