Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Former stray on cat food label

Asia-Veau, who lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA with her owner, Margaret Karpen, is the cat pictured on Purina Friskies' new senior-formula canned food, as the face of Friskies’ new petfood line, according to an article by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
"Asia was a street cat I brought home," Karpen said.
Karpen submitted Asia's photo to animal talent scout Bill Casey of Animal Talent of Chicago, and it turned out that this cat had the look Purina had been searching for.
"Asia is the perfect example of a senior Friskies cat," said Purina spokeswoman Julie Kahn. "She's vital, curious and adventurous. True friskiness isn't a matter of age. It comes from within, and Asia shows this at her playful, frisky best."

Canidae introduces Velcro closures on bags

Canidae All Natural Pet Foods began rolling out its easy-open, easy-pour bags featuring Velcro closures in March.
The improved packaging design is a direct result of customer feedback for improvements on Canidae's previous easy open, easy pour bag feature.
These new Velcro closures will appear on the 30-pound bags of Canidae Lamb and Rice, Chicken and Rice, Beef and Fish, Canidae Platinum, Grain Free All Life Stages, Grain Free Salmon, and on both the 35-pound and 44-pound "Big Bag" of Canidae All Life Stages.

India's growing pet industry

Pets are becoming big business in India, a country of more than a billion, and industry figures said they see no slowdown in annual growth of 10 to 15%, according to an article by the French Press Agency (AFP).
India's pet industry is valued at around US $45 million annually, according to research firm Euromonitor, still a minnow when compared to the annual US $40 billion of the US market.
"This is still a very virgin market for pet products, but it's growing well, there's so much demand," said J. Prakash, owner of VS Associates, a pet products importer.

Monday, March 30, 2009

UK owners ‘unconcerned’ at fat pets

Nine out of 10 UK pet owners are unconcerned about their animals' size despite an increase in overweight pets, a survey suggests, according to an article on www.bbc.co.uk.
More than 2,100 UK households were surveyed on behalf of the Pet Food Manufacturers' Association (PFMA).
Some 62% of dog owners and 72% of cat owners believed they could do little or nothing about their pets' weight, according to the survey.
Only a quarter of respondents said they had ever sought advice on their pets' weight.
"The figures are alarming, and the problem won't go away without a fundamental shift in owners' attitude to feeding their pets," said PFMA chief executive Michael Bellingham.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Web-based company offers fresher petfood

Petfood distributors Jeff and Sandy Opachick at www.HealthyPetFoodForlife.com are taking a new approach to providing fresher food, according to a press release by the company.
According to Jeff, petfoods that start out high in nutrient density can lose nutrient value because of distribution practices. Generally petfood bought off the store shelves can be anywhere from six to 12 months old due to up front inventory requirements for future sales, according to his company’s press release.
HealthyPetFoodForlife.com provides a solution by micro-batching - manufacturing smaller batches of petfood every couple days, then shipping the product direct to the customer. The food is APHIS certified for the European market and defined as human grade, according to the release.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pet Valu reports 2008 financials

Pet Valu Inc. recently announced un-audited fourth-quarter financial results, including net income for the quarter ending Jan. 3, 2009, of US $4.3 million, compared to net income of US $4.7 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, according to Fox Business.
Excluding non-comparable items and losses or gains on foreign exchange, net income was US $5.6 million compared to net income of US $4.7 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007.
Net income for the fiscal year ending Jan. 3, 2009, was US $14.7 million compared to US $12.4 million for fiscal 2007.
Net income excluding non-comparable items and losses on foreign exchange for the fiscal year ending Jan. 3, 2009, was US $17.4 million, whereas net income excluding non-comparable items and gains on foreign exchange for the year ending Dec. 29, 2007, was US $11.8 million.
The story reports petfood manufacturer Pet Valu earnings were impacted in the fourth quarter of 2008 and for fiscal year 2008 by losses related to the change in the Canadian/US exchange rate.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Best in Show winner eats Purina

Stump, the Sussex spaniel recently crowned as Best in Show at this year's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, eats Purina Pro Plan, according to an interview his owner Scott Sommer had with the Houston Chronicle.
"When you put a dog on a food and you think it’s working — he has a good coat and skin and is healthy — stick with it,” said Sommer.
“All of our dogs eat Purina Pro Plan. I had a bichon frise, J.R., who won Westminster’s best in show, and he ate it, too,” Sommer said in the interview.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Supplement helps pets’ health

For pets with persistent skin, coat, inflammation or arthritis issues that can't be managed with premium petfoods, vets tend to recommend essential fatty acids and glucosamine supplements to their clients, according to an article by The Signal.
Veterinarian Dr. Robert Collett created The Missing Link, an essential fatty acid supplement manufactured by Designing Health, in 1994 after realizing that skin, coat and geriatric issues made up close to 80% of his business. The culprit: lack of nutrition, according to the article.
"Dr. Collett started comparing all the dog foods to see what was missing in the modern pet diet. … He began to develop these oil seeds and nutrients that would help to replace what was missing," said Nate Armstrong, vice president of Designing Health.
"Missing Link is only about 3% of a pet's diet. Petfood is kind of like the meat and potatoes, so we're the salad,” he said.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Web site offers alternatives to manufactured petfood

With the recent recalls, some pet owners are opting to make their own alternatives. A new Web site, www.PetFoodies.com provides hundreds of recipes for pet owners.
Users can read and print hundreds of recipes; watch “how-to” videos from pet care experts; share dietary advice on the blog; post their own recipes; and get tips and recipes via RSS feed.
Veterinarians and experts in companion animal nutrition continue to caution that it is difficult for consumers making petfood at home to achieve the right balance of nutrients required for healthy cats or dogs.
Pet owners considering this route should consult a veterinarian knowledgeable in pet nutrition.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

U.S. pet market outlook released

Looking at the pet industry as a whole, Packaged Facts predicts steady performance in 2009 and 2010, although the market growth rate will drop back slightly due to cutbacks in some categories, according to U.S. Pet Market Outlook 2009-2010: Surviving and Thriving in Challenging Economic Times.
The report projects sales and analyzes growth drivers and opportunities for veterinary services, petfood, non-food pet supplies and other pet services (grooming, boarding, training, etc.).
"Packaged Facts views pet humanization as a dynamic, multifaceted shift that virtually guarantees steady pet market sales not just in 2009 and 2010, but well beyond," says Tatjana Meerman, publisher of Packaged Facts. "In most cases … cutbacks would only seriously be considered after owners have reduced spending on their own less essential needs."

Petfood labeling lawsuit thrown out

San Francisco lawyers rescued Wal-Mart and a group of petfood manufacturers on March 16 from a class action that could have led to millions of dollars in damages.
A federal judge in Nevada, granted a motion by the defense to pre-emptively deny certification to a class of plaintiffs that would have spanned eight states, including California. Margaret Picus, a Nevada woman, filed a class action in state court against Wal-Mart and a group of food manufacturers in April 2007, alleging that they illegally labeled their petfood "Made in USA," though some ingredients were imported from China.
The previous month, the Food and Drug Administration had announced that certain petfood ingredients imported from China were sickening and killing cats and dogs.
U.S. District Judge Philip Pro of Nevada denied Picus class certification in Picus v. Wal-Mart Stores, 07-00682, ruling that subjective, individual issues made a class action the wrong way to handle the case. Specifically, Pro wrote in his decision, the law requires the plaintiffs to prove that each person who bought the tainted petfood did so because it was labeled "Made in USA."

Friday, March 13, 2009

FDA issues guidance, bulletin on safety

The US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) issued guidance to the food industry advising manufacturers that peanuts and peanut-derived products used as petfood ingredients pose a risk of Salmonella contamination, according to a press release by CFSAN.
CFSAN also issued a companion bulletin to operators of food-service establishments and retail food stores that offer food products containing peanuts and peanut-derived ingredients.The FDA will accept public comments on the guidance, which along with the bulletin was posted March 9 on the FDA's website (Peanut-Derived Product Guidance and Peanut-Derived Product Bulletin).
Both are scheduled to be published soon in the Federal Register.

Friday, March 6, 2009

AniMeals helps feed pets

AniMeals, in partnership with Meals on Wheels in Oregon City, Oregon, is helping out struggling pet owners by providing free petfood, according to a video on www.CNN.com.
The petfood bank, whose donations come from area businesses and residents, supplies a month of food no matter what the size of the animal. Linda Cloud, coordinator of AniMeals, said the program helps needy owners feed their pets because petfood is not covered under food stamps.

Verm-X offers addition of parasite control

GA Pet Food Partners, a UK dry petfood manufacturer, has partnered with Verm-X to offer any petfood brand the opportunity to add natural internal parasite control to their own range of petfoods or treats.
Verm-X is a natural herbal internal parasite control that can be added to new or existing formulations for dog, cat, ferret and small animals, according to the release.“Verm-X offers a simpler, more natural solution to a real problem,” said Ben Helm, sales and marketing director for GA.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pet services 'fastest growing category'

Assuming that the Canadian economic outlook stays positive over the forecast period, pet services can be expected to be the fastest growing category in the pet industry, according to an article by PETS International.
Pet travel, including pet hotels, travel agencies, and accessories (such as car seats) will likely continue to drive growth in the sector, buttressed by a strong Canadian dollar and the resulting increase in travel to the United States and other destinations, Euromonitor predicted in the article.
Other less prominent pet services likely to benefit from increasing disposable income amongst pet-owning households include medical services, pet insurance, pet spas, pet masseuses, behaviorists who treat unruly pet behavior, pet sitters, and pet ‘communicators’, or psychologists, according to the article.
According to Euromonitor, there will be businesses opportunities for any company that is able to successfully market its products to consumers wishing to pamper and indulge their pets.