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.

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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FDA can no longer delay on petfood safety regulations

The wheels of justice turn slowly, as the saying goes, but they have finally turned in the direction toward safer petfood, animal feed and human food -- and toward clarity for producers of those products. On June 21, a US federal court ordered the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to  complete the new food safety regulations of the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) by November 30 of this year.
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Why consumers are worrying more about petfood safety

US consumers are increasingly concerned about food safety -- and, by extension, petfood safety, since so many pet owners treats their pets like family members. As many as 17% of consumers have stopped buying a specific human food or brand because of a certain safety concern, according to IFIC (as reported in Food Technology magazine by A. Elizabeth Sloan, contributing editor).
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FSMA means ‘seismic shift’ in food and petfood safety

Ever since the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law in January 2011, we have heard that it represents the most significant change to US food safety law for decades, or variations on that theme. I’ve seen descriptions ranging from “fundamental overhaul” to “historic revolution.” For the petfood industry, one reason FSMA signals such a substantial change is that for the first time, many food safety regulations and practices that have been required of human food will now also apply to animal feed (including petfood).
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What does latest big petfood company merger mean for the industry?

It's become almost a cliche to characterize the petfood and pet care markets as "recession resilient," but the fact is, these industries have weathered the strong economic headwinds of the past five years better than most consumer goods industries, with continued global annual growth of about 4%. That fact has not gone unnoticed by investment funds and the overall private equity community, as noted by Pets International magazine and Cascadia Capital, an independent investment bank that includes petfood and other pet product companies among its investments and transactions.
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