Adventures in Pet Food

Debbie Phillips-Donaldson, editor-in-chief of Petfood Industry, shares her insights and opinions on all things pet food, addressing market trends as well as news and developments in pet nutrition, food safety and other hot topics for the industry.

Alternative protein sources for petfood: are insects the answer?

Increasing humanization of pets around the world -- even in China, a small (but rapidly growing) pet market, 90% of pet owners say their pets are part of the family, according to Mars Petcare China -- means rising numbers of pet owners who want and expect to feed their pets products similar to the types of food products they're seeking for themselves. When it comes to protein sources, that translates to seeking "human grade" meats, poultry or fish and shunning any ingredients perceived as lesser quality, such as meat or poultry by-products or meals. Petfood manufacturers have understandably responded to these consumer demands. So everyone should be happy, right?
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China pet care market growing rapidly

The global pet care market will reach US$96 billion in sales by the end of this year, reported Clarissa Nicklaus, senior research analyst for Euromonitor International, during Petfood Forum China 2013 last week. With the market growing 4% annually each year since 2008, that means it could top the US$100 billion mark in 2014. Petfood makes up 77% of the global market, Nicklaus said, meaning sales will hit nearly US$74 billion this year.
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Human food trend that petfood should not follow: ignoring FSMA

Since the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law in January 2011, I have seen reactions in our industry ranging from approval to grudging acceptance to complaints to anxiety. I have even heard anecdotes about a few, mainly smaller petfood or treat manufacturers who say they do not have the time or resources to comply with the law and its regulations, so they plan to just ignore it.
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New research benefits pets, people and pet industry

While some issues arising from last week's American Veterinary Medical Association conference -- like whether veterinarians receive enough education on pet nutrition -- might spur controversy, I think everyone can agree that research on the benefits of the human-pet bond, presented during the accompanying conference of the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO), is a positive development for pets, people and the pet industry.
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Veterinarians trying to learn more about pet nutrition

"You know more about nutrition than you think you do." That was one of the messages Jennifer A. Larsen, DVM, PhD, DACVN, professor of clinical nutrition with the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California-Davis, imparted to her audience during the American Veterinary Medical Association's annual convention, taking place in Chicago this past weekend through today.
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Latest human food trends parallel petfood trends (or vice versa)

Petfood product development follows human food trends by only "half a step," said David Sprinkle, research director and publisher with Packaged Facts, during a Petfood Forum 2013 presentation. That was just three months ago; judging by information presented at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting and Food Expo this week, I am beginning to think that perhaps petfood has already caught up and is marching in lock step with human food in many areas.
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