6 indulgent trends for decadent dogs and connoisseur cats

Balancing nutrition, sustainability and decadence can seem contradictory.

Tim Wall Headshot Small Headshot
photo by Kimrawicz, Bigstock.com
photo by Kimrawicz, Bigstock.com

Pet owners want to indulge their dogs and cats, while simultaneously minding the animals’ health and the well-being of the rest of Earth’s inhabitants. Balancing nutrition, sustainability and decadence can seem contradictory, but Sothara Sieng, marketing director for Diana Pet Food, described six ways to give pets premium indulgence during his presentation at Clextral’s Animal Feed Extrusion Course in Saint-Etienne, France.

  1. Craft creations

From craft beers to artisanal cheeses, consumers have embraced the idea of human foods and beverages produced in small quantities with attention to detail. Not surprisingly, that trend has carried over into pet food.

For many consumers, “what is produced in small quantities is better,” he said.

Pet food trends classification series

This article is part of a series exploring how pet food trends can be classified. Read more:

3 natural pet food categories driven by consumer demands

3 healthy lifestyle trends shaping new dog and cat foods

To meet the demands of the craft pet food trend, manufacturers use time-consuming preparation methods, human-grade ingredients and ingredients with a unique provenance, he said. These ingredients must also be nutritious and responsibly sourced to meet other consumer demand trends.

Examples of craft creation pet foods include artisanal dog treat bakeries, such as Three Dog Bakery, or Milo’s Kitchen Homestyle Dog Treats, he said.

  1. Delectable delights

While people focus on health and nutrition in some pet foods, the desire to pamper pets also pushes owners to offer a bit of dog decadence and cat connoisseurship. The delectable delights trends focuses on flavorful indulgence, he said. Pet food manufacturers can look to human fine dining for inspiration on how to create products, Sieng said. For example, Loyalty Pet Treats now makes a duck foie gras product for dogs and cats.

  1. Ultimate personalization

Another way pet owners seek to indulge their animals is with highly personalized foods, he said. Services such as Pawsome in China provide customers with on-demand service.

Dog owners have an increasing number of options for custom dog food sold online and delivered to their door. Both large, veteran pet food companies and growing start-ups have found ways to meet pet owners demands for dog food that caters to their canine companions’ specific dietary needs and preferences. 

For example, Just Right by Purina natural dog food brand allows pet owners to create a profile online and enter variables about their dog, such as size, age, health conditions and ingredient preferences. Once they’ve created a profile, the customized dog food is blended and shipped for home delivery in a bag featuring their pooch’s picture. Dog owners can then schedule subsequent recurrent deliveries.

Farmer’s Dog has a questionnaire that allows dog owners to fine-tune a meal option to their canine companions’ needs. Once a user selects the customized dog food, it’s prepared, cooked, frozen and shipped to their door within one week. A subscription service keeps track of the pre-portioned dog food and automatically sends a fresh batch when a user needs it.

  1. Cultural curiosity

People explore the world via their plates, even when they’ve never had the opportunity to visit distant lands and cultures. So too, ingredients and spices from other cultures appeal to pet owners’ cultural curiosity, said Sieng. Such ingredients as mango, passion fruit, quinoa and turmeric give pets a taste of different lands. Similarly, pet food brands now offer products themed on regions famed for their cuisine, such as Italy, France and Japan.

For example, Himalayan yak’s milk cheese was made into dog treats by India-based pet food company, Khanal Foods. The company collaborated with more than 6,000 people in India, Nepal and Bhutan to make the treats. The yak milk treats are marketed as organic, vegetarian and preservative-free.

Turmeric has been used in pet food for years, but only appeared on the ingredient panel, Natasha Davis, client service manager for GfK, said. Now, turmeric is moving around to the front of the package as a functional ingredient.

Health benefit claims associated with turmeric in pet food include: Anti-inflammatory; Relief of arthritis pain; Gastrointestinal disorder help; Steroid replacement; Allergy relief

  1. Festive feasts

While people celebrate holidays with specific foods, they want their pets to share in the feast, Sieng said. For example in the United States, brands produce pet foods themed around Thanksgiving using the same ingredients people use in their own kitchens. At the same time ingredients such as turkey and cranberries can provide companion animals with protein, antioxidants and other nutrients. 

  1. Funny furry friends

Pets oftern serve as a release from the stress of the world, said Sieng. To emphasize the fun of having a pet, some brands use silly images of dogs and cats on their packaging. Others make use of the popularity of humorous dog and cat memes online.

Page 1 of 558
Next Page