Petfood Masters School is a pet food event organized by Petfood Specialties that will take place September 18–20, 2018 in Slovenia at Bled Hotel Park. The event will feature three days of workshops and networking with pet food industry professionals.

Eight workshops will take place at the event, and each workshop will accommodate only up to 24 participants. Attendees will have the opportunity to work in small subgroups and take part in business simulations, experiencing real ingredients, raw materials and production processes. The workshops and presentations will cover topics such as the pet food recipe creation process and how the product development process effects palatability performance.

The pet food market in Central Europe  

The event reflects the growth and globalization of the pet food market in central European countries. Major foreign manufacturers, such as Purina, are investing in the market. For example, in November 2017, Nestle Purina PetCare inaugurated a 5,000 square-meter (53,819 sq. ft.) manufacturing hall at their plant in Bük, Hungary. Over the past seven years, Purina has invested HUF 43 billion (US$161 million) in the pet food plant. The facility now employs 900 people and is the largest in Europe, according to Purina.

The Bük pet food facility expansion includes two new production lines with four fillers and an automated multi-pack packaging unit. The plant produces canned pet food and may have a daily output capacity of 1.6 million products.

Analysts at Euromontor International forecast that the Hungary’s pet food market will not experience rapid growth in the coming years. Still, the central European region remains a target for pet food exports from Western nations.

“Although the pet population will record marginal growth, consumers will spend more on pet food and pet products due to accelerated lifestyles, changing attitudes towards their pets and further improving availability of pet care products,” said analysts from Euromonitor International. “Nevertheless, growth is expected to slow down compared to the previous years as most categories reach maturity.”