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.

Petfood and food labeling initiative on California ballot defeated

Proposition 37, an initiative on the California election ballot that would have required manufacturers and retailers to label any products made with genetically modified ingredients and prohibited use of the label claim "natural" for any processed food products (including petfoods), has been defeated. As of the latest election results on Wednesday, November 7, the ballot measure trailed 53% to 47%, with 98% of the vote counted, according to Silicon Valley MercuryNews.com.
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US election outcomes could affect petfood safety, labeling

When I was in Shanghai, China, a few weeks ago for Petfood Forum China and Pet Fair Asia, I was somewhat surprised by the number of people who asked about the US presidential election on November 6. I suppose I underestimated how integrated China is becoming into the global economy and political scene, and how much news from outside the country reaches its citizens despite government censorship and blocking of certain media.
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Petfood in China poised to explode

In 2010, the Chinese pet products market reached 40 billion yuan (US$6.4 billion) in sales, according to Jia Tong, vice president of Goumin.com, which bills itself as the largest social network for pet owners in China. She was one of the featured speakers during Petfood Forum China on October 12 in Shanghai, which drew more than 170 petfood professionals from China as well as Japan, Thailand, the US and Europe.
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Ingredient scarcity calls for innovative solutions

After one of the worst droughts in US history this past summer, along with hot, dry weather in other parts of the world, it's no surprise that projections for crop supplies are continuing to decline. According to BloombergBusinessweek, a new report from the International Grains Council projects global corn production for the 2012-2013 harvest year to come in at 833 million metric tons, down from August's prediction of 838 million metric tons and 2011-2012's actual crop of 875 million metric tons.
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SuperZoo sets record, organizer says

In another sign of the seemingly ever-resilient pet industry, last week's SuperZoo pet trade show in Las, Vegas, Nevada, USA, drew a record number of participants, according to the World Pet Association, the show's organizer. Those numbers included a 12% increase in attendees from 53 countries, 871 exhibiting companies and 160,000 square feet of (sold-out) exhibit space.
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Forcing FDA's hand on new food safety regulations

It's not just people in the petfood industry who are getting antsy about when the US Food and Drug Administration will finally issue pending regulations in accordance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The human food industry has definitely noticed the delay, and now two organizations are trying to force FDA's hand.
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Packaging: what consumers (say they) want

Consumer surveys routinely show the same wants and needs for packaging of consumer goods products: convenience, ease of opening and closing (and, increasingly, ease of resealing the package), product freshness and sustainability -- though the majority of consumers surveyed don't seem willing to pay more for eco-friendly packaging. These all hold true in a survey conducted by Packaged Facts earlier this year and reported by Marketing Daily.
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What corn and soybean prices at all-time highs mean for petfood

Though parts of the US Midwest have finally received some rain over the last few weeks, it's a case of too little, too late. The 2012 US drought has done irreparable damage to this year's crops of corn, soybeans and other grains (and the farmers who grow them) and will likely have a long-lasting impact on meat supplies and prices, too. This will definitely affect the prices of food, feed and, likely, petfood in the near future; food prices are already soaring in some parts of the world.
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