Monday, December 22, 2014

Pet's, Vet's Packaging Forums to be held in February 2015

    Together with the representatives of pet industry brands, pharmaceutical companies and packaging suppliers, the Paris Packaging Innovation Hub is organizing a set of conferences—Pet's Packaging Forum on Feb. 4, 2015 and Vet's Packaging Forum on Feb. 5—focusing on technology that will boost innovation in the sector.
    "Developed in close collaboration with brands a packaging experts, Pet's and Vet's Packaging Forums are unique opportunities to take stock of innovations, technical advances and packaging trends," said show organizers.
    The Pet's Packaging Forum will include discussions on petfood packaging challenges and enhancing consumer experience. The Vet's Packaging Forum will highlight point of packaging and drug delivery, and the current status of packaging and dispensing innovations.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Study explores role of gut bacteria in development of obesity in dogs

    A new study has found that human and canine obesity share some similarities, according to Science magazine. Obese people have a less diverse array of bacteria living in their guts than do thin people—and the same holds true for dogs.
    According to the study abstract, which was published in December 2014 in the "Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine," seven Beagle dogs were fed commercial petfood over a period of six months to increase their weight and seven other Beagle dogs were fed a restricted amount of the same diet to maintain optimal body condition over a period of six months. Researchers found that the seven Beagles in the first group gained an average of 4.93 kilograms—about 67% of their initial average weight.
    "When the researchers examined the fecal samples collected from both groups after six months, they found that the guts of obese Beagles contained a smaller diversity of bacteria than those of the other dogs," said Science magazine. "What's more, microbes from the phylum Firmicutes were the predominant group in the lean dogs, whereas gram-negative bacteria called Proteobacteria were prevalent in the obese group."
    The study says that decreased serotonin levels in the obese group might increase the risk of obesity because of increased appetite, and that microflora enriched with gram-negative might be related to chronic inflammation status in obese dogs. However, according to the study authors, more research is needed to examine what role gut bacteria may play in the development of obesity.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

PetSmart to be bought by BC Partners for US$8.7 billion

    Pet supply retailer PetSmart Inc. has made an agreement to be bought by a private equity consortium led by BC Partners Ltd. for US$8.7 billion, in the largest leveraged buyout of the year.
    Activist investor Jana Partners LLC began pushing for a sale after disclosing a 9.9% stake in PetSmart in early July 2014, according to reports. PetSmart said BC Partners, as well as some of its fund investors, including La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and StepStone, signed an agreement to buy the company for US$83 per share. Longview Asset Management, which has a 9% stake in PetSmart, will roll a third of its holding into the deal.
    The buyout price represents a 39% premium to PetSmart's closing price of US$59.81 on July 2, 2014, the day before Jana disclosed its stake and called for PetSmart to explore a sale. Jana paid less than US$55 per share on average for its percent stake in PetSmart, according to regulatory filings.
    PetSmart, which has about 54,000 employees and operates 1,387 pet stores, said in August 2014 it would explore a potential sale of the company. PetSmart faced mounting investor pressure at a time when fierce competition from large retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Amazon, is squeezing specialty stores.

    In November 2014, PetSmart reported flat third-quarter net income of US$92.2 million as net sales rose 2.6% to US$1.7 billion.

WIPIN seeking experts for third annual women-focused pet business conference

    Women in the Pet Industry Network (WIPIN), an organization focused on women entrepreneurs in the pet industry, is seeking experts to share their knowledge and expertise at its 2015 Conference & Awards Show, Aug. 13-15, 2015 in Portland, Oregon. The 2015 conference theme is “Creative Collaboration.”
    “We’re seeking speakers who can inform and help WIPIN members—female (and a few smart male!) entrepreneurs—committed to growing their businesses, their networks and themselves,” said WIPIN President Shawna Schuh. “The annual conference is a way to augment what WIPIN provides members all year: a myriad of online resources and educational growth opportunities as well as avenues for rich collaborating.”
    WIPIN’s previous conferences have featured dozens of speakers from throughout the US and Canada—a collection of skilled professionals who delivered presentations on: business growth, strategic partnerships, effective marketing and promotion, and the importance of inspiration, motivation and laughter.
    “Being at the WIPIN 2014 conference as both a speaker and delegate was a complete life changer,” said Nickey Rautenberg, founder and online marketing strategist of Pet Industry Marketing Group. “Speaking gave me great exposure for my business and also allowed a greater merger between the world of Internet marketing and the pet industry; my ultimate goal. I have no doubt that the Women in the Pet Industry organization will continue to allow me to network in a way I would not be able to otherwise.”
    WIPIN invites speaker proposals for the following overall categories:
    • Developing effective business strategies
    • Mastering marketing, PR and social media
    • Maximizing networking and connection opportunities
    • Managing resources wisely
    Experts interested in speaking at the 2015 conference can view the speaker application and submit their proposals online

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New Petfood Innovation Workshop on treats to feature test kitchen sessions

    Petfood Innovation Workshop: Next Generation Treats, which will take place April 27 in Kansas City, Kansas, USA, will include a field trip to a Food Innovation Accelerator Lab at nearby Kansas State University-Olathe. There, participants can practice product development of treats with several hands-on exercises using actual ingredients and processing techniques.
    Sales of pet treats are growing 5% to 8% a year globally, with double-digit increases in some regions as pet owners around the world seek to pamper their pets yet still feed them wholesome, healthy snacks, including functional ingredients. Participants in the Petfood Innovation Workshop can learn about upcoming trends and new product ideas for this dynamic category, then engage in hands-on experimentation, making new types of treats at the Food Innovation Accelerator Lab.
    Just about 30 minutes from the Kansas City Convention Center, this new Kansas State University (KSU) campus features a test kitchen where Greg Aldrich, PhD, Research Associate Professor at KSU and President of Pet Food Ingredients & Technology, will lead industry suppliers through helping petfood professionals create new bench-top, baked and molded treats.
    Space for Petfood Innovation Workshop: Next Generation Treats is limited. Early bird registration savings are available through February 15, with additional savings for professionals also registering for Petfood Forum 2015.

Purina develops petfood focusing on cognitive health

    To help pets sustain healthy brain function into their later years, Nestlé Purina has developed a nutritional blend of key ingredients that specifically target risk factors linked to brain aging, according to the company. The new blend, developed by Purina scientists, consists of key ingredients such as fish oil, B vitamins, antioxidants and the essential amino acid arginine. The nutritional breakthrough can help maintain cognitive functions, such as memory, social interaction and learning abilities, says Purina.
    In a recent survey conducted by Purina, 54% of dog owners aren't aware that physical changes in dogs can be related to cognitive issues. But 45% of dog owners have noticed their dogs slowing down mentally as they get older. More than four in 10 dogs in the US are older than seven years, and nutrition can help maintain healthy brain function, says the company.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

IFFO launches video on omega-3s in salmon feed

    As farmed salmon becomes a regular feature in diets, it is important to understand its nutritional benefits. Salmon is still an excellent source of omega-3s, containing more than most other fish, but do consumers understand enough about the amounts of EPA and DHA found in salmon and the recommended levels in our diets? IFFO’s latest video helps answer this, focusing on the crucial role of omega-3s in salmon feed, especially EPA and DHA, and the changes in levels used.
    Salmon have a very limited ability to make EPA and DHA. The concentration of EPA and DHA in their flesh is directly linked to their diet, which in the wild is rich in fish oil. Farmed salmon feed used to contain 100% fish oil, rich in EPA and DHA, but supplies of sustainable fish oil are limited. As salmon farming grows, more and more feed is required but the levels of available fish oil remain unchanged, says the IFFO. The amount of fish oil used in feed is therefore decreasing and is now supplemented with an increasing percentage of vegetable oil, resulting in lower levels of EPA and DHA in salmon. Farmed salmon still contains more EPA and DHA than most other fish but consumers need to be aware of the varying levels of EPA and DHA in salmon and ensure that they continue to eat enough to reach the recommended intake levels of 250 mg per day, as recommended by the World Health Organization.