While dog foods predominate somewhat in new pet food product launches in the US and globally, both new cat and dog food products share a focus on health-related claims. Worldwide, more than 80 percent of pet food launches recorded by Innova Market Insights from September 2015 to 2016 were marketed with a focus on health aspects, such as omerga-3 fatty acids or digestive support.
In the United States, health claims dominate US new pet food product launches. Ninety percent of pet food product launches in the US feature health-related marketing, often with multiple claims.
Pet foods are now being formulated to address concerns of humans, including organic and non-GMO pet food ingredients, “free from” options, and low-carb recipes. As in the human-food industry, interest in clean labeling continues to grow in pet food. In the United States, nearly 53 percent of launches used natural and/or “no additives/preservatives” claims, driving forward interest in natural and organic formulations.
Vitamin- and mineral-related claims are the most popular of active health claims for pet food (used on over 23 percent of global launches). The next most popular claims are digestive- or gut-health claims, used on 22 percent of global launches and addressing issues such as sensitive stomachs in dogs and also furball/hairball problems in cats. Probiotic and prebiotic ingredients are popularly marketed for these conditions.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also popular in the pet food market, included in just over 15 percent of global launches. Skin health is also a popular market, with over 14 percent of global introductions featuring claims related to skin health.
Allergy-related claims are also very popular. There has been a strong rise in gluten-free and grain-free formulations for both dogs and cats. More than one-fifth of global launches were gluten-free, and nearly a quarter of dog food launches alone were gluten-free.
There is also continued interest in protein content just as there is in the human-food and -drinks industry. Just over 30 percent of pet food launches between September 2015–2016 featured “high in” or “source of” protein claims, up from just 20 percent a year previously.
Tim Wall covers the dog, cat and other pet food industries as senior reporter for WATT Global Media. He hold a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri - Columbia and a bachelor's degree in biology. Wall served in the Peace Corps in Honduras from 2005 to 2007. His work has appeared in Scientific American, Discovery News, Honduras Weekly and other outlets. Contact Wall via https://www.wattglobalmedia.com/contact-us/
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