Chicken, in the form of chicken, deboned, chicken, chicken meal, and other chicken parts such as liver, giblets, and so on, is the dominant protein when we survey the recipes in the Dog and Cat Food Ingredient center.
Lamb and lamb meal became popular in the ‘80s and ’90s with the development of elimination diets to treat food allergies. In the mid ‘90s lamb and rice diets became the fastest growing segment of the market. Today many of the novel protein diets have moved to other protein sources, but lamb and lamb meal are still widely used in dry dog food.
Some ingredients that are a good source of fiber are often viewed by the consumer as filler. Soybean hulls and psyllium fiber both fall into this category and have received bad press, when they are a good source of fiber. The number of pet recipes using these ingredients is small, and they are found primarily in senior or weight control formulas.
Green tea extract is derived from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis bush. Dried green tea leaves are used to make the popular hot beverage, and the extracts play a central role in herbal medicine. More recently, purified extracts have found favor as a nutraceutical and food antioxidant preservative. So, how many current dog and cat food recipes are using green tea extract?
The grain-free pet food movement has been going on for well over a decade, and many new pet products entering the market are labeled as grain free. This has given rise to use of alternative ingredients, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, lentils, chickpeas and tapioca.
The success of the past decade in the pet food and pet retailing industries may not be sustainable if the industries don’t pay close attention to coming changes. Dave Bolen, former CEO of several major pet retailers and now a retail consultant, told the opening session of Petfood Forum that “I am worried that our success could be a disadvantage to further growth in the pet industry.”
The passion to improve the lives of companion animals is what drives many in the pet food industry. That same passion caused Jackson Galaxy to transform from a part-time musician and animal shelter employee to one of the US’s best known cat behaviorists.