Petfood Forum tackles market forces, sustainability, CBD

From an opening keynote on hacking your pet food business to roundtables on sustainability, CBD and the microbiome, Petfood Forum 2020 addresses top issues.

Petfood Forum 2020 features four tracks of concurrent technical sessions and a Student Program featuring students’ pet food research. l (Photo by Andrea Gantz)
Petfood Forum 2020 features four tracks of concurrent technical sessions and a Student Program featuring students’ pet food research. l (Photo by Andrea Gantz)

Hacking your pet food business may initially sound like a security breach or similarly negative development, but in this case, it means creating greater value by breaking something. “Hackers can create immense value by breaking things, whether it’s breaking from tradition, process or simply ‘the way we’ve always done things,’” said Bonin Bough, host of “The Cleveland Hustles” on CNBC and former c-suite executive at human food companies Mondelez International and PepsiCo.

Bough will kick off the conference program for Petfood Forum 2020 on April 28 with an opening keynote on “hackonomy.” “Not all hackers are bad,” he said. “Hackers and hack-thinking are the source of a monumental, positive shift in business, technology, startups and culture all over the world.”

This year’s edition of the exclusive annual conference for the global pet food industry runs April 27-29 at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

Information, insights, innovations

Bough’s keynote is aimed at helping pet food businesses reach the next level in a highly competitive, dynamic industry that is also significantly influenced by human food and health, pet health and similar fields. Other conference sessions feature information and insights on specific innovations and growing trends.

For example, closing out the Petfood Forum 2020 conference program on April 29, three roundtables will address hot topics like the role of sustainability in pet food, the CBD craze in the pet industry and the microbiome’s importance to pet nutrition and health.

In between Bough’s opening keynote and the roundtables, general sessions will cover emerging trends and an update of the pet food market and how and why pet owners are changing their pet food purchasing choices. Another roundtable discussion will address the need for new models to close the gaps in pet food nutrition research.

Concurrent technical sessions will focus on ingredient research, nutrition and market trends, pet food safety and technologies for today’s pet food. Topics within those areas include research on the use of black soldier fly larvae ingredients in cat food, pet food customer perceptions of product attributes, nurturing an organizational pet food safety culture and using big data to improve the operating performance of your pet food production facility.

Largest exhibit floor ever

Petfood Forum 2020 will also feature research presented by students from companion animal academic programs, plus Pet Food Tech Talks from leading industry suppliers showcasing their latest products and technologies. Both will take place on the exhibit floor, which will be the show’s largest ever, comprising more than 300 suppliers of pet food ingredients, equipment, packaging materials, testing services and more.

Participants in Petfood Forum will find many opportunities to network with other pet food professionals from around the world. New activities include a game show on the exhibit floor, in addition to several meals, coffee breaks and receptions.

For more information on Petfood Forum 2020, visit


Updated Petfood Forum 2020 information

Access the latest schedule and session agenda:

See the exhibit hall floor map and exhibitor list:


Petfood Essentials: Production and Safety A to Z

Leading into Petfood Forum, a new event offers a foundation of information on two of the most important areas of pet food manufacturing: production and safety.

Petfood Essentials: Production and Safety A to Z takes place on Monday, April 27, at the Kansas City Convention Center. Participants will rotate through six steps or functions of the dry pet food production process:

  • Ingredient selection and sourcing
  • Batching/mixing/grinding/milling
  • Preconditioning/extrusion
  • Coating/cooling/drying
  • Packaging
  • Quality, safety and testing

Led by industry experts, each session will provide fundamental learnings and insights on the key elements of that stage or area, offering an overview of the process to people newer to the pet food industry or those needing to learn about areas outside of their own functions.

Petfood Essentials will also offer networking with industry sponsors as well as other pet food professionals during meals, coffee breaks and a mixer. For more information, visit

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