Consumers’ ethical demands impacting pet food marketing

Consumers want to know the societal impact of a pet food company, said Eric Pierce, director of business insights at New Hope Network, at Petfood Forum 2016.

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image from Petfood Forum 2016
image from Petfood Forum 2016

A pet food industry analyst believes that mission-based marketing is one of the strongest trends in dog and cat food consumers’ demands. Consumers want to know what a pet food company stands for ideologically, said Eric Pierce, director of business insights at New Hope Network, at Petfood Forum 2016.

People are paying more attention to their own food’s socio-economic characteristics, such as fair-trade and locally produced, and want to buy pet food that matches their ethics.

Register to learn and network with pet food industry professionals at Petfood Forum 2017.

“Right now I’m really excited by the growth potential in the human food space to really drive growth within pet food,” said Pierce. “What we’re seeing is sort of a cultural shift for consumers and how they think about food. And I think through that humanization idea, we’re seeing huge growth potential in pet food as well.”

Beyond organic pet food and other agricultural aspects, pet food consumers increasingly pay attention to social causes and organizations with which a pet food company is involved, such as service dog programs or stray dog and cat rescue shelters. People want to know that they have helped a specific cause just by buying their pet food, said Pierce. In a crowded market of natural pet food claims, a pet food company’s philanthropic efforts can help them stand out to pet food consumers.

Involvement with positive causes can also help pet food brands build consumer trust, said Pierce. In other words, a company’s charitable actions can speak louder than marketing words.

Register for Petfood Forum 2017

Learn more about pet food marketing trends and hear speakers, including Randi Zuckerberg and Temple Grandin, at Petfood Industry’s 25th Anniversary edition of Petfood Forum, an exclusive event serving pet treat and pet food manufacturers. Petfood Forum will take place at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Missouri, USA on April 3-5, 2017.


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