The Chinese pet market is growing, and fast. As China has become the second-largest economy in the world, the standard of living and spending power of Chinese consumers, including pet owners, have soared. One-sixth of Chinese families now own pets, according to Pet Fair Asia, representing 25% annual growth in demand for pet products. The pet product industry is expected to reach 8 billion yuan (US$1.25 billion).
Projections for annual sales of petfood in China by 2015 range far and wide, from US$476 million (Euromonitor International) to US$7.8 billion (Gerson Lehrman Group). But with pet ownership rising so quickly, petfood sales will no doubt keep increasing, too, with Euromonitor projecting a 7.7% compound annual growth rate through 2015. That’s after the Chinese petfood market grew 800% between 2000 and 2010.
Petfood Forum China, the first petfood conference ever to be held in China, will shed light on this dynamic, exciting market and help petfood professionals learn more about pet nutrition, ingredients, US and Chinese marketing and regulatory considerations, food safety, packaging and new product development.
Scheduled for October 12 at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center, Petfood Forum China will be held in conjunction with Pet Fair Asia, the leading pet product trade show in China, now celebrating its 15th year. Besides visiting the impressive exhibits at Pet Fair Asia, Petfood Forum China participants will enjoy several opportunities to network with petfood professionals from China and throughout the world.
Following are the schedule, topics and speakers as of press time:
8:00-8:30 Registration/check-in with coffee and tea
8:30-8:40 Introduction and welcome from Chinese government official
8:40-9:20 Overcoming the perception of Asian-made consumables in the US market —Anthony Giudice, director of international operations for Weruva International, suggests ways for petfood manufacturers to prove that regulations, quality and safety practices are being followed and tell a powerful quality and safety story to US consumers.
Weruva International is a petfood manufacturer that has taken an Asian-made brand of goods and made it number one in its category. Giudice has 20 years’ experience in every facet of the pet industry, from retail and distribution to marketing and manufacturing. He regularly addresses pet industry professionals, delivering hundreds of seminars and workshops to distribution teams, the company’s own sales team and employees of the US’s top independent pet store chains.
9:20-10:00 Healthy food, healthy pet, happy human: How specialty micronutrients and functional ingredients can drive animal health and petfood value— Ingmar S. Middelbos, PhD, manager of specialty products & pet market for Novus Nutrition Brands, explains how to truly add value to petfood products with functional ingredients, focusing on joint, oral and senior pet health.
Dr. Middelbos received a master’s of science in animal husbandry from Wageningen University, Netherlands, and a master’s and doctorate in companion animal nutrition from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focused on how fiber sources may affect canine gut health. Upon graduation in 2008, Dr. Middelbos joined Novus International Inc., working as an R&D scientist on new product development. In 2011 he moved into marketing and business management, where he now leads the global pet industry team for Novus.
10:00-10:30 Coffee break
10:30-11:00 Update on regulations of feed and petfood in China— Hou Peixing, chairman of Shanghai Veterinary Drug and Feed Inspection Institute
11:00-11:40 Needs, trends and petfood buying habits of Chinese pet owners— Tang Yang, founder and CEO of Goumin.com, presents information on the demands and buying patterns of Chinese pet owners and the development trends of pet industries in China.
Tang has over 10 years of entrepreneurship experience, including founding Goumin.com, the most active website for dog owners in China. He also co-founded Xiaonei.com, now called Renren.com and considered the Facebook of China. Tang earned a bachelor’s of science in electrical engineering and business management from Tsinghua University.
11:40-12:20 Trends in nutritional management of pet digestive health —Juan Gomez-Basauri, PhD, global director of the companion animal business for Alltech, focuses on prebiotics and biomolecules for nutritionally managing digestive health in pets, addressing ingredient sources, functional roles and interactions, trends in research and future applications.
Dr. Gomez joined Alltech in 1996 and also serves as chairman for the companion animal sessions of the Alltech International Symposium. Previously he was research and technology director at Ralson Purina International in Peru. He earned his doctorate in food science and nutrition from Cornell University, a master’s in food science from Leeds University and a bachelor’s in engineering from Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal.
13:30-14:10 Safe petfood: validation, recontamination and other considerations —Will Henry, director of technology and R&D for Extru-Tech Inc., introduces the major principles of food safety to help petfood manufacturers review all aspects of their production scheme to secure the manufacture of safe, quality petfood and reduce the risk of recontamination.
Henry joined Extru-Tech in 2006 after serving as senior project engineer with Bachelor Controls. He presents extensively on extrusion and food safety around the world. He holds a bachelor’s of science in electrical engineering from Kansas State University and is certified in HACCP, BSL-2 and SQF.
14:10-14:50 The effects of kibble shape and particle size on feline palatability, processing parameters and texture— Kristopher Figge, senior scientist with AFB International, presents results of studies with implications for extrusion processing and development of cat food products.
Figge has been with AFB for 12 years. In his role, his focus is on working with customers to improve the palatability of their cat and dog diets. He holds an MBA and has delivered numerous customer presentations on palatability testing and applied research in cat/dog palatability.
14:50-15:20 Coffee break
15:20-16:00 Advancements in high-barrier plastic packaging for shelf-stable petfood —Vivek A. Chougule, business development manager for Printpack, shares new petfood packaging technologies, the environmental footprint of various formats and the effects of food sterilization and storage on packaging material performance.
Chougule has over 10 years of advanced packaging technology experience. In his current role, he focuses on developing Asia and Europe markets for advanced packaging solutions. Chougule holds an MBA from the College of William and Mary and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering and packaging science from Clemson University.
16:00-17:00 Workshop: how to structure new product development for increased success —John Adams, president of Adams Development, and Marcel Blok, owner of Change Stranamics BV, present a brief workshop on the key steps of the new product development process, including important decisions and checkpoints that determine the most efficient use of resources.
Adams has worked for 40 years in the ingredient business, focusing on new product development, including 20 years working with ingredients aimed at the pet industry. He has held various positions in a large British ingredients business and served as R&D manager for four specialist project teams, marketing manager (large animal feeds) and corporate development manager. In 2001, Adams set up his own consulting business focusing on strategic use of ingredients and new product development.
Blok has nearly 30 years of experience in the pet industry in senior marketing positions, as the founder and first president of Iams Europe, interim managing director for a food processing company in the Netherlands and as consultant to top US and European industry leaders as well as family-owned companies. He founded Change Stranamics in 1995 to act as a strategic advisor to players in the global pet industry and help them find and stay on the road to a sustainable future. Blok has a degree from the Rotterdam Business School.