Friday, November 21, 2014

Find petfood’s ‘moisture sweet spot’

    Most petfood products have a “moisture sweet spot” – an ideal range that maximizes quality and profit while keeping the product safe from mold and microbes.  Water activity is the best way to find that sweet spot – and monitor to make sure you always produce to that specification.
    Register at to attend the webinar, “Update on Using Water Activity to Manage Safety and Quality in Petfood,” which will be held Tuesday, December 9, 2014, at 10 a.m. CST. This webinar is sponsored by Decagon and presented by WATT Global Media.
    • By attending the webinar, you will learn:
      How to identify a petfood product’s “moisture sweet spot”
      How testing can reveal a product’s moisture secrets
      How to use water activity to maximize safety, quality, and profit in your products
    The speaker for this webinar will be Brady Carter, who has been a senior research scientist at Decagon since 2004. He has a master’s degree in crop science with an emphasis in cereal chemistry. His current research is focused on developing a hydrothermal time-based shelf life model. He is a popular presenter on measuring water activity in food.

Miranda Lambert, Pedigree partner to support pet adoption


    On Nov. 3, 2014, country singer Miranda Lambert joined Pedigree at the company's Pet Adoption Suite to help support the adoption of shelter dogs.
    Attendees at the event learned about the "See what good food can do" campaign and watched behind-the-scenes footage from Lambert's documentary-style short film about helping to improve a local shelter. Adoptable dogs from shelter partner Metro Animal Care and Control were on-site to show the importance of finding forever homes for shelter dogs everywhere.

PISC partners with B Lab for accelerator program

    The Pet Industry Sustainability Coalition (PISC) has partnered with non-profit B Lab to help companies evaluate their sustainability performance as part of PISC's Accelerator program. The Accelerator is a collaborative program designed to help companies identify and implement key areas of improvement in sustainability.
    “This is a partnership that connects two organizations with similar core values and leverages their potential to provide a critically needed tool for PISC members,” said Spencer Williams, president of West Paw Design and founding member of PISC. “Here at West Paw, the B Lab assessment has been a catalyst for employee lead improvements, building pride and furthering innovation.”
    B Lab is used as part of the second step of the Accelerator program, where participants take a quick assessment that focuses on three areas of sustainability: environment, community and employees. After completing the assessment, companies receive report cards with comparative results from other companies participating in the program that will assist them in building a plan for improvement with PISC.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Petfood sales to reach US$33 billion in 2018

    Driven by increased focus on pet health and the increasing impact of the human-animal bond, US sales of petfood will rise 16% between 2015–2018 to reach US$33 billion, according to Packaged Facts in "Pet Food in the US, 11th Edition."
    Packaged Facts estimates petfood sales in 2013 were US$28 billion. The petfood category experienced much of its growth outside of the core mass market, particularly in channels like farm/feed, Internet and pet specialty. Sales are expected to remain relatively flat through the rest of 2014, though opportunities exist in the premium food sector as pet owners purchase these products to protect the health of their animal companions, according to the report.
    "Looking ahead, the trick will be to find ways to grow this mature market, since at its current pace pet population growth is not sufficient to drive higher levels of market growth," said Packaged Facts research director David Sprinkle. "For several years much of the dollar growth in the petfood market has come from converting pet owners to higher priced foods as part of the humanization trend."
    Premium petfoods will account for 42% of petfood sales in 2014, followed by regular petfood at 30% and value petfood at 12%, with treats comprising the remaining share of sales. On both the dog and cat sides of the market, the premium share of sales has expanded, mostly as a result of growth in the superpremium segment. Treats have also grown their share of the market, primarily due to the robust interest in treats among dog owners, many of whom have turned to functional treats as a way to ameliorate pet health conditions and promote overall wellness. Cat owners, on the other hand, have not proven as likely to indulge their pets in superpremium fare, and have also been slower to embrace functional treats, suggesting areas for market expansion as cat food and treat marketers continue to trend into premium and functional fare, with products and trends often crossing over from the dog side, according to the report.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mars Petcare, WikiVet partner to improve online veterinary encyclopedia

    WikiVet and Mars Petcare have announced a collaboration that aims to improve the quality and reach of reference materials freely available online to veterinary students, practicing veterinarians and vet nurses through WikiVet’s veterinary encyclopedia. The collaboration will develop high-quality training and reference materials on certain areas of preventative healthcare to increase awareness and complement the growing vet school curriculum in this area, according to the partners.
    “Preventive healthcare for pets is a shared passion for both Mars Petcare and WikiVet," said Dr. Stephen Harris, research manager, oral care, Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, Mars Petcare. "It can greatly improve the quality and length of a pet’s life by reducing the risk of developing serious, costly and sometimes fatal diseases. We are excited to combine our deep expertise in the health and well-being of pets with WikiVet’s dynamic site to drive greater awareness of this important subject.”
    The first WikiVet online materials focus on cat and dog dentistry. The module features resources developed in partnership with the specialist veterinary dentist Lisa Milella (BVSc DipEVDC MRCVS), and endorsed by Waltham.
    “There is a gap in understanding about the importance of dental care and oral hygiene as a form of preventative healthcare,” said Nick Short, head of the eMedia Unit, Royal Veterinary College. “By collaborating with Mars Petcare and Lisa Milella to develop these comprehensive resources, we aim to raise awareness amongst veterinary students, nurses and the wider profession of best evidence-based practice in dental care. We hope that this will have a positive impact on the support that the profession can offer owners to improve their pets’ health and well-being.”
    The WikiVet Cat and Dog Dentistry chapter is freely available online to all users of WikiVet.

Haarslev acquires C.A. Picard screw press technology division

    As part of the overall strategy and to strengthen the after sales and service business areas, Haarslev Industries has acquired C.A. Picard’s screw press technology division. In the US, it will be merged into Haarslev Industries Inc. After the transaction, C.A. Picard Engineering GmbH & Co. KG will be renamed as Haarslev Press Technology GmbH & Co. KG in Germany.
    “This acquisition supports Haarslev’s strategy to continue to strengthen our after sales and service division," says Claus Østergaard, president and CEO of Haarslev Industries A/S. "With the acquisition of the screw press technology division we will increase our product know-how within screw press applications and at the same time broaden our worldwide coverage for after sales and service.”
    With the acquisition of the screw press technology division and their presence in the US market from C.A. Picard, Haarslev will be able to provide its customers with better service and stronger screw press application know-how, according to Hans-Henrik Nissen, president of Haarslev Industries. "All in all, to help our customer to reduce their down time and in the same time increase their yields," he said.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

German court rules patent infringement case in favor of Zip-Pak

    The Düsseldorf Regional Court has ruled in favor of Zip-Pak, a division of Illinois Tool Works (ITW), in a patent infringement case against Elplast Sp.z o.o. initiated in November 2013. The court ruled that an Elplast product infringed several claims of the Zip-Pak patent in question.
    The ruling was pronounced final Oct. 6, 2014. Krieger Mes & Graf von der Groeben and Roche, von Westernhagen und Ehresmann represented ITW in the matter. “We are very pleased that the court ruled in our favor in this matter," said Eric Plourde, manager of intellectual property for Zip-Pak. "Zip-Pak has long been known as a leader for investing in new innovative products and processes and, in order to protect and continue to make these investments, we will strongly defend our global intellectual property."