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Pet Food News / Pet Food Ingredients / Pet Food Packaging / Pet Food Labeling
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photo by igorr | BigStockPhoto
on January 16, 2017

11 pet food trends industry experts forecast for 2017

Overall, pet owners increasingly demand the same qualities in pet food and their own food.

Pet food marketing, nutrition and production experts told Petfood Industry their forecasts and observations for cat, dog and other pet food trends on consumers' minds in 2017. Overall, experts believe pet owners will increasingly demand the same qualities in pet food that they want in their own meals, such as familiar ingredients, sustainability and nutrition.

1. No laboratory claims

“Falling by the wayside is the idea of a formulation that’s ‘scientific’ or lab based because pet owners consider it less human.”  

- Joe Tordella, area sales manager, Bühler Aeroglide North America

2. Clean labels

“Greater emphasis will be placed on clean labels. That is why LID claims, paleo diet, organic and gently processed products such as raw, freeze dried and oven baked will clearly become mainstream, as will local and artisanal offerings.”

- Hélène Audic, markets and trends analyst, Diana Pet Food

“Clean labels are a huge trend in human nutrition, with consumers demanding ingredients with which they are familiar… Consumers want to make sure they feed their pets the most nutritious ingredients possible without any extras that aren’t needed.”

- Dr. Jennifer Adolphe, companion animal nutrition registered dietician, Petcurean

3. Natural trend keywords

“In different ways, ‘sustainable’ and ‘family owned’ both connote a home-grown approach, environment-friendly practices, local sourcing and the comfort of familiar brands. ‘Humane’ food also helps pet owners have a clear conscience, suggesting that protein sources were ethically raised and treated.”

- Maria Lange, business group director - POS tracking (pet specialty), GfK

4. Internet influence

“The internet continues to be a major factor in the way we receive information and purchase products. It levels the playing field and puts smaller companies on near-equal footing with the once untouchable multi-billion dollar brands. Pet food review sites are also influencing pet owners’ buying decisions by comparing labels and exposing lower-quality ingredients commonly found in major grocery store brands.”

- Scott Glover, CEO, Mid America Pet Food

5. Little processing

“The food industry is centering on minimally processed and more-natural foods, and we expect to see similar trends for pet food.”

- Juan Gomez, global director, Alltech

6. Limited ingredient diets (LID)

“Pet owners have embraced LID foods, initially to hold off food allergies in their pets. But the transparency of knowing exactly what their four-pawed companions are consuming is also a big plus for doting humans — one that is helping to drive further LID success.”

- Maria Lange, business group director - POS tracking (pet specialty), GfK

7. Transparency

“Consumers will continue to demand transparency, which will lead to the increased use of certified ingredients.”

- Dr. Jennifer Adolphe, companion animal nutrition registered dietician, Petcurean

“A long list of low/no/reduced claims won’t be sufficient anymore to reassure pet parents who expect more transparency and simplicity.”

- Hélène Audic, markets and trends analyst, Diana Pet Food

8. Packaging innovation

“Overall, I think that increased focus on well-designed packaging will continue to be a big trend… Old norms are getting thrown out of the window and break-through packaging stories are being told.

- Stefan Hartung, cofounder, Ideas that Kick

9. Humanization

“The gap between pet food and human food will continue to narrow as pet owners value pet nutrition as high as their own needs.”

- Joe Tordella, area sales manager, Bühler Aeroglide North America

10. Health focus

“Nutrition will be more holistic, a way to provide an answer to lifestyle and changes associated with aging. Pet food manufacturers will be introducing variants to address different aspects of pet health; e.g., cognitive nutrition, anti-inflammatory nutrition, lifestyle nutrition and so forth.”

- Juan Gomez, global director, Alltech

11. Superfoods

“Already mainstream in the human diet, nutrient-packed superfoods like pumpkin, kale, chia, sweet potato, kelp, broccoli, carrots, apples and local raw honey will ramp up in pet foods, treats and additives.”

- Dolinda Meeker, senior account director, Product of the Year USA

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