Monday, August 31, 2009

PetSmart lowers annual profit estimates

PetSmart Inc. announced lowering profit estimates for the full year, according to The Associated Press.
Despite profits being 5% higher in the second quarter than what analysts projected (shares were $0.31 each versus a projected $0.29), PetSmart lowered its earnings forecast to between $1.37 and $1.45 per share from a prior range of $1.42 to $1.52.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sergeant's buys MGP Ingredients production facility

Sergeant's Pet Care Products announced its acquisition of a Kansas City, Kansas, USA, production facility from MGP Ingredients, effective August 21, 2009. The sale of the facility includes all equipment used for the production and packaging of pet-related products, which includes extruded plant-based resins and finished pet treats.
"Our purchase of the Kansas City facility from MGPI allows us to expand production of our formulated pet treats, some of which include Sergeant's SteakHouse, Sniffers and DentaFresh,” said Bob Scharf, CEO of Sergeant's. "This acquisition marks the continuation of the tremendous growth we've experienced over the last several years."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Canada imposes new rules on petfood industry

The Canadian government has imposed new rules to prevent a rerun of the 2007 petfood recalls, according to a news report.
The new rules require import permits for all petfood and individual ingredients entering the country. Also, petfood containing ingredients from US cattle requires
FDA inspection. The consequences of violations of any law now include plant closings or criminal prosecution.
CFIA inspectors have also been given the authority to run surprise checks at any Canadian petfood manufacturing unit. They also now need to inspect, at least once every year, plants that manufacture petfood items for export.
In 2007, tainted petfood led to the deaths of hundreds of cats and dogs in North America. The event led Mississauga-based Menu Foods to recall 60 million cans and pouches of US-made premixes that were found to contain wheat gluten from China contaminated with melamine.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

CFTC closes loophole in agricultural trade

On August 19, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) decided to close a loophole that permitted certain types of trades in agricultural commodities to occur. The loophole was a factor in price increases in corn, soybeans and wheat in early 2008, according to the American Feed Industry Association, which found the loophole concerning and worked with the CFTC to resolve it.
The CFTC announced it would close the loophole by withdrawing two “no-action” letters that had resulted in Deutsche Bank and another investment firm exceeding speculative position limits on corn, soybeans and wheat.
“AFIA provided the CFTC and US Congress with a broad set of recommendations for reform more than a year ago, and today we applaud the agency for beginning to move in that direction,” said Joel G. Newman, AFIA president and CEO.
AFIA will continue to work with the CFTC to recommend appropriate changes that will ensure commodity markets are effective for both agriculture and speculators, Newman said.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Nutro introduces stricter checks, reintroduces recalled products

Nutro has reintroduced its dry cat food after the voluntary recall in May, according to a news report.
The company said its food-safety program now has stricter quality checks for suppliers and extensive testing of inbound raw materials and finished products. It has also reportedly enhanced the ingredient quality.
In May, the company discovered that two premixes from one of its US-based suppliers contained excessive levels of potassium and zinc.
Nutro announced August 7 that all its cat food brands were available at petfood retailers.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Castor & Pollux shelter donations pass half million mark

Castor & Pollux Pet Works donated more than a half million meals to animal shelters in 2008, reported. The donations were made through the company’s partnership with
The Clackamas, Ore.-based manufacturer of natural petfood and treats has reportedly donated more than 538,000 meals for dogs and cats to date. was founded in 2008 to provide food to dogs and cats in shelters, pledging to raise 10 pieces of kibble for affiliated shelters from Oregon to Florida, USA, for every trivia question answered online.
Castor & Pollux donated its dog and cat foods to about 10 of the 14 shelters.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Decreasing net sales at Central Garden & Pet

Central Garden & Pet has registered a 2% decline in net sales in the third quarter ended June 27 compared with the same period in fiscal 2008, according to a news report.
In the operating income section the company reported an increase of 52% at US$51.6 million, compared with US$33.9 million in the year-ago period.
The pet products segment reported net sales of US$215 million, a decline of 10% compared with fiscal 2008. Operating income was US$29.8 million, compared with US$32.7 million in 2008.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Veterinarian directory launched by has launched its veterinarian directory, a free tool for pet owners and veterinarians. The directory is aimed at helping pet owners find a qualified veterinarian.
All US veterinarians with valid licenses can list their practices in the directory. users can create accounts, post reviews and rate veterinarians. is an e-commerce company specializing in natural dog treats.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kibble Korner offers new pet food pantry

Kibble Korner Pet Food Pantry in Rockford, Illinois, USA, is helping struggling families get food for their pets during these hard economic times, according to a news report. The families can visit the pantry once a month.
Statistics released by Winnebago County, Illinois, show the number of cats and dogs given up through July this year are up 13% and 14% respectively, compared with a year ago.
The pantry has two locations and is accepting donations at both.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pedigree re-launched in India

Pedigree, a dog food brand by Mars Inc., has been re-launched in India along with a new range of snacks and treats, according to a news report.
Nitin Kulkarni, director of corporate affairs, Mars International India, said the Indian market offers tremendous opportunity for the company.
The US-based Mars Inc. is looking to increase its retail presence in India with hopes of achieving a retail sales value of $US1 billion this year from the product.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Nestlé sales show consumer willingness to spend on pets

Nestlé SA reported a reduction in first half profit and revenue as people cut back on purchases of commodities such as bottled water, prepared meals and dairy products, The Wall Street Journal reported, but the company's pet care sales grew 9.1% from the year-earlier period.
The company’s focus on premium, higher-margin products paid off in the pet care division as people were willing to spend money on their pets, despite the recession. The pet care division's growth beat out all other main Nestlé product segments except powdered and liquid beverages. "Growth in pet care remains resilient," CFO Jim Singh was quoted in the article.
Nestlé's Purina and Friskies brands each increased 6% in sales for the first half of the year, while Dog Chow jumped over 16% -- the second fastest growth of any of the company's major products (coffee system Nespresso was first).

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pet Food Conference in January 2010

The third annual Pet Food Conference organized by the American Feed Industry Association will be held January 26-27, 2010, at the Georgia World Congress Center.
The conference will focus on industry issues like petfood markets, salmonella control, state and federal inspections and ingredient approval.
Pre-registration for the conference is $35 or $60 at the door. More information and a registration link can be found at

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Web sites offering information on Kosher petfoods

According to, Web sites are offering information on kosher, halal, Asian and specialty food products for humans or pets. For example, is an ethnic guide to the USA Muslim food market. The site claims to be the world's largest guide to Halal restaurants and products.
Tom's of Maine offers, with product certification, both Halal and Kosher foods. All Tom’s of Maine products carry the Halal endorsement, which certifies they are made in accordance with Islamic guidelines under the supervision of the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America, according to the company.
Kosher Pets claims to be the only patented dog food endorsed for use in a kosher home. The food is made with human-grade ingredients such as liver, vegetables, chicken and olive oil.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mutt Madness contest for animal rescue organizations

Talk-show host, celebrity cook and face of the Nutrish line of dog food, Rachael Ray, has announced a Mutt Madness Award Program, which began August 6 and aims to disburse more than 200,000 as proceeds to nonprofit animal organizations, according to a news report.
The last date for filling out the online entry forms is September 20, 2009. Only organizations that are registered 501(c)(3) charities and employ no-kill practices are eligible to compete.
The top 64 organizations will be selected to face-off in a March Madness style-competition. All finalists will receive $1,000 and a chance to win more money.
The winner is expected to be announced in early December.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Steps to ensure 'green' food for pets

A Dallas, Texas-based company, Green Pet, has launched all-natural petfood, especially for pets that are prone to allergies from processed food, according to a news report.
According to the company, the following are the ways in which owners can ensure their dogs are eating "green":
• Look for dog and cat foods made from whole foods such as chicken, duck, lamb, whole-grain brown rice and flaxseed oil.
• If the first four or five ingredients look like something you would put on your plate for dinner, then you're doing well.

Monday, August 10, 2009

New petfood consulting service announced

Petfood Industry Strategic Consulting (PISC), a new partnership between Petfood Industry and Open Minds, is now available to consult with petfood companies.
PISC combines market intelligence with 50 years of pet industry experience, according to Open Minds partner Marcel Blok.
The range of expertise, disciplines and services offered by PISC include:
*An international outlook and strong top management experience;
*Regulatory counseling;
*Market insight;
*Factory design;
*Help with technological issues;
*Qualitative audit of marketing and distribution activites and identification of opportunities;
*Petfood formulations;
*Customized training;
*Organizational assessment and subsequent design;
*Structured new product development;
*Marketing and communications.
For more information, contact or Tel. +1.815.966.5411.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Australia withdraws irradiation option for petfood treatment

Australia will not allow importers to irradiate imported cat food to reduce microbial hazards, according to a news report. The decision follows reports of possible links between irradiated food and neurological damage.
Though studies have found food irradiation safe, it can reduce vitamin content. In November 2008,
University of Sydney’s Dr. Georgina Child reportedly found an association between irradiated cat food and neurological damage in cats, according to Sydney Morning Herald.
In June,
Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service stated it would withdraw the irradiation option for imported cat food but not imported dog food.
The US
Food and Drug Administration has approved irradiation for several types of food, including petfood, but the process is not widespread in the US.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Owners spending on pet care despite recession

With more than 65% of American families having a pet, pet care—including food, accessories, veterinary services and grooming—is big business, according to a news report.
American Pet Products Association data shows spending on pet care was $43.2 billion in 2008 and is expected to cross $45 billion this year.
According to
IBISWorld, an industry and market research firm, pet stores are expected to touch $11.45 billion in revenue this year. A growth of 5% over the next five years is expected in pet care, training and pet sitting.
Veterinary services accounted for $22.3 billion in 2008 and is expected to grow 4.3% over the next five years.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

AFIA concerned about climate-change legislation

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has written a letter to US senators, stating its views on pending climate-change legislation and cap-and-trade issues. The Senate will take up the issue later this year.
Addressed to Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California), chair of the US
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), the senior Republican on the committee, the letter urged them to consider the effects climate-change legislation and cap-and-trade issues will have on the cost of food, feed and household products.
The letter was signed by the
American Meat Institute, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Chicken Council, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, the National Meat Association and the National Turkey Federation along with AFIA.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Speakers, topics announced for Virtual Petfood Forum

The all-new, first-ever Virtual Petfood Forum: Target on Nutrition is a live educational event held entirely on the Internet. Scheduled for October 28, it features the industry's leading experts presenting information on companion animal nutrition, then participating in live question-and-answer sessions with attendees.
Speakers and topics include:
*Exotic ingredients in petfoods—Greg Aldrich, PhD
*Dietary components in the treatment of canine osteoarthritis—Anton Beynen, PhD, head of R&D for Vobra Special Petfoods in the Netherlands and professor of animal nutrition, Rajamangala University of Technology, Thailand
*Communicating with pet owners about petfoods and unconventional diets—Kathryn E. Michel, DVM, MS, DACVN, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
*The science behind grain-free and raw diets for cats—Brittany Vester Boler, PhD, University of Illinois
*When more petfood doesn’t equal success—Sean Delaney, DVM, MS, DACVN, Natura Pet Products Inc.
Virtual Petfood Forum also allows you to interact live with your industry peers and with world-class solution providers and suppliers to the global petfood manufacturing industry. Registration is free; find out more and
register today.
(If you can't participate live on October 28, you can still view the archive for 90 days afterward as long as you're registered.)

Monday, August 3, 2009

AFIA comments on food safety bill

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted on H.R. 2749, a legislation designed to enhance consumer confidence in food safety. The Senate will be presented the bill later this year.
American Feed Industry Association had created “firewalls” in the House bill to distinguish between food and feed requirements, as the term “food” in federal food law means "food for humans and animals."
The areas that found special mention in the first report are the prevention of outbreaks of food-borne illnesses, increased inspection and surveillance, and enhanced responses to, and recovery from, illness outbreaks.