With the increasing number of pet food varieties in the market, consumers have more information to evaluate before choosing the best food product for their pets.
For example, they may consider the mineral content of pet foods. Minerals play a key role in a pet’s nutrition, as they should be available in the right amounts to provide a healthy and balanced diet. Because there are several types of minerals serving different purposes, consumers might get confused about the specific features of each of them.
Minerals are essential nutrients for reproduction, growth and longevity of the pet. All minerals are unique, as their effects are not replaceable with another mineral. Thus, pet food manufacturers are increasingly seeking the best alternatives to introduce differentiated products that provide more added value, including a well-adjusted provision of minerals.
This is the opinion of Arlette Soria, multispecies nutritionist for South American with Trouw Nutrition, who shared her insights and technical knowledge on how minerals are becoming increasingly relevant to the industry. Insufficient amounts of a mineral might cause functional and metabolic deficiencies, which are likely reversible if it is supplemented adequately, she said.
Yet the tendency to use minerals might be facing opposition. First, consumers are increasingly requiring more information on the products they are purchasing. On the other hand, veterinarians are pushing to include only the right mineral mix on pet food products, as most metabolic-related ailments are directly associated with the metabolism of minerals.
Soria said pet food products may improve according to the mix and type of minerals used. Organic minerals, for instance, have the best bioavailability and absorption features; next in importance are hydroxy-minerals and, lastly, inorganic minerals, which possess the lowest bioavailability.
Scientific studies have demonstrated that minerals impact palatability, as there is a close link between this feature and the diversity of mineral formulas that are available.
According to Soria, Trouw Nutrition contributes to the pet food industry as a leading expert in the provision of additives and specialized ingredients. As the company continually performs scientific research, it can provide tailor-made solutions to its clients and end products that are well differentiated.
Iván Franco is the founder of Triplethree International and has collaborated on hundreds of research projects for several consumer goods industries. He was granted the Global Consultant of the Year award by Euromonitor International and authored the book 17 Market Strategies for Growth (in Spanish).
By Lindsay Beaton
While dogs and cats continue to reign supreme, the growth of the “other” pet space can’t be denied: 9.9 million homes own a bird, 6.2 million homes have a small pet (usually small mammals) and 5.7 million homes own a reptile.
By Lindsay Beaton
Pet owners with birds, small mammals and other types of non-dog/cat animals are demanding the best for their feathered, furry or scaly friends.