Thursday, January 31, 2013

Conference Session: Making Private Label Pet food

Originally presented at Petfood Forum 2010, Serge Boutet of Mondou Ltd., discusses how over the past decade, large pet retailers have developed their own pet food brands.

This one-hour session provides participants with information on how these retailer brands are unique, and their ability to compete nutritionally and economically with national brands. Boutet also covers new product concepts, feeding trials and other work to develop such a brand.

For $49.99, participants receive:
  • Unlimited online access (log on any time – 24 hours a day –to view the session)
  • Certificate of completion
  • About the Presenter
    Serge Boutet
    Born in Montreal, Canada, Serge Boutet, a McGill University graduate, is an agronomist expert in animal nutrition for Mondou Ltd. Through his 25 years career, including the last 20 in the pet food industry, he acquired his expertise through operations management, quality control, export, pet foods / animal feed formulation and sales as well as technical training / teaching.

Pet owners spoil pets with treats, accessories, survey finds

    Pet owners spoil their pets in a variety of ways, treating them as a human member of the family, according to a survey of pet-owning households by Pet360.
    Nearly all (99.4 percent) of pet owners surveyed said they consider their pet to be a part of the family. In fact, 42.5 percent of respondents said they would not go on a vacation if they could not bring their pet with, and three in four respondents said they celebrate their pet's birth day or day of adoption.
    The survey also found that owners spoil their pets with treats, as three in four surveyed said they have shared a popsicle or ice cream cone with their pet. More than 99 percent of those surveyed also said their pet shares the bed at night with a human family member.
    Additional results of the survey include: 40.3 percent of respondents admitted to sneaking their pet into a store or public area; 99.4 percent of respondents said they talk or sing to their pet; more than 70 percent said their pet is or will be provided for in their last will; and 90 percent of respondents said they would spend US$100 on a cat or dog bed, while a small percentage even said they would spend US$1,000 on a diamond-studded pet collar. 

Blackwood Pet Food redesigns cat food packaging

    Design agency Ideas that Kick recently redesigned packaging for Blackwood Pet Food’s full line of superpremium cat foods.
    The new cat food packaging design highlights key nutritional information for each cat food recipe in the front and slightly off-center on each bag, making it easier for pet owners to notice on first glance.
    “Our nutrition-based bag fronts make it easy for busy store clerks to recommend Blackwood foods to pet owners,” says Mary Kemp, Ideas that Kick, president and brand strategist. “That’s important with pet owners becoming more concerned about pet nutrition.”
    The packaging design concept was applied to Blackwood's dog food recipes earlier in the year. “Blackwood really stands out on store shelves. Our packaging really is a rock-star touchpoint for our brand," says Matt Golladay, Blackwood Pet Food, vice president.

Zoomark International confirms 60 percent of registrants from abroad

    Zoomark International, an exhibition of pet products and accessories, has announced that registration so far indicates that more than 60 percent of companies registered are coming from abroad.
    Registrants for the pet products show, which takes place in Italy, are predominately from Great Britain, the US, Canada, Brazil and China. The show also says it has seen an increase in companies registering to exhibit individually after previously exhibiting at a group area.
    Zoomark International will take place May 9-12, in Bologna, Italy. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Canine Health Foundation seeks applicants for dog bloat grant

    The American Kennel Club’s Canine Health Foundation is seeking applications from researchers interested in gastrointestinal physiology for US$250,000 grants to promote research into fatal bloat condition in dogs.
    Researchers interested in seeking funding from the grant must submit a letter of intent by March 18. The Foundation will also provide continuing education for veterinarians showing surgical procedures used for prevention during spay and neuter.
    “Bloat is devastating for dog owners when it occurs. Through this major funding effort, researchers, for the first time, will have the resources they need to work towards establishing the causes and pre-dispositions for bloat,” says Dr. Shila Nordone, chief scientific officer of Canine Health Foundation. “Once we understand why bloat occurs, we will have better treatment options and possibly be able to prevent the syndrome from occurring in the first place.”
    In addition to addressing dog bloat with research grants, the Canine Health Foundation will host a free webinar in mid-2013 to educate dog owners about bloat, as well as its possible causes, susceptible breeds, symptoms, medical intervention and an explanation of research needed on the condition. 

Motion Industries releases new, online energy savings video

    Motion Industries, a distributor of industrial maintenance, repair and operation replacement parts to the pet industry, released its first video for 2013 on its “MiHow2” channel, the product/application solutions series. Power and automation technologies provider ABB-Baldor is the featured Motion Industries supplier in the latest video release entitled, How to Save Energy by Controlling Water Flow & Water Pressure.
    The instructive video series’ goal is to share practical industrial applications that viewers can adapt in their own facilities. Each MiHow2 video was filmed in a workshop setting, featuring Motion Industries' host with a guest from an industrial manufacturer demonstrating a product or application.
    Energy savings is and will continue to be a hot topic for industry,” said Randy Breaux, Motion Industries’ senior vice president of marketing, product management and strategic planning. “More and more facilities are becoming serious about energy efficiency and finding different ways to save money in their operations. We were thrilled to have experts from ABB-Baldor demonstrate how using a variable frequency drive can result in a lot of real dollar savings.”

Small animal, pet bird ownership on rise in US, report finds

    Ownership of small animals, birds and fish as pets is on the rise in the US, according to a new report from market research firm Packaged Facts, which suggests pet industry retailers may benefit from this rebound.
    The most popular small animal in the US is rabbits; in 2012, 4.2 million rabbits lived in US households. The report noted that in 2010, 39 percent of small-animal owners said they owned a rabbit, compared to 25 percent for hamsters and 24 percent for guinea pigs.
    The report also found that 7.2 million households own a total of 84.3 million fish in 2012, accounting for 73 percent of the pet population, excluding dogs and cats. The number of fish-owning households in 2012 rose by about 100,000 from 2011.
    The number of bird-owning households in 2012 totaled 4.6 million. Although this number was down from the 5.8 million households that owned a bird in 2008, bird ownership is up 24 percent since 2010 when just 3.7 million households owned birds. Moreover, 41 percent of bird owners said they considered their bird to be a member of the family.
    A decline in pet ownership was seen in the reptile segment. In 2012, 1.8 million households owned 3.9 million reptiles, down from 2.3 million households in 2008. The report noted the decline may be linked to the higher cost of caring for reptiles, such as lizards and iguanas.
    “These pet owners represent big business for the pet industry,” the report's co-authors, Robert Brown and Ruth Washton, noted. “They groom and board their birds, buy toys for their iguanas, purchase medications for their turtles, take their gerbils to the vet, decorate their fish tanks and, of course, buy food for all of the tens of millions of pets that they own besides their cats and dogs."

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dog Treat Recall: Hartz Chicken Chews, Oinkies Pig Skin Twists with Chicken

    Pet treat company Hartz Mountain Corp. is voluntarily recalling all of its Hartz Chicken Chews and Hartz Oinkies Pig Skin Twists wrapped with chicken for dogs in the US because the products contain unapproved antibiotic residue.
    Recent testing by Hartz and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets found trace amounts of unapproved antibiotic residue in samples of Hartz Chicken Chews and Oinkies Pig Skin Twists wrapped with chicken products. The antibiotics found are among those approved for use in poultry in China and other countries, but are not approved for use in the US.
    According to the company, a review of the test results by the Food and Drug Administration found that Hartz’s recalled products are highly unlikely to be related to the ongoing reports of illnesses linked to chicken jerky pet treats. No known illnesses associated with the products have been reported.
    Consumers who have purchased the products should contact Hartz Consumer Affairs team at +1.800.275.1414.

Research and Markets adds report on China's pet food market

    Research and Markets has added a new pet food market report, Report on China's Pet Food Market Competition 2013, to its offerings, available for purchase online.
    According to the report, China's local pet food companies market products including dry pet food, wet pet food, pet food snacks and pet nutrients. These companies have sales revenue of more than 1.5 billion Yuan (US$241 million), and market scale continues to increase by more than 15 percent on average annually.
    In addition to these findings, the report provides a detailed analysis of pet food industry regulations and trends in China's national policies; the development history of China's pet food market and future growth opportunities; characteristics of pet food consumption and consumer purchasing in major areas; circulation channels of China's pet food; competition between foreign and domestic brands; and more.

Petfood can recycling program donates to animal shelter in Pennsylvania

    The Alcoa Foundation and Pennsylvania Resources Council's Cans for Pets recycling campaign has recycled more than 6,500 aluminum pet food cans during its first 10 weeks and raised money to aid homeless animals at a local shelter.
    The Cans for Pets campaign was launched in November 2012 as a two-year effort to raise awareness and increase the total number of aluminum pet food cans recycled each year. The pet food can recycling campaign's organizers donated a check to the Animal Rescue League and Wildlife Center to support the shelter's efforts.
    “The Cans for Pets program is a great motivator for citizens and businesses to get involved in an effort that will help thousands of animals and enrich the lives of new adopting families. This first donation of $325 will provide funding for the shelter to purchase more than 450 cans of pet food to feed the animals in our care,” said Animal Rescue League executive director, Dan Rossi.
    Alcoa says that currently, 20 percent of pet food cans are recycled compared to 65 percent for beverage cans.
    “There’s no limit to how many times an aluminum pet food can may be recycled, which means that an aluminum pet food can that someone recycles today can be made into a new pet food can and be back on store shelves in as little as 60 days,” said Alcoa’s director of corporate communications, Kevin Lowery. “We see tremendous potential for recycling aluminum pet food cans and hope that rinsing and saving these containers soon becomes as routine as any other commitment to recycling.” 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Spring Naturals pet food brand launches new blog

    Spring Naturals brand of dog dinners and treats has expanded its website with the launch of a new blog, Spring Dishes.
    The blog was launched to promote good nutrition and wellness for pets and animal advocacy. For pet retailers, the blog provides insights into what is important to natural pet food shoppers. It also features content from Spring Naturals' nutritionists and pet food producers as well as updates on the company's animal advocacy efforts, like the "Spring Into Action" pet rescue program.

    For more information on Spring Naturals, visit

Eukanuba pet food to sponsor National Championship dog show

    Eukanuba pet food brand will be among sponsors of the 12th American Kennel Club/Eukanuba National Championship dog show, which airs on ABC, Saturday, February 2, at 2 p.m. EST.
    During the broadcast, a Virtual Viewing Party will be hosted with behind-the-scenes information on Facebook and a Tweet Chat on Twitter using the hashtag #celebratedogs. Highlights will also be available to view at
    “The AKC/Eukanuba National Championship offers the public the opportunity to learn more about each of AKC’s 175 breeds and how the predictability of purebred dogs can make it easy to match a particular breed to fit your lifestyle,” said Gina DiNardo of the American Kennel Club. “Viewers will be able to see each Best of Breed winner compete in the group ring, watch highlights from our Breeder of the Year and AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence presentations..."

Ainsworth Pet Nutrition selects Transplace as logistics provider

    Pet food manufacturer Ainsworth Pet Nutrition has selected Transplace, a provider of transportation management services and logistics technology, as its third-party logistics provider to deliver transportation management services for all outbound shipments.
    The pet food company will use Transplace's Transportation Management System to enhance process automation and improve operational efficiency.
    “For a company such as Ainsworth, where food safety is essential to its business, it is critical to have complete visibility of its shipments,” said Bill Greene, senior director, sales, Transplace. “Our team worked closely with Ainsworth to gain deep insight into the company’s daily operations in order to identify and take advantage of areas of improvement throughout its supply chain. There are many safety, compliance and competitive challenges within the CPG industry and Transplace is committed to helping Ainsworth discover additional savings opportunities, continue to grow its business and deliver quality products to its customers."

Friday, January 25, 2013

Iams donates 5.5 million pet food bowls as part of pet adoption drive

    Through Iams pet food brand's Home 4 the Holidays pet adoption drive, which ran October 1, 2012, through January 2, nearly 1.3 million pets were placed in forever homes in partnership with the Helen Woodward Animal Center. As part of the drive, Iams donated 5.5 million bowls of pet food to homeless pets.
    The adoption drive also focused on providing proper nutrition to pets, and it allowed consumers to get involved by purchasing specially marked pet food bags, taking part in the Digital Dish Drive on Iams' Facebook page and joinging Iams' Life Long Rewards program. In total, Iams' pet adoption drive placed 684,896 dogs, 553,550 cats and 26,663 other animals in homes.
    “We're celebrating the fact that in just three months we helped save the lives of almost 1.3 million animals,” said Mike Arms, founder of the adoption drive and president of Helen Woodward Animal Center. “We're proud of the work we've done and we're especially proud of the hard work the partner organizations continue to do every day. Take the story of Wyatt, a tiny kitten who was abandoned and found near death. Wyatt was nursed back to health by dedicated cat rescue volunteers and has since found his forever home. Stories like these show us the importance of promoting pet adoption and how a program like Iams Home 4 the Holidays can make a huge difference in the life of a pet."

AVMA releases latest US pet ownership demographic information

    The American Veterinary Medical Association recently released its US Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook, compiled based off a survey conducted every five years.
    According to the survey, conducted in 2012 and based off of numbers from December 31, 2011, the percentage of households that made no trips at all to a veterinarian between 2006 and 2011 rose 8 percent for dog owners and 24 percent for cat owners. In 2011, the percentage of dog-owning households made at least one visit to the veterinarian fell 1.7 percent from 2006 to 81 percent in 2011. The percentage of veterinarian visits by cat owners fell 13.5 percent from 2006 to nearly 55 percent of cat owners.
    “Unfortunately, the report reveals that fewer dogs and cats are seeing the veterinarian regularly, and that’s something that the AVMA and every companion animal veterinarian are concerned about. Pet owners across the country need to remember to bring their pets into the veterinarian – at least once a year – to maintain optimal health,” said says Dr. Douglas G. Aspros, American Veterinary Medical Association president.
    Additionally, the survey includes a breakdown of pet ownership by state. 
    The top 10 pet-owning states in the USA in 2011 were: Vermont (where 70.8 percent of households owned a pet), New Mexico (67.6 percent), South Dakota (65.6 percent), Oregon (63.6 percent), Maine (62.9 percent), Washington (62.7 percent), Arkansas (62.4 percent), West Virginia (62.1 percent), Idaho (62 percent) and Wyoming (61.8 percent).
    The 10 states in 2011 with the lowest percentage of pet-owning households were: Rhode Island (53 percent), Minnesota (53 percent), California (52.9 percent), Maryland (52.3 percent), Illinois (51.8 percent), Nebraska (51.3 percent), Utah (51.2 percent), New Jersey (50.7 percent), New York (50.6 percent) and Massachusetts (50.4 percent).
    The data also revealed Arkansas as the state with the most dog owners, where 47.9 percent of households own a dog, while Illinois was the lowest state for dog ownership with 32.4 percent of households owning a dog. The top cat-owning state in 2011 was Vermont, where 49.5 percent of households owned a cat, while California had the lowest rate of cat ownership at 28.3 percent.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Conference Session: Nutritional Management of Osteoarthritis and the Use of Osteoarthritis Models

Originally presented at Petfood Forum 2011, Dr. Karen Wedekind of Novus International discusses the different osteoarthritis models used to evaluate efficacy of therapeutic foods and nutritional supplements.

This one-hour session provides participants with information on the use of cartilage and bone markers as early indicators of treatment effectiveness and presents evidence on the role of nutrition in the management of lameness and OA in dogs and other species.

For $49.99, participants receive:
  • Unlimited online access (log on any time – 24 hours a day –to view the session)
  • Certificate of completion
Karen Wedekind, PhD, comparative nutrition manager for Novus International, received her doctorate from the University of Illinois and has 19 years’ experience in the petfood industry. Her current research focuses on bioavailability and nutrient requirements for pets, including endocrine, antioxidant and osteoarthritis research.

Lincoln Bark donates US$4,000 to help homeless animals in 2012

    Pet treat maker Lincoln Bark made roughly US$4,000 in charitable donations to nonprofits and dog rescues throughout the US in fiscal 2012. The three main recipients of Lincoln Bark’s donations were PAWS Chicago, The Anti-Cruelty Society and the Fido Friendly magazine “Get Your Licks on Route 66” adoption tour.
    In total, Lincoln Bark donated nearly US$2,500 to PAWS Chicago and The Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The donations included gift baskets for fundraising events, Lincoln Bark dog treats, and sponsored booths at PAWS’ Run for Their Lives 8K/4K and The Anti-Cruelty Society’s Bark in the Park 5K. Lincoln Bark's director of marketing, Michelle Laing, also raised about US$600 for homeless pets by running on behalf of Team PAWS in the Chicago Marathon.
    Additionally, Lincoln Bark donated US$1,500 worth of dog treats to the dogs at 15 USA shelters from California to Illinois as one of the sponsors of the Route 66 adoption tour.
    Lincoln Bark says inquiries and opportunities for the company to get involved in the pet community are welcomed and may be sent to

Mexico's petfood market on the rise, says consumer goods whitepaper

    Economic forecaster The Economist Intelligence Unit has teamed up with Mintel for a new whitepaper that predicts trends over the next three years in fast moving consumer goods categories in five emerging markets compared to the USA and EU, including Mexico's growing pet food market.
    The whitepaper, Convergence with Divergence, found that sales of pet food in Mexico have doubled in the last five years, as pet owners shift from feeding their dogs and cats scraps to buying prepared pet food. The whitepaper notes that pet food companies such as Nestle and Mars are leading Mexico's pet food market, which is beginning to resemble that of the US. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Top 25 global petfood companies profiled in database

      You can search the Top Pet food Companies database for specific companies or by markets served or key product categories. To use the database, you must register and log in to; registration is free and simple to do.
    For about a decade, Petfood Industry has featured the top pet food companies worldwide in the January issue. That article is among the most viewed each month on, often for months and even years after it was initially published.
    Figuring that this large and steady online usage means pet food professionals are hungry for this type of information, we decided to expand it. Previously, we have offered a brief list of companies (usually 10 to 15) based on data generously provided by research firm Euromonitor International. This year, we set out to find data on more companies, along with more information about each company.
    The results are available now in an exclusive new Top Pet food Companies database. To use the database, you have to register and log in to the site; registration is free and simple to do. The top 25 global pet food companies are also highlighted in the January issue of Petfood Industry.

PEDIGREE Feeding Project searching for shelters in US communities

    Pet food manufacturer PEDIGREE Brand is partnering with Grammy award-winning country singer Miranda Lambert to kick-off a nationwide US search for the next communities to benefit from The PEDIGREE Feeding Project initiative, which supplies participating shelters with 100 percent of their core dog food needs for free.
    The PEDIGREE Feed Project initiative first began in 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee, USA, and Chicago, Illinois, USA, to provide dog food to shelters so that the shelters can focus more on finding homes for their animals.
    Lambert, who owns six adopted dogs, and the PEDIGREE Brand encourage others to get involved with the initiative by visiting to nominate the community where they think The PEDIGREE Feeding Project can most make a difference for shelter dogs. In March, the names of five communities that have been selected as finalists in the search will be announced. Americans can then vote to determine the next communities to participate and the winners will be announced in mid-2013. 

Petfood extrusion workshop to be held at Food Processing Center in Nebraska

    The Food Processing Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will present an Extrusion Workshop specifically designed for the food and petfood industries, October 15-17.
    The three-day, hands-on workshop will provide an introduction to extrusion theory and techniques with lectures and pilot plant exercises that emphasize real-world product development for the food and petfood industries. Experts from extrusion equipment manufacturer Wenger along with University of Nebraska faculty and staff will present workshops on extrusion.
    Early registration for the event is encouraged. Further information is available online or by contacting Jill Gifford at the Food Processing Center at +1.402.472.2819 or

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

FDA, Merrick Pet Care investigate moldy cat food cans

    The US Food and Drug Administration and Merrick Pet Care announced they are investigating a California, USA, pet owner's complaint that mold was found in Merrick cat food cans.
    The moldy cat food cans were first reported on, which said the cans came from two cases and did not appear to be sealed properly because they did not make a vacuum-seal noise when they were opened. The cat food associated with the complaint is Merrick BG Chicken Grain Free Cat Food, sold in 5.5-ounce cans, with a "best by" date of March 14 and lot number 12074 CL2 20473 1203.
    “We take pet health very seriously, and our number one priority is to ensure that we are doing everything we can to help in the care and well-being of pet family members,” a Merrick spokesman said. “We are aware of this report regarding the cat cans and have been in touch with this customer, with the common goal of obtaining the necessary information to investigate this matter more fully as well as ensure their pet’s continued good health. As you may know, there are a number of ways cans can be compromised and we are working diligently to understand more about this particular situation.”

Monday, January 21, 2013

Consolidated Standards for Inspection updated by AIB International

    AIB International has updated four of its 11 Consolidated Standards for Inspection.
    Regulatory developments, including the US Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act, and other industry best practices impacting the food industry created a need for the update. The new requirements of the first four Standards took effect January 1.
    Updated Standards include:
    • Prerequisite and Food Safety Programs Standard
    • Beverage Facilities Standard
    • Food Distribution Centers Standard
    • Food Contact Packaging Manufacturing Facilities Standard
    AIB will continue to update the remaining Consolidated Standards through 2013, but these updates will not take effect until January 1, 2014, along with the elimination of the Dairy Standard. 

Nestle Purina to launch new pet food for athletic dogs

    Pet food manufacturer Nestle Purina is planning to launch a new pet food aimed at dogs that participate in athletic events.
    The new dog food line, Purina Pro Plan Sport, will debut in the US in January, featuring products designed to support the fitness of active dogs and dogs that participate in agility or other sporting competitions.
    "An increasing number of people in the US are taking part in half marathons and triathlons, and more of them want to exercise with their dogs," said Steve Crimmins, chief marketing officer for Nestle Purina Pet Care.
    Although Nestle's suggested retail price of US$13.99 for 6 pounds of the Pro Plan Sport dog food is higher than the prices of its standard dog food, the company hopes the new line will drive sales and reinforce consumer loyalty.
    "[Pet food] is one of the last things that customers cut back on because of the emotional attachment they have to their animal," Crimmins said. "People who participate in an active lifestyle with their dog are even more resistant to cutting back."

Friday, January 18, 2013

Food & Water Watch comments on recent chicken jerky treat recalls

    Wenonah Hauter, executive director of the nonprofit group Food & Water Watch, issued a statement in response to the recent chicken jerky treat recalls by Nestle Purina's Waggin' Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brands and Del Monte's Milo's Kitchen brand due to the presence of an antibiotic.
    According to Hauter: “...This is a long overdue step to protect pets from unsafe imports. The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets should be commended for conducting the testing that resulted in these national recalls. But, the Food and Drug Administration still must take action to prevent further pet illnesses and to inform consumers of the safety issues related to these products. Since 2007, thousands of American dogs have fallen ill or died after eating jerky treats made in China and it is time for the FDA to step up and block these potentially deadly treats from harming more animals.
    “The FDA has received nearly 2,000 consumer complaints dating back to 2007 but reports that it is no closer to identifying the source of the adulteration. The agency has posted cautionary advisories on its website regarding these products, but few consumers and veterinarians are aware of those advisories.
    “Reports posted yesterday on the FDA’s website reveal that FDA inspections of a Chinese petfood manufacturer and its Malaysian ingredients supplier found that the companies falsified records. In all of the inspection reports of Chinese petfood manufacturers posted to date by the FDA, the agency has admitted that Chinese government officials prevented the agency from collecting samples in the petfood manufacturing facilities that produce the dog treats in question, impeding the inspection process.
    “The FDA has the authority under Sections 306 and 211 of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act to stop the importation of pet treats from China immediately since the agency was prevented from completing its inspection of the poultry facilities that produce the chicken jerky treats that have been the subject of the investigation. Additionally, Section 211 of the FSMA gives the FDA authority to require retailers that sell the imported treats to post cautionary advisories to alert consumers to safety issues associated with the treats.
    “Finally, the Obama Administration needs to release the proposed rule on preventive controls for animal feed that covers petfood and the proposed rule that will hold importers accountable for the safety of the products they bring into the United States that are part of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. Those proposed rules have been held up by the White House Office of Management and Budget for over a year,” Hauter said. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pet owners confused on pet nutrition, pet food labeling, petMD finds

    A recent petMD survey about pet nutrition found that pet owners are confused about the nutritional needs of their dogs and cats. Although 57 percent of pet owners surveyed said they look at petfood labels for information about the petfood's ingredients, the survey found pet owners often misinterpret the information on the labels.
    "Understanding how to feed our pets properly is critical to their well-being," said petMD spokewoman, Dr. Jennifer Coates. "This knowledge gap is worrisome but also represents an opportunity for improving the health and longevity of our beloved companion animals."
    The survey's findings include:
    • Misunderstood terms: The majority of respondents said they thought animal hair, teeth and hooves are included in meat byproducts; however, the Association of American Feed Control Officials prohibits these parts from being included in a byproduct used in pet food.
    • Feeding trial importance: A majority of respondents said they look at the pet food label to learn about ingredients, yet only 22 percent of pet owners check the label to see if a feeding trial has been conducted with the food. Pet foods approved by AAFCO must have a statement indicating how the pet food manufacturer determined the diet would meet pets' nutritional needs, which can be done either by a computer program or test feeding the food to pets.
    • Misidentifying potential allergies: More than 40 percent of respondents cited grain ingredients as the most common allergens in pet food. Although more than 30 percent noted corn as the most common allergen, some studies have shown that protein or meat source may have a greater effect.
    • Unaware of balanced nutrition: Protein was cited by 69 percent of respondents as a key nutrient for pets, but just 2 percent were aware of the need for fats, 3 percent of carbohydrates, and fewer than 25 percent were aware of the need for vitamins and minerals.
    • Skepticism of label accuracy: AAFCO regulations mandate that every ingredient in a pet food must be listed in the ingredients list from the largest to smallest amount by weight, though still more than 70 percent of respondents said they believe pet food labels do not list all of the ingredients.
    "Misconceptions surrounding pet food and canine and feline nutrition can lead owners to make ill-informed choices about what to feed their companions," Coates said. "Veterinarians are the best source of information about what to feed pets. They can take into consideration a pet's unique combination of life stage, lifestyle and health to make individualized diet recommendations."

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Former P&G executive to launch super premium pet food company

    A former Procter & Gamble executive is getting ready to launch his own super premium pet food company, Petbrosia.
    Keith Johnson, who recently retired from pet food maker Procter & Gamble after 18 years, will begin taking orders for pet food shipments on March 1 via, which will offer a pet food formula customized for individual pets and delivered directly to consumers. The company uses proprietary algorithms to determine nutritional needs of individual pets based on factors such as breed, age, weight and medical conditions provided by their owners.
    “We’re taking a lot of guesswork out of the equation for the consumer,” Johnson said. “People have a higher understanding of health, they’re doing more for their pets, and they understand that one-size-fits-all does not work.”
    Johnson started by making product through contract manufacturers and has not yet decided on a location for the company when it begins adding its own pet food production operations. Johnson projects Petbrosia's first-year revenue to be US$3 million. He is currently in the process of beginning marketing efforts, as well as seeking another US$400,000 in seed funding from investors. 

WATTAgNet hosts webinar for 2013 grains, wheat, oilseed commodity outlook

    WATTAgNet will present the webinar “2013 Feed Grains, Wheatand Oilseeds Commodity Outlook,” January 22 at 10 a.m. CST.
    Register for the webinar.
    The webinar will cover information on the 2013 crop outlook based on the USDA’s January 11 crop reports. Speaker Tim Brusnahan, vice president of consulting, Brock & Associates, will analyze the USDA reports in light of last season’s drought, which wreaked havoc on much of the US’s crops. The information in these reports is likely of the most singular importance to the animal feed industry in recent memory. Brusnahan will use his considerable expertise to sift through the data and highlight the information that those in the feed and related industries need to know.
    What you’ll learn:
    • Important information regarding the US animal feed market for 2013
    • Insight about supply and demand for US and South America oilseed in 2013
    • Information related to the outlook for US ethanol
    • Strategies for animal feed users
    • Observations about whether the US crop production will get back to a trend line yield in 2013

    Ken Jennison, editor Feed Management and Feed International, will moderate the webinar.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

FDA, Merrick Pet Care investigate moldy cat food cans

    The US Food and Drug Administration and Merrick Pet Care announced they are investigating a California, USA, pet owner's complaint that mold was found in Merrick cat food cans.
    The moldy cat food cans were first reported on, which said the cans came from two cases and did not appear to be sealed properly because they did not make a vacuum-seal noise when they were opened. The cat food associated with the complaint is Merrick BG Chicken Grain Free Cat Food, sold in 5.5-ounce cans, with a "best by" date of March 14 and lot number 12074 CL2 20473 1203.
    “We take pet health very seriously, and our number one priority is to ensure that we are doing everything we can to help in the care and well-being of pet family members,” a Merrick spokesman said. “We are aware of this report regarding the cat cans and have been in touch with this customer, with the common goal of obtaining the necessary information to investigate this matter more fully as well as ensure their pet’s continued good health. As you may know, there are a number of ways cans can be compromised and we are working diligently to understand more about this particular situation.”

FDA releases proposed rule on preventive controls for human food

    The US Food and Drug Administration has released the proposed rule on preventive controls that applies to many domestic and foreign firms that manufacture, process, pack or hold human food. The rule proposes firms have written plans in place to identify potential hazards, put in place steps to address them, verify that the steps are working, and outline how to correct any problems that arise. FDA would evaluate the plans and continue to inspect facilities to make sure the plans are being implemented properly.
    The rule proposes each covered facility to prepare and implement a written food safety plan, which would include the following:
    •Hazard analysis
    •Risk-based preventive control
    •Monitoring procedures
    •Corrective actions, verification and record keeping

    FDA proposes that the requirements be effective one year after a final rule is published in the Federal Register. The agency proposes to allow two years for small businesses and three years for very small businesses to comply with the rule.
    Comments on the proposed rule are due 120 days after the rule is published in the Federal Register. FDA will hold public meetings to explain the proposal and to provide additional opportunity for input. A similar proposed rule that would apply to animal feed and pet food is expected soon.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pet owner gives back by starting pet food pantry

    One pet owner, whose dog underwent thousands of dollars in surgery and veterinary care that was raised through a social media campaign, is giving back by starting a pet food pantry called Callie Cares Inc.
    Betsy Alt's dog, Callie, underwent $4,000 in surgery and veterinary care to repair torn ligaments in her leg. Now, her pet food pantry Callie Cares Inc. is giving back to the Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, community and has already received more than 200 pounds of pet food and a couple hundred dollars in donations.
    “I think what surprised me is that people I didn't know at all were willing to help and get involved," Alt says. "Now some of them are getting involved with this organization as well."

Friday, January 11, 2013

Ainsworth Pet Nutrition talks supply chain optimization on webcast

    A recent webcast featuring Ainsworth Pet Nutrition and the pet food manufacturer's supply chain consultant demonstrated how the company integrated forecasting and production planning into its supply chain.
    Jamie Hornstein, director of Information Services at Ainsworth, and his consultant, Sumantra Sengupta of EVM Partners LLC, optimized the pet food manufacturer's supply chain with technology based on JustFoodERP. The company operated a single location when the business software was first installed in 2007 but has since expanded, and it now operates two plants, two offices and 10 warehouses. During the expansion and optimization, Sumantra said he was most suprised by "the amount of change management required… the mindshare shift [of Ainsworth] from a regional to a national player.”
    According to Sumantra, the biggest supply chain issues are: “The top line isn’t growing more than 3 to 5 percent and about 60 percent of the cost structure is in the supply chain. That’s why inventory management is so important – really understanding your data and business drivers. But getting that right is just the start, then analytics and reporting are key, how you slice and dice your data.” 

Pet product retailer Petsense to open 20 new stores in 2013

    Pet product retailer Petsense has expanded its chain of stores, targeted at pet owners in US rural markets, by opening 18 new stores in 2012.
    Petsense now operates a total of 69 pet product retail stores in 21 different US states but also plans to expand in 2013. The company says 2013 will be its largest year of store growth since being founded seven years ago, with plans to open at least 20 new stores.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

RECALL: Purina recalls Waggin' Train, Canyon Creek Ranch chicken jerky treats

    Nestlé Purina PetCare Company's wholly owned subsidiary Waggin' Train LLC is voluntarily recalling its Waggin' Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brand dog treats sold throughout the United States until further notice. The New York, USA, Department of Agriculture notified the company that testing found trace amounts of antibiotic residue in samples of Waggin' Train and Canyon Creek Ranch chicken jerky treat products.
    According to the company, the antibiotics found in the chicken jerky treats are approved for use in poultry in China and other major countries, but are not among the antibiotics approved for use when raising poultry in the US.
    "All of us at Waggin' Train care deeply about pets and their owners, and the quality of our products is of the utmost importance," said Nina Leigh Krueger, president, Waggin' Train LLC. "Waggin' Train has served millions of pets and their owners very well. In the final analysis, our company and our loyal consumers must have total confidence in the products we sell and feed our pets. Once we understand and determine how to comply with the technicalities of different regulatory frameworks, we will work with all appropriate parties to define the best way to supply the market."
    For a product refund or more information, please call the company's Office of Consumer Affairs at +1.800.982.0704 or visit

RECALL: Milo's Kitchen recalls Chicken Grillers, Chicken Jerky dog treats

      Milo's Kitchen is recalling Chicken Grillers and Chicken Jerky dog treats.
    Milo’s Kitchen is voluntarily recalling its Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers home-style dog treats from retailers in the US. The New York, USA, Department of Agriculture notified Milo's Kitchen and the US Food and Drug Administration that several lots of the Chicken Jerky dog treats were found to contain trace amounts of residual antibiotics.
    The company is recalling both its Milo's Kitchen Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers dog treats because they are both sourced from the same chicken suppliers. The company says that although the use of antibiotics to keep chickens healthy and disease-free while raising them is standard practice in poultry production for both human and petfood, the antibiotics found in the products were unapproved and should not be present in the final food product.
    According to Milo's Kitchen, part of the company's safety testing program involves testing for a range of substances commonly used to ensure the health of chickens, but it did not test for all of the specific antibiotics found by the New York Department of Agriculture.
    “Pet safety and consumer confidence in our products are our top priorities,” said Rob Leibowitz, general manager, Pet Products. “While there is no known health risk, the presence of even trace amounts of these antibiotics does not meet our high quality standards. Therefore, today we decided to recall both products and asked retailers to remove the products from their shelves."
    Leibowitz said that consumers who discard the treats will receive a full refund. Consumers with questions about the Milo's Kitchen recall can get further information by calling +1.877.228.6493.

Petfood manufacturer Natural Balance sponsors Rose Bowl parade float

    Pet food manufacturer Natural Balance sponsored a float in the 2013 Rose Bowl parade honoring military working dogs.
    The Rose Bowl parade, held in Pasadena, California, USA, featured the pet food maker's "Canines with Courage" float, on which four handlers and their dogs rode, representing the US Air Force, Army and Marines. The float featured a floral replica of the bronze and granite US Military Working Dog Teams National Monument in San Antonio, Texas, USA.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Packaging provider releases online sustainability report

    PaperWorks Industries Inc., a North American packaging provider, has released its first annual public sustainability report online, titled, Sustainability: It’s A Part of our Heritage.
    Compiled according to the Global Reporting Initiative Guidelines, the report measures PaperWorks' economic, social and environmental performance in 2010 and 2011, as well as outlines challenges and opportunities presented by the integration of four different companies.
    The report also features PaperWorks' successes, including reductions in emissions, water and energy usage. For example, PaperWorks achieved a 2.5 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over one year and surpassed the company's five-year corporate goal of reducing water intensity by 5 percent in one year, reducing absolute water consumption by 25 percent and water intensity by 16 percent. The company also made an investment to implement energy-efficiency upgrades at two of its facilities. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sheba launches wet cat food brand Facebook campaign

    Pet food company Sheba has launched a new online campaign to encourage pet owners in Singapore to purchase its premium wet cat food brand.
    The pet food company appointed BBDO Proximity Singapore to create a social media campaign that focused on developing an online community of cat owners who can endorse and raise awareness about Sheba's products.
    As a part of the social media strategy, BBDO Proximity Singapore created a Facebook application, called Sheba Catwalk, which features an online cat show for cats. Pet owners are also invited to create a Facebook brand page for their cat to post photos and comments. Pet owners can also request cat food samples on the Facebook page and post their reviews. 

US East Coast port strike temporarily averted

    The threat of a strike by longshoremen at 15 ports on the US East Coast, which would have likely increased shipping costs, has been temporarily averted, according to Global Development & Management LLC, which helps pet food manufacturers establish export markets.
    The International Longshoremen's Association and the Maritime Alliance agreed to extend the current contract until January 28, 2013. The major issue, royalties paid to longshoremen based on cargo weight, was resolved.  

Monday, January 7, 2013

Freshpet to expand refrigerated pet food production

    Pet food manufacturer Freshpet purchased a US$2.9 million plant in Hanover Township, Pennsylvania, USA, to expand production of its fresh, refrigerated pet food.
    The 60,000-square-foot pet food facility is expected to add 100 jobs at Freshpet when it opens in 2013.
    Freshpet CEO Richard Thompson said the company plans to invest another US$25 million into the facility, providing 80,000 square feet for plant operations when internal renovations are completed. The project's first phase is expected to open in March 2013, and the project will be completed in July 2013. Thompson hopes the pet food manufacturing facility will bring an additional US$250 million in revenue to the company. 

Top pet food companies profiled in exclusive database

Petfood Industry has collected data on more than 115 pet food manufacturers and marketers from around the world. This data includes company headquarters, types of products produced, main brands, annual revenue and volume, number of employees, plants and facilities and other information about each company.

  • The information, gathered by Petfood Industry and WATT Research, is more complete for some companies than others. If you have corrections, information or companies to add to this database, or any comments, please contact us at
  • The database is searchable by specific company name, geographic markets served or key product categories. Currently most of the data is from 2011, the most recent year for which we could find full, complete data. For the 10 largest companies by annual revenue, data is also available for 2010. We will add data for 2012, as well as other updates, on an ongoing basis.
  • Registration is required to access the database. If you are having problems registering or logging in, give us your contact information on this form and we will contact you as soon as possible.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Research and Markets offers report on pet care product innovation

    Research and Markets has added the From Gourmet to Grain-free: Innovation in a Resilient Global Pet Care Industry report from Euromonitor International to its offering.
    According to the report, despite economic uncertainty, pet care continues to see strong retail growth, with an increasing importance on product innovation and segmentation. The report looks into trends and themes driving pet care innovation, as well as identifies leading and emerging companies and brands, provides a market analysis with information on pet ownership, and provides five-year forecasts for the pet care market. The report can be purchased online

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Supreme Petfoods to air webinar for pet owners on January 9, 2013

    Supreme Petfoods will air the next webinar in a series for pet owners on January 9, 2013, focusing on sugar in a pet's diet and pet obesity problems.
    The webinar will be hosted by specialist exotics veterinarian, Molly Varga, who will also explore dangers caused by hidden sugars in unlikely places.
    The webinar is free for pet owners who sign up for the Happy Hoppers Club.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

China responds to chicken jerky dog treat complaints

    The Chinese government has responded to complaints about chicken jerky treats imported from that country that have been linked to dog illnesses in the US and have been the subject of recent investigations by the US Food and Drug Administration.
    Congressman Jerry McNerney wrote a letter to the Chinese government about the chicken jerky treats, asking the government to "consider halting production of these chicken jerky treats until the FDA can determine whether or not the products contain tainted material."
    In response, the Chinese government wrote, "From the perspective of the Chinese side, there might be something wrong with the FDA's investigation guidance." According to a report, the letter also warned not to influence public opinion and "to clear the name of Chinese pet food and eliminate the negative impact thereof on Chinese pet food trade and bilateral relationship." 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Wet, dry cat food study links diet preference to nutrient intake

    New research from an experiment with wet and dry cat foods may explain the reason some cats are so picky about their petfood.
    The study, published in the Journal of Comparative Physiology B, offered different petfood options to cats. When given the choice, cats selected a mixture of wet and dry foods that provided them with a consistent intake of protein, fat and carbohydrates in their diet.
    Cats in the experiment were offered a combination of wet and dry foods: one wet and three dry, one dry and three wet, and three wet and three dry. The food choices were offered first all at once, and then in a three-day cycle.
    In all trials of the experiment, cats selected foods that provided close to 52 percent calorie intake from protein, 36 percent from fat and 12 percent from carbohydrates. The study's authors noted that the cats' choice of foods was similar to what has been observed about feral cats' diet choices in other studies, indicating that house cats may have retained an instinctual ideal diet from their wild ancestors. In fact, the only major difference observed in the study was that feral cats have been previously observed to consume about 2 percent of their calories from carbohydrates; however, the study's authors noted this may be due to the formulation of the petfoods used.
    "This research has important implications for owners as it shows that cats are able to select and combine wet and dry foods to achieve their target intake of protein, fat and carbohydrate,” said lead author, Adrian Hewson-Hughes of the Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition. “In terms of products currently on the market, wet foods typically have higher proportions of protein and fat, while dry foods have a higher carbohydrate content."