Various new pet foods and treats resembling human items were displayed in the New Product Showcase at SuperZoo 2021. The humanization of pet foods has driven new product development for years and has diversified into a variety of pet products modeled on human consumer good trends. Beyond using the same ingredients, these new dog and cat products looked like items pet owners have in their own pantries or pockets.
Active-lifestyles, healthy indulgences, affordable luxury and comfort food trends seems to have been influential on new pet food product development during the pandemic.
New pet food products modeled after human foods
Athletic, on-the-go or otherwise hurried humans increasingly eat meal bars for quick nutrition and energy. Bark & Harvest’s Powerstick meal bar for dogs looked much like one of these. The dog meal bars’ packaging and shelf display mimic human equivalents. The dog meal bar’s marketing even touts its high protein content, just as in products marketed to people. Plato Pet Treats’ On the Go! energy bars for dogs also used humanized packaging and style to resemble a human energy or meal bar.
Deb’s Gourmet Pet Broth went for a more of a comfort food approach with dog broth packaged in mason jars like preserves from a down-home rural market, complete with branded opener. The dog broth contains functional ingredients, such as dandelion root, that appear in people’s supplements too.
At the other end of the human spectrum from a farmers’ market lies fine French pastry. Bonne Filou dog treats are marketed as a French-inspired luxury brand for pets. The dog cookies come in lux, pastel boxes that wouldn’t look out of place in a boutique boulangerie.
Less refined human snacks were also modeled in pet food, like Barkeetos, which resembled a snack sold to humans by a cheese-obsessed cheetah. Unlike the human equivalent, the dog treat labels claimed they were low in fat and high in protein. Similarly, Spunky Pup’s Pup Links dog jerky packaging looked like beef jerky promoted by sasquatch.