While pet owners care about what ingredients are in their dog and cat food, they also pay attention to what it doesn’t contain. Pet food buyers now look for “free-from” claims on the products they buy and there are specific classes of ingredients that people increasingly don’t want in their pets’ meals, said James Restivo, director of client development at market research group Nielsen, during the opening session of Petfood Innovation Workshop. [see infographic below]
“Free-from items have redefined categories across the store, not just in pet but all across the marketplace,” he said.
Pet foods free from artificial ingredients
In Nielsen’s 2017 Category Shoppers Fundamentals Survey, 29 percent of participants stated that pet treats being free from artificial ingredients was important to them.
“We have conversation with consumers all the time and ask them what is important in their food, what is important for their pets and what is important for themselves,” Restivo said. “When we talk to them about artificial ingredients, we understand at a holistic level, the consumers are starting to move away from artificial ingredients.”
Meat as first ingredient in dog food
In the case of dog food, marketing the product as containing meat as the first ingredient is an example of this, since it tacitly implies that the product contains fewer by-products or less grain. The dollar share in the United States market of dog foods promoting meat as their first grew by 7.4 points from 2017 to 2015, according to Nielsen Product Insider data gathered during the 52 weeks ending March 3, 2018.
“That’s pretty significant when you think about grocery and dairy that aren't even there in terms of clean label,” he said. “Pet food is starting to move faster than human food in terms of quality and clean label.”
About Petfood Forum and Petfood Innovation Workshop
Petfood Forum China will take place in conjunction with Pet Fair Asia 2018, one of these largest pet trade shows in China. This year’s show will encompass 10 halls and 140,000 square meters of exhibit stands and at least 1,300 exhibitors, which will include pet food and treat manufacturers. Pet Fair Asia 2018 is scheduled for August 22-26 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, next to the Kerry Hotel.
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.