Articles by Debbie Phillips-Donaldson

Something to Chew On: Petfood's launch party

A flurry of new products, brands and line extensions show our industry is no stranger to innovation
A trip to Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida, USA, in late March provided tangible proof that the pet industry has weathered the recession well and is set for a strong year. There were definitely more people-pet retail store buyers, exhibiting pet product manufacturers and others-than at least year's event, and a palpable buzz filled the aisles and air.
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What's hot in petfood

Rising markets and trends with staying power are driving industry growth
If you're a petfood professional in Russia, Thailand or South Africa, or you make treats, premium petfood or products with health and wellness claims, you're in the driver's seat behind the engines of industry growth. According to  Euromonitor International, while the growth rate of global dog and cat food sales fell to about 4% in 2009 after reaching a high of nearly 7% in 2008, that level of growth during a major recession is one most industries would envy. 
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Something to Chew On: Bright days ahead-with a few clouds

Most signs point to continued growth for the US pet industry, but with some caution
"On solid ground." That's how  Packaged Facts  describes the US pet industry in its new report, US Pet Market Outlook 2010-2011: Tapping into Post-Recession Pet Parent Spending. It shows the pet care market grew last year despite the awful economy, and most signs point to continued growth for the next year and beyond.
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Something to Chew On: If you can't beat 'em …

HSUS is coming out with a line of dog food that it says is cruelty free, all natural and certified organic
According to recent reports from the  American Pet Products Association  and Packaged Facts, the US pet industry stared down the recession and won, gaining 5% last year to a total of US$53 billion. The US petfood category also grew 5%, to US$17.56 billion.
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Leading the pack

Building on the foundation of its legacy companies, WellPet grows by continuing its leading-edge natural nutrition
Building on the foundation of its legacy companies, WellPet grows by continuing their leading-edge natural nutrition
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Something to Chew On: What will consumers do now?

7 global trend helps predict consumer behavior for 2010
"No more fear." While that may sound like a marketing slogan or rock band (in fact, it is the latter), Mintel sees it as an overall theme for how consumers will behave this year. "While in 2009, fear played an important role in shaping consumer behavior, 2010 will see a return of confidence and adaptation," says Richard Cope,  Mintel  director. 
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Something to Chew On: Filling the gap

There's a disconnect between consumers' confidence in petfoods and their knowledge of what makes the foods nutritious
Here's some good news for our industry, courtesy of a survey recently commissioned by Petco : Nearly 80% of US pet owners say they feel confident their pets' food is healthy and nutritious. The bad news? Only 43% of respondents say they understand how to evaluate the nutritional value of the food by looking at the ingredients on the label, and only 41% know which ingredients are most nutritious.
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Petfood goes green

Manufacturers and suppliers are opening or retrofitting sustainable facilities
When our industry looks back at 2009, we might consider it the year of the greening of petfood, at least in the US. This year has seen the opening of several new or retrofitted US facilities-plants and office buildings, for manufacturers and suppliers-designed to be more environmentally friendly.
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