Friday, January 23, 2015

UK pet care spending to surpass US$7 billion in 2015

    Total spending on pet care in the UK is set to reach a record high of US$7.16 billion (£4.6 billion) in 2015, a 3% increase on 2014’s US$6.92 billion and a growth of 25% since 2010, according to reports.
    Of the near-US$7 billion spent in 2014, UK consumers allocated US$5.57 billion to petfood and US$1.5 billion to non-food items such as grooming, day care, clothes and toys—expenses that speak to the ongoing trend of pet humanization. “Pet owners are increasingly treating their cats, dogs and even small mammals like members of their family,” said Gina Westbrook, director of strategy briefings at Euromonitor, during an interview with The Telegraph. “The opportunity to commercialize this trend into a vast range of goods and services—from dog beer to cat counseling, from pet weddings to 'social petworking'—is staggering for the company that can position itself to gain credibility among this growing demographic.”
    According to Westbrook, there are three kinds of pet owners: mainstream humanizers, who account for roughly two-thirds of pet owners and opt for reliable premium pet brands; anti-humanizers, who make up 20%–30% of pet owners and choose smaller, ethical brands over the large corporations (and are also more likely to put their pets on wild, raw or organic diets); and extreme humanizers, who make up 5% of pet owners and tend to see their pet as an accessory or child substitute, spending money on designer outfits, exercise activities and extreme grooming treatments.
    There are a number of reasons for this humanization, said Westbrook. "On the one hand, people are single and increasingly lonely, living in more 'dehumanized' societies," she said. "On the other hand, there is also the DINKS: Double Income No Kids. Couples delay marriage and the first child so pets are often the choice for their love and affection. In many emerging markets splashing on pets is a way to flaunt status and also a reflection of westernization."
    Two-thirds of animal owners see their pets as beloved family members, according to Euromonitor data, and the humanization trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Start-up Pipeline Pet Products appoints CEO

    Start-up company Pipeline Pet Products has announced that Brad Hatt, most recently director of Big Heart Pet Brands Canadian operation, has accepted the company position of CEO. Pipeline Pet Products serves as an umbrella company to service multiple brands across all channels of trade. Pipeline's suite of brands will service the pet specialty, big box, mass and grocery channels and everything in between.
    While at Big Heart Brands, Hatt oversaw a US$100 million business for more than 10 years. "With over 25 years in the pet sector under my belt, I was at a point in my career where I wanted to do something more entrepreneurial," said Hatt. "The opportunity to join Pipeline Pet Products is really the perfect fit for me at this stage of my life. It will allow me to leverage my experience in managing multiple brands and also take Pipeline Pet Products' multiple offerings to the next level." There are currently six brands under the Pipeline umbrella: Green Bark Gummies, Droolers, Fruit Nibblers, Organicfuls, Hearty Bites and a new pet food line, Holistic Essentials.
    Pipeline Pet Products' initial flagship brand, Green Bark Gummies, has secured nationwide distribution of Pipeline's omega-3 nutritional treats. Distribution is currently being fulfilled through Pet Food Experts Inc., Animal Supply Co. and Wholesome Pet Distributing, and the company is adding Summit Pet Product Distributors, Lone Star Pet Supply Inc. and Central Garden and Pet to round out the national coverage. Canadian national distribution is through Rolf C. Hagen Inc. There are currently four formula offerings for the Green Bark Gummies brand: Hip & Joint, Skin & Coat (large and small), Healthy Digestion and Health & Vitality. There are no artificial colors or flavors, no wheat, corn or soy and no sugar added. Green Bark Gummies are also an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, iron and zinc, are high in fiber, low in carbohydrates and offer multiple solution-based formulas, according to Pipeline.
    In the fall of 2015, Green Bark Gummies will add a cat treat line-up to offer the same treat option and all three omega-3's to cats everywhere, followed by a dental offering in 2016.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

RECALL: Oma's Pride recalls feline poultry meal on Salmonella concerns

    Oma’s Pride of Avon, Connecticut is recalling Purr-Complete Feline Poultry Meal because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
    Purr-Complete Feline Poultry Meal was distributed nationwide through retail stores, distributors and directly to consumers. Purr-Complete Feline Poultry Meal is sold frozen and is packaged in clear 12 oz. (UPC: 8 79384 00017 9) and 2 lb. (UPC: 8 79384 00018 6) plastic packaging under the Oma’s Pride brand as a poultry blend with code #1524.  It was manufactured on September 12, 2014 with a use by recommended date of September 12, 2015.
    There have been no illnesses reported to date.
    The recall was as the result of a routine sampling program by Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development resulting in a positive test for Salmonella. Oma’s Pride has ceased the production and distribution of the product as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the company continue their investigation as to what caused the problem.
    Consumers who have purchased Purr-Complete Feline Poultry Meal are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact Oma’s Pride Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m., at +1.800.678.6627.

AAFCO announces minerals proficiency-testing program

    The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has announced its fourth proficiency-testing program: the AAFCO Minerals Program.
    The quarterly offering focuses on minerals of health and toxicological importance in the food chain at concentrations of health or toxicological significance. Minerals will be spiked into the feed materials to achieve desired concentrations that are not available in the AAFCO monthly Check Sample Program. The primary interest is feed materials, but whenever possible materials of interest in both the food and feed sectors will be incorporated. Planned materials for 2015 are poultry layer feed, rice, dairy or swine feed and dog food to encompass materials of interest to both feed and food laboratories.
    The cost for the Mineral Program for 2015 is US$300/year including shipping to the US or Canada. As with all AAFCO programs, materials will be shipped on a regular basis for tests and will be pre-ground. Reports will be generated with AAFCO-specific codes and units to allow for analysis of the performance of individual methods or method types. Reported results will be analyzed statistically and participants will be provided with performance scores for each analyte and method reported. Report cards and consensus reports will be available for download from AAFCO's Data Reporting website.
    The Minerals Program is the newest of AAFCO's four proficiency testing programs. Other tests include the monthly AAFCO Check sample program, the Pet Food program and the Mycotoxin Contaminants program. The Check Sample program begins in January 2015 and provides monthly shipments of a variety of feeds and supplements with nutrients, drugs, antibiotics, minerals and vitamins at levels typically encountered in commercial products. The quarterly Pet Food Program, introduced in 2013, starts in February 2015 and provides shipments of petfood ingredients derived from animal or plant sources. The quarterly Mycotoxin Contaminants Program debuted in 2014 and provides shipments of animal feed or petfood contaminated with naturally incurred afflatoxins, fumonisins, deoxynivlaenol, zeraralenone, ochratoxin A and T-2 toxin.
    The Minerals Program is available worldwide. For North American customers, shipping via the US Postal Service is included in the price. For international customers, shipping options include express mail from the US Postal Service, which includes tracking, for an additional US$200/year or a courier service using the receiver's account. International options vary for other AAFCO programs. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hill's Pet Nutrition extends partnership with Minnesota Urolith Center

    Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc. has extended its partnership with the Minnesota Urolith Center (MUC) to reduce the worldwide incidence of urinary disease in companion animals and to enhance the global veterinary care of pets with urinary tract disorders.
    Through its continuing partnership with the MUC, which is part of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, Hill's provides financial support, enabling the MUC to offer stone analysis at no cost to veterinarians anywhere in the world, and through global Hill's divisions and distributors provides transport of samples to the MUC. Hill's has also partnered with the MUC in a new initiative to create a multi-language website, making urolith submission simpler and more convenient for veterinarians anywhere in the world.
    "This support from Hill's Pet Nutrition has enabled us to do what we do best: support veterinarians in their mission to accurately diagnose, treat and prevent urinary tract diseases with the most effective and compassionate therapies," said Professor Jody Lulich, co-director of the MUC.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Petco stops selling China-made pet treats

    Petco has announced that it has completely removed all China-made dog and cat treats from shelves at more than 1,300 retail stores throughout the US, including Unleashed by Petco stores and online at Petco.com. The move makes Petco the first national pet specialty retailer to complete this transition and affirms the company’s commitment to listening to customers and putting the health and safety of pets first, according to reports.
    “As a trusted partner for pet parents, we believe this is the right thing to do, and we’re proud to take this step in the best interest of pets,” said Jim Myers, Petco CEO. “What we feed our pets matters, and this milestone supports the company’s steadfast commitment to putting our customers, partners, animals and the communities we serve first.”
    Petco has not carried any dog or cat food items from China for several years. The decision to discontinue the sale of China-made treats allows Petco to expand the assortment of safe and healthy alternatives that are made in the US or in other regions around the globe that support complete pet health, says the company.
    “Customer response to our expanded assortment of treats has been great,” said Myers. “And we are equally pleased at just how responsive our vendor partners have been in helping us source an entirely new line-up of high-quality, predominantly US-made treat and chew alternatives.”

Friday, January 16, 2015

Renske Natural Petfood wins Best Product of the Year award

    Renske Natural Petfood has won an award for Best Product of the Year 2014–2015 in the category Pet Food with its product ‘Renske Fresh Menu Holiday’. There were a total of 113 products participating in the competition, a new initiative by Q&A Research & Consultancy (best known for the large scale consumer research Retailer of the Year) and the Consumer Contest Company.
    Best Product of the Year is an extensive consumer survey whereby consumers determine what the best products are. When a product is awarded this distinction, it may call itself the Best Product of the Netherlands for an entire year. The scores of all the nominated products are based on three criteria: value for money, product presentation and user satisfaction.