Articles by Debbie Phillips-Donaldson

Defining innovation

The ability to innovate is a necessity today, but just what is innovation? How do you measure it?
The ability to innovate is a necessity today, but just what is innovation? How do you measure it? In my mind this is all fairly subjective. But I think most people in our industry would agree that innovation - at least in the form of new product development - has been a primary force behind the strong growth we've seen in petfood for several years and that is projected for more years to come.
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Whole new way to feed

Mars' WholeMeals might just start a brand new petfood category
Innovation and product development have fueled industry growth for several years now, to the point that you might think we've seen it all in terms of truly new petfood products. Conventional wisdom also says that much of this innovation happens in smaller companies.
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Natural sales rising

US sales of natural and organic petfood are growing at double-digit rates
Consumers are turning more and more to natural and organic products. By 2006, 98% of the US buying public reported purchasing a natural product, and 60% reported buying organic, says Information Resources Inc. (IRI). Those consumers who are also pet owners seem to be extending their purchasing habits to their pets' dietary needs.
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Something To Chew On: Recovering from a crisis

It was about this time a year ago - March 16, 2007, to be exact - that the petfood industry, at least in the US, became aware of some sort of product recall. We started hearing that Menu Foods had issued a precautionary recall of cuts-in-gravy ...
It was about this time a year ago - March 16, 2007, to be exact - that the petfood industry, at least in the US, became aware of some sort of product recall. We started hearing that Menu Foods had issued a precautionary recall of cuts-in-gravy style dog and cat foods because of possible contamination.
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Something To Chew On: All eyes on the FDA

After the massive petfood recalls hit the US market last year, many fingers were pointed at the Food and Drug Administration
After the massive petfood recalls hit the US market last year, many fingers - at least those belonging to members of the US Congress, consumers and the media - were pointed at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Why wasn't the agency inspecting all imported materials before they entered the country? Why weren't all US petfood plants inspected regularly?
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Cargill becomes a player

New premium petfood line banks on processing, packaging and channel exclusivity
Cargill is no newcomer to the petfood industry. It has been producing and marketing dog and cat foods under its River Run, Pro Premium and Nutrena brands since the early 1960s. But with the launch of its new Loyall premium line, Cargill is positioning itself to become a significant player in the US petfood business.
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Its the safety, stupid

For the petfood industry - and I would argue not just in the US, but throughout the world - one issue has trumped all others this year: product safety. And that has repercussions for all food products consumed around the globe.
For the petfood industry - and I would argue not just in the US, but throughout the world - one issue has trumped all others this year: product safety. And that has repercussions for all food products consumed around the globe.
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Bringing home success

After prospering overseas, a woman-owned business brings innovation to the US
OmniPro began with a line of superpremium dry foods that has grown to 23 SKUs for all lifestages. The formulations were developed using chicken and rice or lamb and rice as the base, plus other ingredients designed for export to the European Union and other countries with strict regulatory environments for imports. The result was OmniPro Holistic canned foods with unique ingredients such as caviar, sweet potatoes and pheasant.
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