Human protein trends gaining in natural pet food channel
From grass-fed beef to bugs, these natural protein trends are knocking on pet food’s door.
Consumers make decisions about what to eat based not only on cultural traditions, family habits, personal taste preferences and household budgets, but also on evolving health, nutrition, environmental and political concerns and ideals. This holds particularly true for shoppers in the natural food channel, which has long been an incubator for innovation.
Branching out from the natural channel, for example, sales of grass-fed meat and dairy products continue to grow. Especially in major metropolitan markets, grass-fed protein products are multiplying, ranging from beef, bison/buffalo, lamb and goat meat to milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, ice cream, whey powder and beyond. Forbes (January 29, 2016) has reported that “Demand for grass-fed beef has grown at an annual rate of 25% to 30% for the past decade at the same time that per capita beef consumption for traditional beef products continues to decline.” As another sign that sales growth is greener on the grass-fed side of the fence, Datassential MenuTrends tracking data show that 3% of eating places overall, 4% of fast-casual restaurants and 6% of fine dining establishments now offer grass-fed menu options.
The natural channel trend in pet products
As noted in Packaged Facts’ Natural, Organic and Eco-friendly Pet Products (October 2016), many consumers believe, and many grass-fed protein marketers convey, that grass-fed proteins offer more health benefits and better nutrition. For example, research has shown that grass-fed beef contains more omega-3 fatty acids and less saturated and mono-unsaturated fat than does feedlot beef, and that grass-fed protein is less likely to…