After grain-free, watch human diets for pet food trends

Pet food companies may find the next hot trend in pet food by monitoring what’s popular with people.

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photo by Andrea Gantz
photo by Andrea Gantz

Five years ago, dog and cat food makers couldn’t always find reliable, constant sources for some grain-free pet food ingredients as demand surged, said Isaac Matthews, director of pet food ingredients for Lansing Trade Group in a video from Petfood Forum 2018 (see below). Now, although these ingredients may be more reliably available, there is no guarantee that pet owners will continue seeking out diets without corn, wheat and other grains. Instead, pet food companies may find the next hot trend in pet food by monitoring what’s popular with people, and thereby be ready for a demand spike.

Human trends may lead to pet food trends

“It’s important to note that what happened in the past may not happen in the future,” he said. “It’s all going to come down to what fits into the diet from an economic and a nutritional standpoint.

“I think we really have to keep an eye on the human trends, and anything could come full circle,” he said. “Whole grain bread is still a preference for humans. It could come back around. There’s some ancient grain activity. I think there’s going to be additional specialization of the diet, but I don’t know if it’s going to be grain free.”

History of grain-free pet foods

Approximately five years ago, grain-free pet food was truly starting to take off, he said. When that happened, there wasn’t a steady supply of some ingredients.

“Now, there is some additional sustainability that’s been built into the industry and that’s come from capacity expansion,” he said.

About Petfood Forum events

To learn more about rising trends in the pet food industry, attend Petfood Forum 2019. Petfood Forum is the not-to-be-missed trade show event for pet food professionals from around the world to network, exchange ideas and do business with one another and with the industry's leading pet food manufacturers and suppliers. Petfood Forum 2019 will take place at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Missouri, USA on April 29 – May 1, 2019. Super early bird registration is now open for Petfood Forum 2019.

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