Petfood Forum tackles supply chain, what’s next for pet food

The pet food market, as part of the overall economy, is emerging from disruptions and turbulence. Learn how Petfood Forum can help you navigate it all.

Petfood Forum Opening Reception
Petfood Forum kicks off with an opening reception at KC Live! in the Kansas City Power & Light District. l Rose Duong

While the pet food market keeps growing, it also continues to weather disruptions and uncertainty. Experts presenting at Petfood Forum 2023 can help make sense of it all and project what’s to come, while contacts made with peers, suppliers and other industry players can help you find solutions to achieve success.

Scheduled for May 1-3 at the Kansas City Convention Center, Petfood Forum begins with an opening reception at KC Live! in the Kansas City Power & Light District. Then, to start the conference portion on May 2, David Allison, founder of the Valuegraphics Project, delivers an opening keynote on his one-of-a-kind database compiled of the core values of hundreds of thousands of consumers worldwide. He shares the common core values of pet owners, based on an exclusive survey conducted for Petfood Forum, to help brands and companies anticipate consumers’ pet food behaviors and needs.

The afternoon of May 2, concurrent session tracks cover key issues affecting the industry, including pet owner trends, novel ingredients and nutrition research, the supply chain, and regulatory and safety updates. In the Petfood Forum exhibit hall, leading industry suppliers present Tech Talks featuring innovative products and technologies, while students from pet food-related academic programs share their latest research.

On May 3, another keynote, by Mary Kelly, Ph.D., founder of Productive Leaders, explains Futurenomics: an economic snapshot of all the issues affecting the economy and pet food businesses, including inflation, staffing shortages and ongoing supply chain disruptions. She provides solutions and handouts to help attendees understand how to best lead teams through difficult situations.

A closing session on May 3 features a pet food market data and trends update from David Sprinkle, publisher for Packaged Facts, followed by a panel of industry experts discussing what’s next for pet food and answering audience questions.

Petfood Forum’s attendees can also enjoy many networking opportunities, including a brand-new event focused on women in pet food. A larger-than-ever exhibit hall features more than 625 booths plus visiting pet charities, in addition to the ongoing Tech Talks and student presentations. For more information, visit

Petfood Forum 2023 agenda (as of press time):

Monday, May 1

10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.              Registration

10 a.m.-5 p.m.                Exhibitor move-in

5:30-7:30 p.m.                 Petfood Forum and Petfood Essentials opening reception

Tuesday, May 2

7 a.m.-5:30 p.m.              Registration

7 a.m.-2 p.m.                   Cash coffee bar

7-8 a.m.                            Breakfast

8-8:50 a.m. Welcome and opening keynote: What Valuegraphics can tell you about emerging trends and your pet food consumers—David Allison, Valuegraphics

9:00 a.m.-6 p.m.             Exhibit hall open

9:00 a.m.-6 p.m.             Visiting pet charities

9:15-9:45 a.m.                 Coffee break

9:45 a.m.-12 p.m.           Petfood Forum Student Program research presentations

9:50 a.m.-12:15 p.m.     Pet Food Tech Talks

12:15-1:30 p.m.              Lunch

12:15-1:15 p.m.              Lunch n’ Learn: Pet Food Institute panel on pet food regulatory process—Dana Brooks, Pet Food Institute; Loretta Hunter, Nestle Purina PetCare North America; Liz Koutsos, Ph.D., EnviroFlight

1:30-3:55 p.m.                Concurrent sessions

Understanding today’s pet owners, going to market

Roundtable: Pet owner perceptions of companion animal nutrition

Leveraging human food and nutrition trends to develop taste and nutritional solutions for pets—Soumya Nair, Kerry; Exploring nutrition among pet food shopper segments in the post-pandemic marketplace—Doug Barton, Trone; How do pet owners perceive probiotics?—Lidiia Alaverdova, Chr.Hansen

Bringing a new product to market: Lessons learned—James Peterson, Ph.D., Craig Grantham, Scott Lewis, Jodi McCarthy, Pet Food Solutions

Novel pet food ingredients and nutrition concepts

Quantifying the environmental impact of pet food ingredients and products via life cycle analysis—Sean Madison, Innovafeed

New developments in processing meat-analog pet foods—Alexandre Riethmuller, Clextral

Roundtable: Inflammation insights

Inflammaging in the domestic cat: A longitudinal study—Emma Bermingham, Ph.D., We Are Illume; Managing low-grade chronic inflammation through pet food diets—Ashley Wagner, Probiotech International

Unknotting the pet food supply chain

Roundtable: Seeking supply chain, inflation solutions

How pet food manufacturers and ingredient suppliers can capture cost savings—Douglas McArthurs, Supply Tigers; Integrating plant floor automation to alleviate quality, supply, labor shortage issues—Heather Johnson, Interstates; Busting the top 4 myths to achieve sustainability in pet food (despite supply chain constraints)— Jonathan Dressler, CRB

Pet protein ingredients from smaller meat and poultry processors: Challenges and opportunities—Dave Carter, Flower Hill Institute

Pet food regulatory and safety innovations

Audit processes in pet food: Regulatory, customer, sustainability, GFSI—Billie Johnson, Ph.D., BHJ USA

Pet food recall readiness 2.0—Laurie Henry, Shook, Hardy & Bacon

Roundtable: New preservation research

Preserving next-generation pet food—Sara Cutler, Ph.D., Kemin Nutrisurance; Raw material shelf life impacts performance and palatability of pet food—Brittany White, Ph.D., Simmons Pet food

2:35-3:15 p.m.                 Coffee break

4:00-6:00 p.m.                Networking reception

4:15-5:15 p.m.                 Student Program/industry poster researchers meet-and-greet

Wednesday, May 3

7 a.m.-2 p.m.                   Registration

7 a.m.-2 p.m.                   Cash coffee bar

7:15-8:15 a.m.                Breakfast

8:15-9:00 a.m.                 Wednesday keynote: Futurenomics: Turning crisis into clarity for your team and organization—Mary Kelly, Productive Leaders

9 a.m.-3 p.m.                   Exhibit hall open

9 a.m.-3 p.m.                   Visiting pet charities

9:30-10:00 a.m.               Coffee break

9:30-11:30 a.m.               Petfood Forum Student Program presentations

11:30-11:45 a.m.              Announcement of Student Research Competition Awards

9:35-11:30 a.m.               Pet Food Tech Talks

11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m.     Lunch

12:00-1:00 p.m.              Women in Petfood Leadership Lunch n' Learn

12:00-12:30 p.m.            Lunch n’ Learn: AAFCO ingredient perspective—Austin Therrell, AAFCO

12:30-1:00 p.m.              Lunch n’ Learn: AAFCO’s human-grade pet food standards—Katie Simpson, Office of Indiana State Chemist

1:00-2:15 p.m.                 General session plus panel Q&A: What’s next for pet food?—David Sprinkle, Packaged Facts.  Other panelists include Henriette Bylling, Aller Petfood; Dave Carney, Buhler; Tiffany Ruiz Dasilva, VMD, cVMA, Wild Earth; Jennifer Silverberg, SmartCommerce

2:15-3:00 p.m.                 Ice cream social/raffle

Key Petfood Forum 2023 links


Exhibit hall map:

Petfood Essentials

Alternative pet foods: Rising formats, new technologies

Though still a relatively small part of the pet food market, so-called alternative formats—raw, fresh, freeze-dried, air-dried, baked, gently cooked or similar—are among the fastest growing, with 24% to 29% of millennial/gen Z pet owners saying they now buy these products. During Petfood Essentials on May 1, 2023, you can learn more from experts about the unique benefits and challenges of producing and marketing alternative pet foods in key areas like nutrition, processing, packaging, distribution, retailing, safety and quality. Throughout the day, participants will enjoy a fun, interactive group exercise, culminating in a competition. Bragging rights are on the line!

Petfood Essentials 2023 agenda (as of press time):

7:45-8:30 a.m.                Registration/check-in with coffee and light breakfast

8:30-9:15 a.m.                Welcome and opening session: Trends and developments in the pet care industry—Mark Strobel, Euromonitor International

9:15-10:30 a.m.               Nutritional benefits of raw, freeze-dried and gently cooked pet food—James Templeman, Ph.D., Primal Pet Foods

10:30-11:00 a.m.             Coffee break

11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.   What processing means for alternative pet foods—Grace Danao, Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln

12:15-1:15 p.m.               Lunch

1:15-2:30 p.m.                Packaging, distributing and retailing—Jason Sawyer, Ph.D., Auburn University

2:30-3:15 p.m.                 Safety and testing for alternative pet foods—Samuel Kiprotich, Kansas State University

3:15-3:30 p.m.                 Groups finalize their ideas and presentations

3:30-4:15 p.m.                 Groups’ presentations and judging of the ideas

4:15-5 p.m.                      Petfood Essentials mixer


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