With good protein quality and more fat than most grains, millet has the potential to serve as an ‘alternative’ ingredient in pet food. Millet is a small seed commonly associated with wild bird food. Its inclusion in pet foods may seem less than serious as it pertains to food production and nutritional support, but it may actually be one of the more nutrient dense of the cereal grains.
Millet is a common ingredient found in dog and cat foods. However, it's more prominent in dog foods, according to the Pet-Ingredients.com database. It is found in dry, canned, and treat forms of dog foods in this database. Yet, it is only found in dry cat food in this same database.
The breakdown of millet use is heavily skewed towards dry foods. Almost 6 percent of dry dog foods contain millet in some form. This includes organic millet, ground millet, pearled millet, whole grain millet, and ground millet. Of these categories "millet," "organic" and "pearled" are on the higher end of usage.
In canned and dog treats there is a much smaller number of products analyzed, but there is still millet present as an ingredient. In canned dog food it is only present in .15 percent of recipes. In dog treats it is more than 1 percent.
In cat food millet was only found in the dry food. Millet was present in almost 3 percent of recipes.
While cat trends continue, the pandemic has added to overall slow-growth treatment of the cat food market.
Premiumization and humanization, as well as automation, fueled continued operation growth in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.