Although pet food ingredient quality ranked as the top concern, no single dominant threat emerged when 1,300 pet food industry professionals answered the question “What is the most pressing issue facing your organization?” Instead, concerns covered every stage of the pet food market from consumer demands and opinions to acquiring affordable, quality ingredients and then selling the product amid growing e-commerce competition.

Watt Global Media, publisher of Petfood Industry, conducted the survey as part of the registration process for Petfood Forum 2019.

To learn more about pressing issues in the pet food industry, register for Petfood Forum or other Petfood Industry events worldwide.

  1. Ingredient quality issues in pet food – 17.21%

At the top of the list, but only by fractions of a percent, were ingredient quality issues. Perhaps respondents were considering recent news related to problems with raw materials. Earlier this year, Hill’s Pet Nutrition recalled numerous lots of prescription dog food for excessive levels of vitamin D. Hill’s identified a pet food ingredient supplier as the source of the problem.

This ingredient quality issue led to lawyers in several U.S. states filing lawsuits against Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Some plaintiffs alleged that Hill’s delayed their response to reports of problems with their products. Dog owners involved in the lawsuits claimed that their pets became sick and even died because of eating Hill’s Pet Nutrition products.

  1. Meeting pet food consumer demands – 16.74%

Understanding what dog, cat and other pet owners want was another top issue. With some consumers calling for high meat while others demands vegan pet foods, making every pet owner happy may be impossible. However, pet food professionals may please some of the people some of the time by following how human food trends migrate into pet food.

  1. Cost of ingredients, packaging, etc. – 16.36%

Quality was not respondents only concern as far as ingredients we concerned. The bottom-line stood only a fraction of a percent behind to rank third.

  1. Online/digital e-commerce – 11.86%

  2. Consumer perceptions of your brand – 9.61%