As many as 90% of pet owners agree it is important to read ingredient labels before making a pet food or treat purchase. That’s according to a recent survey of U.S. dog and cat owners initiated by Kerry. For 80% of pet owners, freshness is a key purchase influencer and has significance for all pet owners regardless of their pet’s food type. “Across the globe, pet owners are paying closer attention to product labels and are seeking pet food that contains simple, identifiable ingredients that they recognize,” says Cynthia Rasmussen, Business Development Manager with Kerry’s Food Protection and Preservation business.
Kerry EverWild is a newly created line of solutions that use kitchen-friendly ingredients like dairy, celery and vinegar to help maintain product freshness, quality and palatability over shelf-life to deliver the fresh appeal pet owners are seeking with ingredients they trust and understand.
The power of ingredient recognition
Innova reports that “no additives/preservatives” accounted for 40% of new global pet products development in 2020, higher than any other ingredient-related claim. The “free-from” movement, once filling a niche need for natural pet food is now table stakes to compete in the super-premium pet food market. A third of pet owners are willing to spend 25% or more for products that include recognizable ingredients. “The EverWild portfolio and Kerry’s dedicated pet team can help wet, semi-moist, fresh or frozen pet food and treat manufacturers add value to their formulas with label-friendly ingredients while maintaining fresh taste and appearance over shelf-life,” adds Rasmussen.
Consumer perceptions of freshness is evolving
Freshness is a trending topic within the pet food industry but is most closely associated with the fresh food finished product format. However, freshness has broad and universal significance for all pet food shoppers, regardless of the food they purchase. When asked which attributes consumers most closely associate with product freshness, 62% said ‘made with real ingredients’ is most important.
Unsurprisingly, fresh pet food shoppers place the highest value on freshness, however, 47% of wet pet food shoppers also feel strongly that freshness is an important purchase driver. The EverWild range of solutions may help pet food and treat manufacturers build stronger “fresh” positioning across multiple food formats by including recognizable ingredients while also supporting improved color development and maintaining fresh taste and quality over shelf-life.
Maintaining product freshness may also play a role in helping reduce food waste. A quarter of wet food shoppers indicate throwing away at least 10% of their pet’s food because it expires or is no longer perceived to be suitable for consumption. A surprising 86% of pet owners are concerned about the safety of their pet’s food from issues such as bacterial growth or foodborne illness and this increases to 97% amongst fresh pet food shoppers. “Maintaining fresh taste, appearance and aroma for even an extra day or two may help reduce food waste and support sustainability initiatives,” adds Rasmussen.
For more than 150 years, Kerry technologies have been protecting and perfecting food and beverages. The addition of EverWild to Kerry’s portfolio allows pet food and treat manufacturers to combine our consumer-friendly food protection solutions with our dedicated team of pet food manufacturing and formulation experts to help ensure pet foods and treats are safe, fresh and flavorful from first sniff to last bite.
To learn more about how EverWild can help your business incorporate real ingredients to maintain product freshness, visit explore.kerry.com/everwild.
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