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On June 17, 2014

Managing pet health with functional treating

According to recent research conducted by DSM, functional treats for dogs and cats can help pets' overall physical condition and well-being

The trend to integrate pets into the family is clearly here to stay. Consequently, we see that global dog and cat treat sales alone have increased by 39% in the last five years (according to Euromonitor Passport data), driven by the expanding pet humanization trend and the desire of pet parents to indulge their animal companions.

Although snacking is often seen as unhealthy, treating clearly brings pleasure to pets, supports the bonding process and is part of behavior in line with that of humans indulging their children or even themselves. Although we enjoy treating ourselves and our pets consumption of such snacks is not without guilt. As awareness surrounding the area of nutrition, health and wellness grows, snack foods in the human nutrition arena have been identified by many leading global brands as a key category for expansion, not just offering taste and convenience but also addressing an overall nutritional or functional value. This same opportunity is being pursued in the pet treat market.

It is clear that  the pet treat and supplement markets have seen rapid growth in recent years (See Figure 1), creating an increasingly more competitive environment given that treats and supplements deliver higher profitability compared to food. Even though this growing and dynamic market is a great opportunity for treat manufacturers, there are real challenges to consider. For example, the perceived value of a functional treat can be questioned when the pet consumes a commercially produced “nutritionally complete diet.”

So, the value proposition surrounding the…

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