Friday, April 29, 2011

Nutro Co. to host dog park enhancement projects in May

The Nutro Co. will hold its Room to Run Dog Park Appreciation Project in May, to enhance dog parks in 30 cities across the US and Canada.
Most of the Room to Run projects will take place on Saturday, May 7, with one scheduled for Sunday, May 15 and another’s date not yet determined. The projects will vary by location and the particular park’s needs but, in general, will include painting fences, putting together benches, picking up trash and landscaping.
“Enhancing dog parks is a natural fit for The Nutro Company, as we’ve had a long-standing commitment to promote a healthy lifestyle for pets by producing natural pet food for more than 80 years,” said Kent Cunningham, vice president of marketing for The Nutro Co. “As pet owners ourselves, we are devoted to hosting the Room to Run project to revitalize dog parks across the country as they provide a natural oasis for dogs and their owners to interact and help reinforce the human-animal bond.”

IML packaging is becoming a popular trend for petfood manufacturers

Belgian printing company Verstraete says that the humanization of pets has led to success in IML packaging for pet food manufacturers.
IML, or "in mold labeling," is a technique in which a preprinted polypropylene label is placed in a mold that is shaped like the end product. The molten polypropylene is added to the mold, where it is fused to the label, and the packaging and label become one.
The US National Pet Owner Survey revealed that female animal owners, in particular, see themselves as the "mother" of their pets. With IML, Verstraete says packaging can have an impact on this kind of emotional purchasing. The quality of the photograph as well as the various look and feel possibilities offered by IML ensure that all product information is communicated to the consumer in an attractive way. The company says that petfood manufacturers may find IML packaging to be an effective way to distinguish themselves from competitors.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

WellPet plans expansion, job creation at Indiana facility

WellPet  announced plans to nearly double its size in terms of both people and space at the pet food maker's plant by the end of 2012. 
The company will begin construction on a 67,946-square-foot facility in its current Mishawaka, Indiana, USA, location, which will serve as a warehouse/distribution center, according to Steve Griswold, director of plant operations. The addition will be located east of the existing WellPet building and will double production capacity to 80,000 tons of dry pet food a year, according to WellPet.
The company also said it plans to add a total of 45 new employees by the time the project is completed in 2012. The cost of the entire project was estimated at $20 million, WellPet said.
"It absolutely is exciting," Griswold said. "We are excited to be able to contribute to the economy in Mishawaka."

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Report: Diabetes rising among US pets

Diabetes is on the rise among pets, according to a national analysis of pet health recently released.
The 2011 "State of Pet Health" report  is based on data from more than 2.5 million dogs and cats that visited Banfield Pet Hospital facilities in 43 states. The study found that diabetes and other "human" diseases are on the rise in animals, with rates of diabetes in cats and dogs rising faster than for humans.  
"We have increasing obesity in dogs and cats, just like in humans. It's no mystery how that occurs: overfeeding and lack of exercise," said Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, veterinarian and chief medical officer for the Banfield Pet Hospital chain.
The survey found that over the last four years, diabetes rates in the US rose by nearly one-third among dogs and by 16% among cats. By comparison, human diagnoses of diabetes rose 10% over the same period. 
The most common signs of diabetes in pets include: excessive urination, excessive thirst and weight loss, despite a good appetite, according to veterinarians. Once diagnosed, managing the disease can be time-consuming, and usually includes twice-daily insulin injections, a change in diet and regular monitoring by a vet.
Overall, the most common problem among pets was dental disease, according to the report. Other common pet problems the report found were internal parasites, inflamation of the outer ear canal, and fleas and ticks.

Dog breed study results helpful in creating breed-specific diets

A study recently released by the University of Georgia provides a comprehensive look at the causes of death in more than 80 dog breeds, which can be used as a basis for creating breed-specific petfood diets to manage health.
The study, published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, examined data from the Veterinary Medical Database to determine the cause of death for nearly 75,000 dogs from 82 breeds over a 20-year period, from 1984 through 2004. The deaths were classified by organ system and disease process, then data was further analyzed by breed, age and average body mass. 
The study found that toy breeds, such as Chihuahuas and Maltese, which are known to have high rates of cardiovascular disease, had 19% and 21% of deaths within the breeds, respectively. Researchers found that Fox Terriers also have high rates of cardiovascular disease, with 16% of deaths. Two dog breeds that are known for high rates of death from cancer are Golden Retrievers, found to have a 50% death rate, and Boxers, found to have a 44% death rate. However, researchers found that the Bouvier des Flandres actually had a higher death rate from cancer (47%) than the Boxer. One of the study's co-authors, Dr. Kate Creevy, noted that the previously unknown high risk of cancer in the Bouvier, a relatively rare breed, highlights the power of the study's comprehensive approach.
The researchers found that larger breeds are more likely to die of musculoskeletal disease, gastrointestinal disease and, most notably, cancer. Smaller breeds had higher death rates from metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and Cushing’s disease. The findings may be useful in determining breed-specific diets that could reduce the dog's risk of developing disease or certain problems to which the breed is prone.
“If we can anticipate better how things can go wrong for dogs, we can manage their wellness to keep them as healthy as possible,” said Dr. Creevy.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Japanese Nisshin Petfood reports sales decline in fiscal 2011

The Japanese Nisshin Seifun Group reported its consolidated financial results for the first six months of the fiscal year, ending March 2011.
The company reported a 7.8% decrease in net sales over the same period in fiscal 2010, to ¥ 209.16 billion (US$2.54 billion). Sales by Nisshin Siefun's pet food business, Nisshin Petfood Inc., also decreased from the same period in the previous year, which the company attributed to the continuing harsh market environment and the poor performance of cat food products. The company said it will continue to expand its premium petfood business with a focus on safety, reliability and health, by leveraging its advantages as a domestic manufacturer.

Cargill granted US patent for petfood cooking process

Cargill was granted a US patent for the exclusive cooking process it developed for making its Loyall premium petfood.
Cargill's Opti-Cook process, for which the patent was granted, works by using a combined steam and pressure cooking system and Near-Infrared Reflective Spectroscopy technology. NIRS technology uses light waves to measure the chemical composition of nutrients in every cooked batch of Loyall pet food. All nine Loyall petfood formulas use the Opti-Cook process, according to Cargill.
"It is well known that in order for cats and dogs to digest the starch in dry pet food, it must be cooked properly," said Mark Newcomb, technology director for Cargill Animal Nutrition. "If it is under- or over-cooked, pets may have digestive problems. But until now, there was no quick way to measure the chemical change that occurs in starch during cooking. With this technology, Cargill does not have long waits for lab results on samples- we can rapidly determine if pet food has been properly cooked and ensure consistent quality in every batch."

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dog food maker replaces plastic containers with paper for Earth Day

Dynamite Specialty Products  is replacing the plastic containers used for packaging its dog food with paper-craft bags in celebration of the upcoming Earth Day, on Friday, April 22.
Beginning in late Spring, bags for smaller products will be made of recyclable paper, sewn at the top and have a moisture-grease barrier that is sprayed on as a liner. The new bags will break down in the recycling process and can be reused by the consumer, according to Callie Novak, vice president.
“The new packaging also will be lighter and more space efficient, resulting in reduced fuel costs for shipping,” Novak said. “We’ve also thought ‘inside the box’ by instituting energy-saving practices such as energy-efficient lighting in our warehouse, automatic light switches in our office, paperless invoices, and 100 percent recycled paper whenever paper is necessary.”

GRAPAS Conference cancelled, Victam feed conferences registration deadline extended

The GRAPAS Conference, scheduled to take place May 5, has been canceled, while the registration deadline for the feed conferences taking place during Victam and FIAAP 2011 was extended to April 25.
Organizers of the livestock and pet food tradeshows stress that the GRAPAS trade show, Victam, FIAAP, and all related conferences and events will still take place as scheduled in Cologne, Germany. The feed conferences at Victam 2011 include Aquafeed Horizons on May 3, and the FIAAP Conference on May 4.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Natural Balance adds Platefulls cat pouches to petfood offerings

Natural Balance Pet Foods Inc. announced that the company will add Platefulls cat pouches to its pet food offerings in May.
The Platefulls pouches come in eight, grain-free formulas, including four indoor varieties and four regular formulas. The following formulas will be offered in 3-ounce pouches: Turkey, Chicken & Duck in Gravy; Cod, Chicken, Sole & Shrimp in Gravy; Chicken & Salmon in Gravy; Chicken & Giblets in Gravy; Indoor Turkey & Salmon in Gravy; Indoor Mackerel & Sardine in Gravy; Indoor Chicken & Chicken Liver in Gravy; and Indoor Salmon, Tuna, Chicken & Shrimp in Gravy. The company says its cat pouches do not contain corn, soy, wheat, artificial flavors or colors, and the pouches combine proteins, like duck, salmon, mackerel and turkey, with canola oil, biotin and flaxseed for a healthier skin and coat.
“We’re thrilled to introduce Platefulls to our growing cat product line, which gives our customers more variety when choosing wet formulas,” said Heather Govea, senior vice president of independent sales and corporate marketing at Natural Balance. “Full of flavor and loaded with vegetables, these new grain-free varieties are the perfect healthy meal."

Global Pet Expo 2011 sets records in attendance, new pet products introduced

Petfood companies and exhibitors showed off the latest pet products on the floor of Global Pet Expo 2011.
The American Pet Products Association and Pet Industry Distributors Association  announced that Global Pet Expo 2011 exceeded 2010's record-setting numbers in nearly every aspect with thousands of new pet products introduced, and a record number of booths, exhibiting companies and buyers attending the show.
Global Pet Expo 2011 took place March 16-18,  in Orlando, Florida, USA. The show had 835 exhibiting companies, 2,380 booths and total attendance of 4,691 buyers – the highest buyer attendance ever at Global Pet Expo. Pet Expo’s Twitter and Facebook pages also reached all-time highs, with Twitter followers increasing 51% and the Facebook fans increasing by 325% from the previous show.
“I believe our new show date pattern definitely contributed to the record level of attendance this year,” said Andrew Darmohraj, APPA senior vice president. “Overwhelmingly we had heard from buyers that the amount of time they spend at the Show would increase should the show dates take place on weekdays only as opposed to the previous format of Thursday through Saturday. As buyer attendance is critical to the success of Global Pet Expo and its exhibitors, we listened and successfully made the change to a Wednesday through Friday format.”
Dog trainer and TV personality Victoria Stilwell was named the 2011 recipient of Global Pet Expo’s annual “Excellence in Journalism and Outstanding Contributions to the Pet Industry Award.” Stilwell accepted her award at a media-exclusive event sponsored by Nestle Purina Pet Care Co. on March 17. Other show highlights included the debut of the New Products Showcase Awards Presentation and the announcement of APPA's 2010 pet industry spending figures.
The 2012 Global Pet Expo is scheduled to take place from February 29 through March 2, 2012, in Orlando, Florida, USA.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Petco becomes first US chain retailer to offer Holistic Select petfood

Petco announced it will become the first and only national retailer to sell Holistic Select pet food at its retail stores.
Previously, Holistic Select was only sold in pet specialty stores, but it will now be available in all Petco and Unleashed by Petco stores. The petfood line includes dry food, canned food and snacks, for both cats and dogs.
In addition, Holistic Selects will partner with Petco at the following pet events in the United States: Love Your Pet Expo in Redding, California, on April 30; Dogwood Festival in Quincy, Illinois, on April 30; Pedigree in the Park in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 30; PetsJam 2011 in Houston, Texas, on May 7; PetsJam 2011 in Austin, Texas, on May 14; Escondido Sreet Fair in Escondido, California, on May 15; Dog D'Alene in Couer D'Alene, Idaho, on May 15; Wag n Walk in Monterey, California, on May 15; The Great Rescue Roundup in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 21; and Do Dah Day in Birmingham, Alabama, on May 21.

Southern California dog club donates petfood to Japanese animals

Brandi and Stephen Terry of Desperate Paws Dog Club in Newport Beach, California, USA, donated 40,000 tons of petfood to pets affected by the March 2011 tsunami and earthquake in Japan.
In total, the Terrys collected the more than 7 tons of petfood and supplies donated by businesses and organizations in Southern California, USA. All items will be distributed to Japanese rescue groups that partner with World Vets International.
The Terrys decided to launch their pet food drive after watching video footage of animals affected by the deadly earthquake and tsunami.
"It has been a difficult process but World Vets has been on top of it all the way, and we are extremely grateful to their efforts as well as H2O Logistics," said Stephen Terry, co-founder of Desperate Paws. "The latest estimates from World Vets say that more than 20,000 animals in Japan are hurt or sick. Much of the problem now is the radiation and the difficulty of help groups to get to the animals."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Innova holistic pet food hits Petco store shelves in May

Innova will launch its line of holistic pet food products in all Petco and Unleashed by Petco stores in May 2011. 
Innova says its natural, holistic pet food is available as dry food, canned food and treats, for both dogs and cats. In conjunction with the new brand hitting shelves, Petco encourages customers to enter a sweepstakes that asks a variety of multiple choice questions about Innova. Those who answer the questions correctly will be entered for a chance to win the grand prize of a US$5,000 American Express gift card, a US$500 Petco gift card and a one-year supply of Innova pet food.

Drying pet food at high temperatures may decrease nutrients, researchers find

Researchers at the Animal Nutrition Group of Wageningen University in the Netherlands studied the effects of pet food drying temperature and time on the food's physical and nutritional quality indicators.
The researchers conducted two factorial experiments, using four temperatures and two durations, to test the effects of drying variables on extruded canine diets produced using a 4 mm and 8 mm die.  The diet was extruded using a single screw extruder at 130 C and 300 g moisture/kg. The drying temperatures used were 80, 120, 160 and 200 C, and each diet was dried in draught-forced ovens to 90 or 60 g moisture/kg diet.
Each sample was analyzed for dry matter, nitrogen, amino acids (including reactive lysine) and fatty acid content. Results showed that hardness and specific density of the diets tested were not affected by the drying temperature or time. Canine kibble durability, however, was affected by drying temperature. The highest temperature (200 C) resulted in decreased durability compared to the lowest temperature (80 C). Drying time was found to have no effects on the level of individual or total amino acids, or on the proportion of reactive lysine.
In 4 mm kibbles, drying temperature of 200 C lowered only proline, total lysine and reactive lysine concentrations. Kibble dried at 120 C had a higher ratio of reactive to total lysine than kibble dried at 200 C. Drying temperature of 200 C decreased the concentration of linolenic and linoleic acid, and increased that of oleic acid, which may indicate lipid oxidation of 4 mm kibbles during the drying process, according to the research. In 8 mm kibbles, only reactive lysine concentrations were significantly lower with a naturally associated decrease of the kibble durability.
Researchers said that drying petfoods at high temperatures of 160 C to 180 C can significantly reduce nutrients or nutrient reactivity.

Wenger announces September pet food processing technology seminars

Wenger Manufacturing will offer two Pet Food Processing Technology Seminars in September for plant managers, operations and maintenance personnel, and engineers in the petfood industry.
The first course, Pet Food Processing Technology Seminar, will be held from September 13-15. Hands-on training and classroom sessions will be offered in each of the seminar's two tracks: "Operations" and "Maintenance." The seminar will review extrusion and drying systems procedures and theory, while introducing new technologies for process improvement and product quality. The cost for this program is US$1,500 per person, which includes course notes, morning and afternoon breaks, daily lunch and two evening meals.
The second course, Pet Food Processing Technology Advanced Seminar, will be held from September 20-22. This course is geared toward technology, research and development, and engineering personnel. The advanced seminar will cover the science and theory behind the extrusion process through a blend of classroom and hands-on instructions. Participants will be required to develop a petfood product using a small scale extruder, analyze the process and project the scale-up to a production system. The cost for this program is US$1,500 per person, which includes course notes, morning and afternoon breaks, and lunch each day.
Both courses will take place at Wenger's Technical Center in Sabetha, Kansas, USA. Attendees are required to make their own hotel and travel arrangements. The registration deadline to attend either course is July 30.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

FDA to host public meeting on Food Safety Modernization Act April 20

The US Food and Drug Administration will host a public meeting on the recently enacted Food Safety Modernization Act, allowing those interested to discuss implementing preventative controls in petfood facilities.
The meeting, "FDA Food Safety Modernization Act: Focus on Preventative Controls for Factilites," will give FDA the chance to discuss information on preventative controls used by facilities to identify and address hazards associated with specific types of food and specific processes. The public will have an opportunity to provide information and share views for the development of guidance and regulations on preventive controls for food facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold human food or animal food, including petfood. FDA speakers include: Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods; Murray Lumpkin, deputy commissioner for international programs; and Donald Kraemer and Daniel McChesney, chairs of the implementation team for preventive standards.
FDA's meeting will be held on April 20, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., in the Great Room at White Oaks Campus in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. The public should register to present remarks during the Open Public Comment session.

Online pet food, pet supply store offers eco-friendly products

An online pet food and pet supply store,, recently opened to provide eco-friendly products to pet owners. officially opened its Web-based storefront on March 1, with the goals of introducing pet owners to natural, organic and eco-friendly products for pets, as well as educating them on ways to support a more sustainable environment, according to co-founder, Marion Elledge.
Items available in the online store include pet products such as Cycle Dog, Ecollargy, Wagging Green, and Earth Dog collars and leashes. The products are made of organic materials like soy, hemp, cotton, wool and bamboo, and also from recycled materials like inner tubes, billboards and plastic bottles.
“It is important to us to bring awareness as to how people can involve their pets in their eco-conscious efforts to prevent global warming and guarantee a sustainable environment. Thus, our slogan became ‘leaving smaller carbon paw prints,’" said Roger Franklin, co-founder and vice president. "We at are not only concerned about the environment but also the health of our canine and feline companions."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pet food prices set to rise in coming months, say experts

The cost of pet food is set to rise in coming months on the heels of increases in human food prices, according to experts.
“Recent food price increases appear to be passing through to pet food products, as they did to an even greater degree in 2008," said Zach Pandl, senior economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. “These gains have added to the rise in core inflation, and likely will continue to do so for a while longer.” Changes in the food component of the consumer price index have led movements in petfood costs since 2006. In 2008, petfood prices jumped by 16% after human food inflation reached 6%. Human food costs have accelerated by more than 2% as of February after falling 0.7% at the end of 2009.

Fancy Feast's March petfood commercial most likeable on Nielsen Co. index

Fancy Feast's  commercial featuring a couple meeting the parents and their cat topped the Nielsen Co. ranking of "Top Ten Best Liked New Ads" in March.
The 60-second commercial aired between March 1 and March 31, earning a score of 170 on Nielsen's Likeability Index. Others on the list included Subway, Tide and Jell-O.

Friday, April 15, 2011

US court rules on melamine-tainted petfood settlement claims payout

Four years after melamine-contaminated petfood sickened and killed thousands of pets in North America, a New Jersey, USA, court opinion was issued to clear the way for settlement claims payouts.
The opinion by Judge Noel Hillman in the US District Court of New Jersey was the last piece of court action required to finalize the appeals of a US$24-million petfood settlement approved by Hillman in October 2008.
“I am hopeful that we can begin processing claims shortly,” said Lisa Rodriguez, liaison counsel for the multiple class-action suits covered by the settlement.
According to court documents, 24,344 claims were submitted by the November 24, 2008, deadline. Of those, 20,550 have been deemed payable, with the average claim about US$1,283. Allowed expenses included medical attention, lost wages, property damage and the price of replacement pets. The settlement covers claims by owners in the United States and Canada.
The melamine scandal was caused by Chinese suppliers, who spiked wheat gluten, wheat flour and rice protein concentrate with nitrogen-rich melamine, in an attempt to boost the ingredients’ apparent protein content. The imported, contaminated product ended up at Canadian petfood manufacturer, Menu Foods Ltd. The recall associated with the tainted petfood involved more than 150 petfood brands. The US Attorney’s Office estimated that about 1,950 cats and 2,200 dogs died, based on consumer reports received by the US Food and Drug Administration.
A 3rd District US Court of Appeals reviewed the matter and concluded in late 2010 that the settlement was “fair, reasonable and adequate,” with the exception of one issue that needed further clarification. That issue related to the limit of purchase claims to a maximum of US$250,000. The latest opinion filed by Judge Hillman lays out why that purchase-claim limit also is “fair, reasonable and adequate.”

Dr. Tim Hunt's exciting Iditarod videos

Petfood Forum 2011 opened this year with keynote speaker Dr. Tim Hunt's thrilling presentation about his experiences racing in the 2009 Iditarod in Alaska, USA. He also shared these exciting videos (check out the links!) of the dogs and mushers in action during the race!

Timothy A. Hunt, DVM, kicked off PFF 2011 with his lessons from mushing in and serving as a veterinarian for Iditarod. Dr. Hunt raced with 16 dogs, including Spots, More Spots and lead dog, Husky. He has competed in numerous events throughout North America and Europe - besides the Iditarod, which he last raced in 2009, when he won the Red Lantern Award for being the last finisher!

During the 2009 race a storm rolled in, lasting almost an entire week, which slowed down many competitors and even forced some to drop out of the race. Others helped each other through the perilous weather, and constantly trying to keep the dogs warm and well-fed is always on the mushers' mind. During the race, Dr. Hunt's dogs each eat 12,000 calories a day to keep going.

The scenery and vast landscape of Alaska is breathtaking, even while racing with little sleep, in a cold climate and in almost perfect isolation. Truly, Dr. Hunt's experience was one he will never forget.

FreeKibble, Ellen DeGeneres' Halo petfood donate 5 millionth meal to shelter animals

In April, donated its 5 millionth meal of co-owner Ellen DeGeneres' Halo petfood to feed a hungry shelter pet.
To celebrate, FreeKibble founder, Mimi Ausland, will appear with the Humane Society of Central Oregon at a Bend, Oregon, USA, Petco store in conjunction with Petco's National Adoption Weekend, which is also sponsored by Halo. The Humane Society of Central Oregon was the first shelter to be completely fed Halo petfood by Freekibble. The event will be held Saturday, April 9, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Petco located at 3197 North Highway 97 in Bend, Oregon, USA.
Nationwide, animal lovers attending Petco's adoption events for National Adoption Weekend can redeem a Freekibble coupon for US$2 off of any size bag of Halo Spot's Stew dog or cat food. For every coupon redeemed, Halo will donate one meal to One new pet parent will also wind the opportunity to donate 10,000 meals to the shelter of his or her choice. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Arenus launches natural pet health, nutrition products for dogs, horses

Arenus, whose parent company is Novus International, launched a line of health and nutrition products for dogs and horses in March at 2011 Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida, USA.
Arenus introduced retailers to its natural supplements, which the company says reflect its commitment to holistic health. The company's new products include: Steadfast, for joint health; Assure, a digestive formula in two different blends; CoatPlus, beef-flavored capsules for healthy skin and coat; and Botanical Animal Flower Essences, targeted to pets' emotional problems. The company says it has been audited by the National Animal Supplement Council and its products have earned the NASC Quality Seal.
“The company saw that pet guardians were searching for safe, holistic, and easy-to-use products that address specific health issues,” said Simone Pophal, DVM, PhD, business manager for Arenus. “We had the expertise to deliver solutions to the marketplace, by offering unique, high-quality products that are backed by scientific data and address common but persistent pet health problems.” 

FDA launches consumer website for petfood recall information

The US Food and Drug Administration launched a website to make it easier for consumers to find information on recalled products, including pet foods, by compiling notices in a searchable tab.
FDA's Web page displays information on all recalls since 2009 by date, product brand name, product description, reason for the recall and the organization initiating the recall. The website also includes an image of the product label and direct links to the press release for each recall. The website redesign was mandated by the food safety law signed by President Obama in January, which also gives FDA the authority to order its own recalls instead of relying on manufacturers to do so voluntarily.
FDA's site provides separate tabs for recalls by each industry: food, drugs, animal health, biologics and medical devices. The "animal health" tab also provides a link to FDA's Web page for animal and veterinary recalls and withdrawls, which provides consumers with additional information about recalled pet food products.

See videos from Petfood Forum 2011 and Petfood Workshop: Safety First

Don't forget to bookmark this Petfood Forum video page, as it will be updated live from the event! Check back here for the latest information and knowledge from leading pet food industry experts in the fields of packaging, marketing, safety, nutrition, manufacturing and retailing.

Trouw's noble rescue cause 
Kim Emig, Lesley Burkett, Karen Cusik and Chuck Hayden, VP of companion animal division, talk about Trouw's charitable efforts with the Greater Chicago Cavalier Rescue.

Petfood brand perceptions online  
Melissa Brookshire, director of North River Enterprises, discusses where consumers are getting their perceptions of petfood and how companies can take control of their brand.

Dr. Tim's take on petfood 
Dr. Timothy Hunt kicked off Petfood Forum this year by sharing his experiences and lessons from mushing in and serving as a veterinarian for the Iditarod.

Kemin celebrates 50th anniversary at Petfood Forum 
Bob Shamblin, senior sales manager for Kemin Nutrisurance, celebrate's his company's 50th anniversary by highlighting their line of palability enhancers.

Companion animal nutrition at Tyson 
Jerry Felts of Tyson gives us the scoop on companion animal nutrition.

Innovative packaging at CEI 
Robb Schaefer, executive VP of flexible packaging at CEI, explains the latest in pet food packaging innovations.

Poster presentation: Flavors for an enhanced feeding experience 
Doug Gledhill, senior scientist for AFB International, explains his innovative research on palatants that enhance the feeding experience for both the owner and pet.

Poster presentation: E-nose and E-tongue technology 
Bola Oladipupo, D. A., analytical chemistry manager and team lead for AFB International, explains her research of flavor development and quality using E-nose/E-tongue technology.

Sustainable DHA-Gold from Martek Biosciences 
Chris, Flynn and Todd tell us how their sustainable DHA-Gold pet food supplement is made and how it can benefit dog's health.

Petfood Forum vital for DSM 
Jeff Alex of DSM explains why Petfood Forum is a great place for petfood professionals to do business.

Protein quality in different sources 
Dr. Trevor Faber discusses methods to determine protein quality among different sources for petfood.

Glanbia introduces new feed ingredients 
Greg Griffin from Glanbia Nutritionals introduces new functional feed ingredients.

Next generation of packaging from Exopack 
Dave Long with Exopack discusses the next generation of their packaging line.

New 3-in-1 sealer from Fischbein 
Gordon Penman of Fischbein Company reviews their new 3-in-1 sealer.

Danisco has a new look 
Sarah Hines of Danisco unveils their new booth at Petfood Forum 2011.

Drying Technology reviews moisture controls 
Roger Douglas with Drying Technology, Inc. discusses moisture controls and new systems available.

Petfood Enterprise Technologies  
Sharon of Petfood Enterprise Technologies highights pet health and new technology.

Bemis showcases innovations in packaging 
Tom Bellmore and Katie Perez of Bemis Flexible Packaging talk about innovations in packaging.

Premium Ingrediens flavor trends 
Donnie Moran of Premium Ingredients International discusses flavor and palatability trends.

Keep up-to-date with the petfood industry all year long on TwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mars' Mutt Census: German Shepherd mix most common in US

Mars Veterinary released findings from its first National Mutt Census, which launched in March 2010 to survey America's mixed-breed dog population and encourage proper pet care.
Mars Veterinary collected DNA samples from around the country from more than 36,000 mixed-breed dogs. These samples underwent genetic analysis by the Mars veterinary team to determine the breed history of each dog. The team found that mixed-breed dogs account for 53% of all pet dogs in the US. The DNA analysis found that the 10 most popular breeds showing up in America's mutts, in order, are German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Chow Chow, Boxer, Rottweiler, Poodle, American Staffordshire Terrier, Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel and Siberian Husky.
The genetic data was combined with more than 16,000 responses to a Web survey from owners of mixed-breed dogs. The Mutt Census survey asked questions about dog size and weight, feeding and exercise habits, whether the dog was adopted from a shelter and questions about the dog’s health. The survey found that shelters were the most frequently cited place (46%) for people to obtain mixed-breed dogs, followed by 18% of pet owners who cited a friend, neighbor or relative. Breeds weighing more than 80 pounds represented less than 11% of all mixed-breed dogs, according to the survey. Dry dog food was found to be the most popular petfood, with 65% of pet owners feeding it to their pets. Nearly half of pet owners (48%) said their dog sleeps in bed with them. The survey also found that nearly nine out of 10 (89%) of mixed-breed dogs are neutered. However, 69% of pet owners surveyed said they do not use flea and tick control medicines for their pets regularly.
"The Mars Veterinary National Mutt Census provides a vivid snapshot of past and present trends in mixed breed dogs,” said Dr. Angela Hughes, veterinary genetics research manager at Mars. “Thanks to the Census, we know what breeds are widespread, as well as how people are caring for their dogs and what health concerns they may have. The hope is that the pet community will use this information to provide better care for the nation’s mixed-breed dogs.”

UK dog population at all-time high, says Mintel

Britain's dog population has reached an all-time high of 8.3 million, up from 5 million in 1970 and nearing the 8.6 million cat population (down from 2004's peak of 9.6 million), according to a Mintel report for the Pet Food Manufacturers' Association.
"Dogs are now seen as a fashion accessory, with the likes of Paris Hilton seen carrying hers around, whereas cats are getting less attention," said Ben Perkins, an analyst at Mintel. "They aren't seen as a sociable animal and you're not likely to see a celebrity holding a cat."
Figures from the Kennel Club show that "handbag dog" breeds, such as Pugs, have increased sixfold and Chihuahuas have trebled since 2001. This, according to experts, may be partially due to an increase in amateur dog breeding. "It is easy money, but it means some breeds have seen a huge rise in numbers and many of those dogs end up in rescue centers because they can't be looked after," said Beverley Cuddy, editor of Dogs Today.

Holistic Select offers petfood savings with coupon for basketball fans

Holistic Select gave away US$5-off coupons for its petfood in honor of being the Butler bulldog mascot and Blue II's food of choice.
Pet parents who registered at between the hours of 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, April 5, received the coupon for $5 off select cat and dog food bags. 
"While they didn't win the national title, the 'Dawgs are still winners in our book," said Thano Chaltas, chief marketing officer for Holistic Select. "As we all look forward to next season, we encourage fans to nourish their pets with the food that makes Blue II one of America's top dogs."

Hydro-Thermal to present 'Does process heating fit into the sustainability triangle?' at Petfood Forum

Hydro-Thermal Business Development Engineer Dave Degelau will be speaking on the topic, "Does process heating fit into the sustainability triangle?" at the 2011 Petfood Forum.
The presentation is on Tuesday, April 12, at 4:00 p.m. The Petfood Forum runs from April 11 through 13 at the Renaissance Schaumburg in Schaumburg, IL.

Monday, April 11, 2011

US Senate rejects proposal to turn deer processing waste into petfood

A US Senate subcommittee has rejected a South Carolina bid to turn waste products from deer processing into petfood, turning away a bill that would have allowed deer processors to grind up and sell as petfood the parts of the animals they now throw out—organs, bones and other viscera.
The state Department of Natural Resources told the committee that the change could hasten the arrival of wildlife diseases, including chronic wasting disease, from other states. Deer processor Michael Cordray of Cordray's Venison Processing, who initially suggested the bill, said he sees it as a chance to reduce waste and create jobs. According to Cordray, hunters kill more than 200,000 deer a year in South Carolina, and many of those hunters rely on professional processers to remove the meat from the carcasses. Processors could get five to 25 pounds of guts, organs and bones from each deer. 
Currently, no other state in the Southeast allows the use of deer processing leftovers for petfood.

2012 International Feed Expo changes dates, times

The 2012 International Feed Expo, co-located with the International Poultry Expo, is moving to a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday format with the following show hours:
  • Tuesday, January 24, 2012: 12 – 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 25, 2012: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 26, 2012: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The entire week in which the Expo will be held, Jan. 23 through 27, has been officially designated as "IFE Feed Week," with an emphasis on educational programs rounding out the events. With the Expo starting at noon on Tuesday, the shift will help allow an increase in the number of education programs available at the front and back ends of the Expo.
For more information, visit the IFE website at

Friday, April 8, 2011

Many myths about 'senior' dog food formula ingredients, researchers find

A recent survey found that contrary to most Americans' beliefs, "senior" formula dog foods vary widely in ingredients and have no requirements for what must be included in these formulas for older dogs.
About 1,300 people made up of 92% of dog owners responded to Tufts University's Web-based survey. The majority of respondents, 84.5%, believed that senior dogs need to eat differently than younger dogs. However only 43% of the respondents said they used a senior diet for their older pets and only one-third actually consulted their vet about the diet.
Although professional organizations do mandate requirements for puppy and adult dog food, the Association of American Feed Control Officials and the National Research Council have no such requirements for food marketed for "senior" canines beyond what is required for regular adult dog food, according to Dr. Lisa M. Freeman, co-author of a paper appearing in the latest issue of The International Journal for Applied Research in Veterinary Medicineand professor at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.
Manufacturers "might be increasing protein, decreasing protein or keeping it the same," Freeman said. "That emphasizes to us to look at the individual animal, and not all aging animals need a different diet. It's much, much more important to look at individual dogs."
Respondents tended to assume that senior dog foods were lower in calories, yet this actually varied from 246 to 408 calories a cup. Not all dogs gain weight as they age, some gain weight and some stay the same, Freeman said. Survey respondents also tended to assume that senior diets had less fat, protein and sodium. But, this was also not necessarily the case, with much variation among individual petfood brands, Freeman found.
"The study highlights the diversity among dogs and, consequently, dog food products. Each dog is unique and has distinct needs," said Kurt Gallagher, a spokesman for the Pet Food Institute."Attaining senior status depends on several factors, including the breed and weight of the dog. The differing nutritional needs of dogs are exemplified by the variance in the amount of protein senior dogs should consume."

Latin America petfood, pet product sales surge from 2005 to 2010

Sales of petfood and pet care products are surging in Latin America, led by the Brazilian market, according to the Latin Business Chronicle.
Over the review period of 2005-2010, sales of petfood and pet care products rose from US$4.8 billion to US$8.3 billion, according to Euromonitor International data. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 11.9%. The proportion of global pet care sales from the Latin American market rose from 7.6 % in 2005 to 10.2% in 2010. Brazil is the region's largest market with pet care sales of US$5.2 billion in 2010, followed by Mexico with sales of US$1 billion and Argentina with sales of US$645 million. Income growth in Latin America is attributed to the increase in pet industry value sales. According to Euromonitor International data, the proportion of Brazilian households with an annual disposable income of at least US$25,000 rose from 21.7% to 30.1% over the review period, while Argentina saw a greater increase from 33.5% to 44.8%.
Brazil's National Association of Pet Food Manufacturers, ANFALPET, reported the average unit price of dog food and cat food in the country saw increases of 7% and 5%, respectively, in 2009, meaning many consumers in the region have absorbed these price increases. Euromonitor International data also found growth in value sales of economy dog and cat food in Latin America slowed only marginally from 13.9% in 2008 to 10.5% in 2009, and recovered to 14.5% in 2010. Sales of mid-priced products saw growth slow from 15.9% in 2008 to 8.3% in 2009, before recovering to 10.6% in 2010. Growth in premium petfoods in Latin America fell from 10% in 2007 to 2.7% in 2008, but rebounded to 4.2% in 2009 and surged to 12.3% in 2010, according to the Euromonitor data.
Overall, pet healthcare sales in the region rose from US$69.4 million to US$119.1 million over the review period, an increase of 71.6%, according to Euromonitor data. The data also showed sales of other pet products, like clothing, jumped nearly 36% to US$334 million.
Euromonitor International predicts that Latin American pet care value sales will exhibit a compound annual growth rate of 5.5% over the 2010-2015 period, to US$10.9 billion (in 2010 prices). This will represent a significant slowdown from the review period due to threats of inflation and commodity dependence, according to Euromonitor.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Precise Pet Products expands holistic cat, dog food offerings

Precise Pet Products expanded its healthy and holistic options for pets to include a new flavor for cats as well as new petfood formulas designed specifically for small and medium breed dogs.
The new formulas feature superior nutritional ingredients and innovative human-grade supplements designed to promote health, happiness and harmony in dogs and cats, according to the company. Each formula contains Precise's Life Circle Essentials, the company says, which include real meat, prebiotics and probiotics, cell protectors, balanced omegas, herbals, botanicals, beneficial supplements and natural antioxidants.
Precise Holistic Complete introduced two dry food formulas for canines: Small & Medium Breed Puppy Formula, and Small & Medium Breed Adult Formula. Precise Holistic Complete introduced the Adult Chicken Formula dry food for felines.
“Expanding the Precise Holistic Complete line shows our commitment to providing superior ingredients and healthy options for pets,” said Kirk Young, executive vice president of Precise Pet Products. “At Precise, we are constantly working to develop innovative solutions to healthy eating for all canines and felines.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Natural Wellness Centers celebrates five years of pet probiotic sales

Natural Wellness Centers recently celebrated five years of supplying pet probiotics in its Ultra-Pet Products line, Total-Biotics.
Natural Wellness Centers has partnered with Nebraska Cultures Inc. to use Dr. Khem Shahani’s probiotics since March 9, 2006.
“We’ve found that Dr. Shahani’s probiotic strains are the most effective ones on the market,” said Dr. John Taylor, owner of Ultra-Pet Products. “They work by cleaning out your pet's intestines of the toxins and other material left behind after digestion has failed. In doing this, they reestablish the pH balance, allowing your pet's body to once again become healthy and fight potential disease and infection better than ever.”

Alltech's 27th International Symposium approved for continuing education credits

Both the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists and the American Association of Veterinary State Boards have approved Alltech’s 27th International Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium for Continuing Education Credits.
ARPAS has determined a maximum of 12 hours will be earned for attending Alltech’s symposium, entitled "The Game Changers: Creative Concepts for Agribusiness to Respond to Relentless Commoditization and to Innovate for a Greener Future." ARPAS members will self-determine how many CEUs are earned at the symposium based on the actual number of presentation hours attended, and may report their CEUs on the ARPAS website at or by downloading and submitting the CEU reporting form.
The AAVSB's Registry of Approved Continuing Education committee has approved the symposium as meeting the standards adopted by the AAVSB. The maximum CEU for veterinarians under the AAVSB RACE program will be 12 units. Delegates must register their CEUs by submitting a certificate of attendance, which will be available at the symposium information booth.
The symposium will be held at the Lexington Convention Center in Lexington, Kentucky, USA, from May 22 through 25, 2011.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hill's Pet Nutrition donates petfood to help Japanese disaster victims

Hill’s Pet Nutrition and parent company, Colgate-Palmolive, are coordinating to aid victims affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, through petfood and monetary donations.
Hill's donated several tons of petfood to provide nutrition for pets affected, through animal welfare organizations on the ground in Japan. Additionally, Colgate-Palmolive donated US$250,000 to the American Red Cross and will match donations made by its employees to the Red Cross and Save the Children.
“Hill’s Japan is a significant part of our business and a dedicated team that shares our global mission of enriching and lengthening the special relationships between people and their pets,” said Neil Thompson, Hill’s president and chief executive. “We understand the unfortunate reality that many companion animals will suffer from the shortage of available pet food in disasters such as this. In addition to financial support to charities aiding people, we are working with organizations in Japan that can help cats and dogs in distress.”

TraceGains to repeat Foreign Supplier Verification Program webinar April 6

TraceGains will repeat its Foreign Supplier Verification Program webinar on Wednesday, April 6, with added coverage on section 301 of the Food Safety Modernization Act, and its requirements and impact on business.
Joining TraceGains on this webinar will be Jessica Wasserman, president at Wasserman & Associates, a Washington, D.C.-based consultancy focused on the global food, beverage and agriculture sectors. Content covered in the webinar will include how to: interpret section 301 of the Food Safety Modernization Act; perform risk-based foreign supplier verification activities; monitor shipments and lot-by-lot certification of compliance; automate review of inspections, hazard analysis, testing and sampling of shipments; and automate records storage and maintenance for the mandated two-year minimum.
Interested parties can register for the webinar at

AFIA files comments on FDA-proposed GRAS petfood rule

The American Feed Industry Association submitted comments to the US Food and Drug Administration regarding FDA’s final rule amending the procedures for substances generally recognized as safe (GRAS).
FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine recently started to review GRAS submissions for new animal feed ingredients, while the human food industry has had hundreds reviewed and allowed on the market, according to AFIA.
“While the industry is still able to self-determine the GRAS status of a substance, it is in the best interest for all entities to work together. Finding a workable solution will ensure that the U.S. feed industry continues to be the world leader in bringing novel ingredients to market to help the animal agriculture industries safely feed the growing population,” said Leah Wilkinson, AFIA’s director of ingredients and state legislative affairs.
CVM stated during several public forums that proof of utility of an ingredient must be published. However, AFIA said it believes that an absolute requirement for proof and publication of utility is inappropriate and unnecessary, claiming the pivotal issue is whether the ingredient is safe to feed to animals at the intended level. AFIA also said CVM should accept safety data extrapolated from other species, instead of requiring separate tests for each species.
“The additional cost and time alone will deter companies from pursuing new feed ingredients or more efficient ways to produce existing feed ingredients regardless of the well-established safety of these ingredients. CVM should recognize that good scientific procedures can prevail to allow the use of other data or information in the available literature to extrapolate the safety data from one species to another,” Wilkinson said.
In the third main issue commented upon, AFIA said it believes GRAS-notified substances reviewed by FDA without objection need to be listed in the Association of American Feed Control Officials' Official Publication. In its comments, AFIA strongly encouraged CVM to work with AAFCO and the industry to create a new section in the AAFCO Official Publication for GRAS-notified substances reviewed by CVM and found to present a sufficient basis for a GRAS conclusion.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Department of Agriculture proposes petfood manufacturer tax in Oregon

An Oregon, USA, House committee made no decisions about passing a proposed registration fee of US$150 on manufacturers of various petfood products sold in that state, according to
The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee referred House Bill 2120, proposed by the Department of Agriculture, without recommendation to the joint budget committee after hearing testimony on both sides issue.
"You can call it a fee; I consider it a sales tax," said Sen. Doug Whitsett, R-Klamath Falls, Oregon, USA. 

Universal Pasteurization Co. to host high pressure processing workshop

Universal Pasteurization Co. recently opened in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA,  and will hold a day-long workshop here on May 10 to introduce its high pressure processing capabilities.
The company says Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman will make an appearance at the workshop to mark the expansion of this home-grown small business, established by the founders of Universal Cold Storage.
Avure Technologies provided UPC with a 350-liter HPP system in early 2011. UPC's first customer was petfood manufacturer Nature’s Variety.
“High pressure processing is a proven means of extending shelf-life and eliminating pathogen growth, the two things that matter most to processors, whether they make macaroni and cheese or meatballs,” said Jeff Barnard, UPC business manager. “In fact, as soon as we saw the February announcement that a processor using HPP had doubled the shelf-life of fresh ground beef patties, we decided to order a second Avure 350L system, which will be installed in May.” 
Those interested in attending UPC's workshop should contact Barnard at +1.402.419.2161 or email 

Almo Nature donates petfood to UK animal charities

Almo Nature donated petfood to five UK animal charities as part of the company's “Love Food” campaign.
The company’s second food donation meant that a total of nine charities shared 18,668 free meals, helping them to care for abused or abandoned pets. Throughout the campaign, the company is donating 10% of its entire sales for each product line to help feed animals in UK shelters.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Advent to acquire Provimi Pet Food for €188 million

Advent International has announced that it has agreed to acquire Provimi Pet Food for an enterprise value of €188 million (US$265.1 million).
The investment by Advent International will support PPF’s growth plans, focused on increasing its petfood market share through organic growth, developing a new range of products and services and entry into new markets. “Provimi Group has established PPF as a European market leader," said Chris Mruck, managing partner and co-head of Central Europe, Advent International. "Our investment will build upon these strong foundations, enabling the business to capitalize on the growth opportunities that exist across Europe. PPF is a business with excellent prospects and we look forward to working with the management team to develop the company to its full potential.”
The transaction is expected to complete within the next two months following regulatory and works council processes.

RadiantBrands completes design work on latest Pet Food Express in California

RadiantBrands  completed its design and branding contribution to the recently opened Pet Food Express store at 3150 California Street in San Francisco, California, USA.
RadiantBrands worked with Pet Food Express' senior management team to create a unique customer experience that reflects the store's core values of providing high quality, holistic pet products that promote good nutrition and health, while still reflecting the look and feel of the local neighborhood. RadiantBrands also designed the flagship Pet Food Express store on Market Street in San Francisco.
The newest Pet Food Express store design reflects the company's commitment to sustainability, using a variety of building materials like sustainably harvested Western Cedar, and featuring a solar-powered pet wash. RadiantBrands says it helped the store become part of its Laurel Heights neighborhood through the design of iconic community graphics and information about nearby pet care, dog parks and other pet-oriented information.
“Pet Food Express has been a Bay Area brand for more than 30 years, and has always stood for wholesome pet care products and connection to the local pet community,” said Steven Donaldson, co-founder of RadiantBrands. “We believe that creating a positive neighborhood experience makes the store an asset to the neighborhood; we achieve that through the color palette, historic information, and referrals to local pet resources. The result is a personalized and localized experience that makes the shopper feel more at home, and that reminds them that Pet Food Express is part of their Bay Area neighborhood.”