Petfood palatability: More information from SPF/Diana Pet Food

Beside this fundamental research focused on animal, Diana Pet Food experts are considering another major actor of the palatability system: the pet owner. Indeed, market feedback on the performance of a food is closely linked with the owner perception of its pet enjoyment during meal time.

In order to constantly offer petfood manufacturers performing palatants, SPF, part of Diana's petfood division, is constantly working on the comprehension of dogs' and cats' palatability drivers. The company had developed its expertise by conducting and sharing research designed to enrich the understanding of animal feeding behavior. In a recent study, they confirmed it was possible to distinguish cat populations showing similar food preferences and even to map cat individual preference profiles. This research opens new paths for cat food performance and suggests that segmenting products according to cat food preferences could be an opportunity to better satisfy the cat population.

Besides this fundamental research focused on animals, Diana Pet Food experts are considering another major component of the palatability system: the pet owner. Market feedback on the performance of a food is closely linked with owner perception of pet enjoyment during meal time. Panelis, Diana Pet Food expert center in palatability measurement, has recently launched methods that allow for the measurement of the “emotional palatability” of a diet. The Liking Test method was designed to allow the assessment of criteria listed by pet owners as significantly impacting their perception of the cat or dog’s satisfaction, thus product performance. Conducted in expert panel, the Liking Test uses one-bowl distribution to be closer to true in-home feeding conditions. This method measures the percentage of ration eaten, the refusals and emptied bowls, and the speed of consumption. By combining and weighing results obtained for these criteria in a mathematical equation, Panelis is able to calculate a score reflecting petfood performance. This Panelis Happiness Index (PHI) is a unique way to measure pets’ feeding enjoyment, according to the company.

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