High meat inclusion means one thing in European pet food and another in the United States, Daniel Stoffner, product manager for Bühler, said in a video from Petfood Forum 2018 (below). The relatively lower water content in U.S.-style high meat pet food may make that version easier to reconcile with pet owners’ sustainability demands.

“What does high meat really mean?” he said. “What does fresh meat really mean? A high amount of fresh meat doesn't mean the same in the U.S. as in Europe, so our [observation] is that in the U.S. it comes to 30 to 40 percent fresh meat inclusion in a dry kibble. This is already high meat.

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“In Europe, we are talking about 80 to 90 percent fresh meat and that gets quite difficult because that meat has about 70 to 75 percent moisture.

“If we are adding so much moisture it becomes difficult to get a nice product,” Stoffner said. “Is it in a nice shape and still expanded?”

Kibble drying energy usage sustainability

After extrusion, the moist meaty kibble must dry. The more moisture, the more energy needed to evaporate it. That creates a major sustainability challenge for Europe’s ultra-high meat formulations, he said.

Stoffner suggested that high meat as we see it in Europe will disappear eventually just because of the sustainability aspects.

However, he believes that high meat pet foods with 30 to 40 percent fresh meat inclusion, as in the U.S., may survive as popular pet food trends.

About Petfood Forum events

To learn more about high-meat pet food and other trends attend Petfood Forum 2019. Petfood Forum is the not-to-be-missed trade show event for pet food professionals from around the world to network, exchange ideas and do business with one another and with the industry's leading pet food manufacturers and suppliers. Petfood Forum 2019 will take place at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Missouri, USA on April 29 – May 1, 2019. Registration is now open for Petfood Forum 2019.