Petfood Forum 2018 focuses on consumer trust, new research

Learn exclusive pet food consumer research on trust and transparency, plus results from the latest studies on pet food nutrition, ingredients and more.

Petfood Forum 2018 features exclusive research on consumer trust and transparency, plus networking events like receptions. l John Grossman, Images Photographics
Petfood Forum 2018 features exclusive research on consumer trust and transparency, plus networking events like receptions. l John Grossman, Images Photographics

Exclusive pet food consumer research, a focus on pet food transparency and building trust with consumers, and the latest studies on pet food nutrition, ingredients, processing and safety highlight the conference program for Petfood Forum 2018, taking place April 23-25 at the Kansas City Convention Center.

David Sprinkle, publisher and research director for Packaged Facts, headlines the second full day of the conference on Wednesday, April 25, presenting results of a survey of US pet owners about what transparency means to them and how pet food companies can be more transparent and earn their trust. Other Petfood Forum sessions also address this topic, including executives from pet food players Nestlé Purina PetCare and Aller Petfood Group sharing their companies’ initiatives and their own outlook on transparency. In addition, an expert from market research firm SPINS explains how data and trends, including product transparency, from the human food and health industries are impacting pet food.

New pet food research from industry experts and students

More than 20 other Petfood Forum sessions feature new research in concurrent tracks on pet food nutrition, ingredients, the market, processing and safety. Topics include ways to reach connected, millennial pet food consumers, the impact of diets on pets’ gut microbiota, how to contain a social media crisis, lessons from the human food industry on what to expect from FDA under FSMA compliance, high pressure processing and raw pet food, and the evolution and future of the grain-free pet food market.

As part of the Petfood Forum Student Program, a new competition allows undergraduate and graduate students in pet food-related university programs to present their research, either as oral presentations or posters. The oral presentations happen during Student Program sessions on April 24-25, with the posters being on display throughout Petfood Forum, alongside posters from industry researchers.

Innovative keynotes, general sessions and roundtables

The conference portion of Petfood Forum 2018 kicks off on April 24 with an opening keynote by Jack Hanna, conservationist and television personality, and his animals, followed by a GfK update on sales data and hot trends in the US pet specialty market. On April 25, roundtable sessions on insect protein, the next big trends for pet food and a CEO panel on attracting and retaining talent precede the closing keynote by dog cognition scientist Brian Hare, PhD.

Petfood Forum 2018 also features a new Product Showcase demonstrating new products and services from leading industry suppliers; multiple networking opportunities, including receptions, breakfasts, lunches, coffee breaks and a late-night mixer; a visit from local pet charities; and a full exhibit hall of industry suppliers.

For the full schedule, including all session topic and speaker descriptions, visit and click on Agenda & Speakers.



Petfood Innovation Workshop takes new product development journey

On April 23, before the Petfood Forum 2018 opening reception, Petfood Innovation Workshop offers a hands-on, immersive experience into the new pet food product development journey. Opening sessions share data and trends in new pet food product launches, plus an overview of the product development process in pet food.

Then participants board buses to the Kansas State University-Olathe campus (about 30 minutes from the Kansas City Convention Center) for interactive presentations and lab stations demonstrating various phases and aspects of developing new pet food products. The stations and presentations will be provided by leading industry suppliers.

For more information and to register, visit

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