We at Petfood Industry magazine wanted to learn more about the purchasing plans of petfood manufacturers worldwide. So, we sent readers an invitation by E-mail to take a survey online. We received 161 responses, which are summarized here. Please note that multiple responses were allowed, thus totals are greater than 100%.
Modern equipment can help improve plant performance and increase profits. Here are the areas respondents told us they plan to purchase equipment during the next year.
Dry petfood packaging systems 38.2%
Conveying systems 28.2%
Treat packaging systems 14.6%
Wet petfood packaging systems 10.9%
Hydrostatic cookers 6.4%
Who decides what equipment to buy? Here are the job functions involved in the majority of equipment buying decisions.
General administration/management 46.8%
Plant operations 40.3%
We broke out the responses to compare those from North America (NA) and those from outside NA. The breakout shows that, outside NA, there are significantly more respondents planning to purchase dry petfood packaging systems, analyzers, extruders and dryers. It further showed that inside NA there are significantly more respondents planning to purchase treat packaging systems.
Especially outside of NA, it looks like manufacturers will be increasing dry petfood production capacity.
Ingredients and palatants are the building blocks of new product development. The percentage of respondents who said they will increase spending in certain ingredient areas are listed here.
Functional ingredients 43.9%
Poultry products 41.0%
Grain products 37.0%
Antioxidants, natural 31.9%
Fruits and vegetables 31.8%
Vitamin/mineral premixes 31.1%
Fish products 29.3%
Fresh meats 28.1%
Antioxidants, synthetic 12.8%
Again, we broke out the responses to compare those from NA and those from outside NA. The breakout shows that, outside NA, there are significantly more respondents who will increase spending on poultry products. It further showed that inside NA, there are significantly more respondents leaning toward spending less on palatants and synthetic antioxidants.
Given the still strong trend to feature health and wellness, it's not surprising to see functional ingredients top the list.
A product's packaging is its last salesman. Here are the packaging areas respondents told us they plan to increase spending during the next year.
Plastic bags 47.3%
Paper board cartons 27.3%
Paper bags 23.5%
Wet petfood pouches 15.1%
More respondents outside NA are leaning toward increasing spending in wet petfood pouches than in NA.
The following list shows the percentage of respondents who say they do not use these particular types of packaging.
Wet petfood pouches 55.9%
Paper bags 19.4%
Paper board cartons 16.2%
Plastic bags 7.3%
Based on the preceding, plastic bags are a strong and growing presence in the petfood industry.
Often getting good expert advice is a crucial component of success. The percentage of respondents who said they will increase spending in certain service areas are listed here.
Market research 19.2%
Respondents outside NA say they're more likely to spend more on nutrition and palatability consultants than those inside NA.
Top manufacturing issues
We asked our survey respondents to rank the top three manufacturing issues in order of importance. They ranked the list of issues as follows.
Sourcing and materials
We conducted our survey between May 7 and May 20, 2007. During this period, in NA, and to some extent globally, the petfood contamination crisis was the dominant concern. Hence it's not surprising the top three issues here are related to petfood safety.
By Lindsay Beaton
Packaging continues to be a primary way for pet food companies to speak to their customers.
By Lindsay Beaton
Pet treat trends are largely following pet food trends as pet parents look to bond with their animals.