Friday, June 28, 2013

National Animal Supplement Council updates Corporate Partner Seal

    The National AnimalSupplement Council has completed its campaign to improve the brand of the NASC Quality Seal, which included an updated image and new NASC Corporate Partner Seal to be used by approved third-party suppliers.
    NASC's Quality Seal program ensures that companies displaying the seal have passed a facility audit, have a written quality control manual, utilize an adverse event reporting system, and follow proper label guidelines including warnings and caution statements suggested by regulatory agencies.
    "The board's intention behind this update is to expand awareness of NASC's quality systems among consumers," says Karen Howard, president of NASC who presented the updated seal to members at NASC's annual conference in May. "For more than 10 years, NASC has worked diligently to create a unique path for animal supplements to go to market and define standards for the product supply chain that ensure retailers and consumers can trust animal supplements with the NASC Quality Seal. Now we are poised to broadly expand our outreach to consumers and engage them in the responsibility of providing healthy supplements to the animals we love."
    The updated NASC Quality Seal will be integrated on approved, audited member company product labels over the next six months and consumers can expect to see the updated seal on shelves beginning in fall. Howard anticipates that within 18 months all audited NASC members will be using the updated NASC Quality Seal.
    "Our next step is to develop and launch a consumer awareness campaign about the NASC Quality Seal and educate consumers on the value of animal health supplements," says Howard.  "Our research shows that although people are becoming more concerned for the overall health and wellness of their companion animals, information on nutrition and health supplements for animals is limited and confusing."  

Biorigin to expand Brazil feed ingredients plant

    Biorigin, Brazilian producer of natural ingredients for foods and animal feeds, began expansion of its unit located in Quatá, Brazil, aiming at doubling its production capacity in 2014.
    The US$120 million investment to expand the plant includes plans for the Fermentation, Pure Culture, Autolysis and Drying sectors.
    According to Mario Steinmetz, Biorigin's general director: "This investment will allow Biorigin to continue its process of sustainable growth in the market of food and feed ingredients, as well as to innovate in products and services, as we have done during the last 10 years.
    "This expansion initiative was brought about by positive market perspectives and by health and wellness market trends of an increasing search for natural ingredients. Moreover, we have a production model that allows the traceability of the ingredients applied. In addition, we use renewable energy sources that supply the requirements of sustainability," said Steinmetz.

Startup dog food company looks to enter national petfood market

    A new startup petfood company, TurboPup, is hoping to make petfood more convenient for people who take their dogs out travelling with them and people on-the-go.
    Kristina Guerrero and Brandon Sylvester started the petfood company after having trouble packing enough dog food for their dog when they took it along with them on skiing and camping trips. The company offers 500-calorie meal bars, mostly currently distributed by retailers in Oregon, USA.
    However, realizing their customer base was much broader than just outdoor enthusiasts, Guerrero and Sylvester just signed Backcountry K-9 as a national distributor and are now aiming to sell the petfood bars at a range of other retail outlets.
    The bars are currently produced in a specially created kitchen at the couple's home in La Pine, Oregon, USA. The couple also packages and ships the bars themselves, but realize they may have to give up production once the bars are sold nationally. "We'd love to grow to a point where we don't make the bars," Guerrero said.
    The all-natural bars are wheat-free and come in bacon flavor, but cheddar and grain-free peanut butter flavors will also be offered in the future. Guerrero says an 80- to 100-pound dog would need four servings over the course of a day, though it is not dog food to be used on a regular, daily basis. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

RECALL: Frozen dog food products recalled by Robert Abady for Salmonella contamination

    Robert Abady Dog and Cat Food Corporation of New York, USA, is voluntarily recalling two "limited specialty products" of frozen dog food due to Salmonella contamination.
    The petfood recall applies to 3-pound sizes of the following products: 
    • Abady Frozen High Stress/High Performance Dog Food
    • Abady Frozen Growth Formula for Puppies of the Large & Giant Breed
    The recalled products tested positive for Salmonella by the US Food and Drug Administration. The company says it has not received any reports of illness to date.
    "Our first priority is to produce foods with great care and keeping in mind the safety of pets and their owners," the company said. "We have many safety measures in place, and continually search for the best technologies and procedures to ensure product safety."

Pet owners can help shelters with purchase from new dog treat company

    Be Pawsitive, a new dog treat company, recently launched with a "Buy One, Give One" philosophy that offers a way for pet owners to give back to their dog while also helping shelter dogs.
    Consumers can purchase the company's monthly organic treat boxes, and for each box purchased, Be Pawsitive donates another box of the treats to an animal shelter or rescue organization. Customers can recommend a shelter or rescue organization to be added to the list of recipients at checkout.
    "After learning that more than 3 million dogs end up in shelters across the country each year, I felt compelled to do whatever I could to help," said Travis Watson, founder of Be Pawsitive. "The treats we donate not only provide a healthy snack for the dogs but also help with obedience training to get them ready for new homes, and also serve as an 'ice breaker' for the dog and potential adopter during their first meeting. The treats are really making a difference."
    Be Pawsitive, which launched in June, provides all-natural, organic dog treats for dogs, offering a new flavor each month. In addition to the treats, each box includes a month's supply (about 55) biscuits, dog toys or a gift card/discount code for other dog products, and an update on how Be Pawsitive is helping shelter dogs.
    Customers can choose from one of three monthly subscription options beginning at US$18 per month. Consumers can learn more about the company and its treat options online

Consumer call for pet retailers to post petfood, treat recall warning signs

    After a number of voluntary recalls of chicken jerky pet treats made in China, pet owners are asking retailers for accountability in warning consumers of products recalled or thought to be potentially harmful by the Food and Drug Administration. 
    As part of the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act, retailers are required to display visible warning signs at their registers when FDA identifies a "reportable food" for people or animals that could "cause serious, adverse health consequences or death."
    However, some consumers whose pets became sick or died after consuming the treats say pet retailers are not following this rule and are calling for signs to be posted immediately after the treats or products are recalled or deemed potentially dangerous by FDA.
    "All you need is an 8 x 11 piece of paper that can be posted at cash register that says 'this food has been recalled,'" said Tony Corbo, a lobbyist for the food program at Food & Water Watch.
    There is no way to tell how many stores are complying with the law or not, making it difficult to implement the law.
    Despite earlier recalls of Del Monte's Milo's Kitchen and Nestle Purina's Waggin Train and Canyon Creek Ranch chicken jerky treats, FDA says FSMA guidelines for posting warning signs are not applicable to these types of voluntary recalls because the treats are currently not considered a "reportable" food. And, even for items considered "reportable," such as Salmonella detected in dog food, FDA does not have a plan in place for monitoring stores that post or do not post a warning sign.

Mars Petcare focuses on pet health, nutrition in new marketing campaign

    Mars Petcare is making health and nutrition a priority for its Pedigree, Whiskas, Cesar and Sheba petfood brands to  focus more on the emotional connection people feel with their pets. The petfood maker is hoping the plan will lead to advertising that sets the brands apart from traditional petfood marketing campaigns and compete more directly with P&G's Iams brand. 
    The new marketing campaign includes the Cesar brand's first TV commercial in five years, which centers on the relationship between an old man and his dog, featuring the petfood as one of the ways an owner can repay their dog for its friendship. The campaign also features in-store, sampling and online activities that promote how the food can improve a dog's health.
    The Cesar campaign runs throughout June alongside a new marketing strategy for the Pedigree brand. The "Brighter Futures" campaign aims to increase awareness of the needs of rescue dogs and the role that healthy, balanced meals play in their road to a new home. Pedigree has also pledged to donate 1 million meals to a network of animal shelters across the country as part of the campaign.
    Mars is also increasing marketing for its Whiskas and Sheba cat food brands in response to shifting consumer trends towards healthier pet products to support the launch of several new products over the coming months. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Kendall Packaging begins 56,000-square-foot packaging facility expansion

    Kendall Packaging broke ground on a 56,000-square-foot expansion to its Jefferson, Wisconsin, USA, packaging facility on April 26.
    The expansion will double the plant's production and storage capacity and create 36 to 48 new jobs. The project is scheduled to be completed in late-summer 2013.
    "This expansion reflects the steady growth and expanding capabilities we've seen over the years," said director of manufacturing, Nate Friedl. "By doubling our capacity and increasing our production capabilities, we will be able to better serve our customers and build upon our success in the packaging industry."

German petfood company Vitakraft in talks with potential investors

    German-based petfood company Vitakraft-Werke is currently holding talks with potential partners and investors over a stake in the company or other forms of cooperation, according to a report.
    Dieter Meyer, head of advertising and PR, confirmed rumors that began at Zoomark International in Bologna and at various industry events regarding the possible involvement of an investor in Vitakraft. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Petfood safety, recalls concerns for consumers, petMD survey finds

    A recent petMD survey on petfood recalls showed that a majority of pet owners have concerns about petfood safety.
    According to the survey, 86 percent respondents said that strict quality-control measures are important to them; however, only 15 percent said they know whether or not the manufacturer of their pet's food practices strict procedures.
    "Responsible petfood companies go to extremes to keep the areas where raw ingredients are received and prepared separate from the areas where the cooked product is processed and packaged," said Dr. Lorie Huston, veterinary advisor to petMD. "What's disconcerting is that not many pet owners know whether their petfood company of choice practices these quality control procedures."
    The survey's key findings include:
    • Petfood recalls affect consumer confidence: More than 82 percent of survey respondents said they do not believe petfood manufacturers are "doing all they can to keep petfood free of Salmonella  and other contaminants." 
    • Consumers are unaware of petfood quality control measures: The majority of survey respondents said they would be more likely to buy a petfood if they knew the manufacturer practiced strict separation of raw ingredients from cooked products, but just 15 percent said they know if the manufacturer of their petfood has such procedures in place.
    • Manufacturers should hold petfood until test results come back clean: Nearly 100 percent of survey respondents said they are strongly against the common industry practice of shipping food to retail destinations before final test results from the manufacturing facilities have identified whether a batch of petfood is Salmonella-free. 
    • "Made in the USA" petfood is preferred: More than 84 percent of respondents said they prefer petfood products that are manufactured in a US facility, and 98 percent want to see ingredients come only from the US or other countries with similar regulatory systems.
    • Consumers want petfood manufacturing kept "in-house": 80 percent of respondents said it is important to them that a petfood company manufactures its own food under the supervision of its own employees. 

Milo's Kitchen awarded for home-style dog treats by Nielsen

    Petfood maker Del Monte's Milo's Kitchen brand was recently awarded for its home-style dog treats as one of 14 Breakthrough Innovation Winners for 2013 by Nielsen
    Nielsen conducted an analysis of more than 3,400 new consumer product introductions in the US during 2011 to determine which products demonstrated breakthrough results, satisfying three requirements:
    • Distinctiveness - Does it deliver a new value proposition to the market?
    • Relevance - Did this product generate year-one US sales of US$50 million or greater in Nielsen-measured channels (Food, Drug, Convenience, Dollar, Club and Mass Merchandise)?
    • Endurance - Will this product achieve at least 90 percent of year-one sales in year two?

    Milo's Kitchen dog treats achieved year-one sales of more than US$75 million and year-two sales of US$100 million.
    "We really felt that we had the chance to transform a category and build a powerful new brand. This meant doing the media campaign, putting the team on a plane to meet with our channel partners, executing in-store and engaging the sales force. It was all part of a single strategy. There was nothing to hedge, no optional elements," said Geoff Tanner, vice president of innovation for Del Monte, about the launch of the new dog treats.

Monday, June 24, 2013

RECALL: Hartz Mountain Corp. issues recall for Wardley Betta fish food

    Hartz Mountain Corporation has issued a voluntary recall of one lot of Wardley Betta fish food because products in that lot have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. The recall was initiated after Salmonella was detected in a lot of the fish food during routine microbial product testing.
    The recall applies to 1.2-ounce plastic containers of Wardley Betta fish food, marked with UPC 0-43324-01648 and lot code PP06331. Products were packaged by Hartz at its Pleasant Plain, Ohio, USA facility after a single production run and shipped throughout the US from May 13-June 4. 
    The company says it has not received any reports of illness to humans or animals as a result of contact with the recalled product. 
    Consumers may contact Hartz Consumer Affairs at +1.800.275.1414 with any questions and to obtain reimbursement for purchased product.

Call for papers opens for Petfood Forum Asia 2014

    The Petfood Forum Asia 2014 content advisory board is seeking abstracts for noncommercial presentations due by October 1, 2013.
    Potential speakers are invited to submit abstracts on petfood/pet treat topics including data, trends and predictions for the Asian and global petfood markets; nutrition and ingredients; petfood safety, processing and packaging; company profiles and case studies; marketing, promotions or social media; and new product development.
    Submissions should be emailed; complete guidelines are available.
    Petfood Forum Asia 2014 is scheduled for April 9, 2014, at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre, in conjunction with Victam Asia 2014.

Dogs' digestive system health may improve with pine tree carbs, study finds

    Dogs' digestive system health may be improved by consuming carbohydrates from pine trees, according to new collaborative studies by US Department of Agriculture, university and corporate scientists.
    The carbohydrates, known as GGMOs (galactoglucomannan oligosaccharides), are a by-product of treating wood chips that remain after trees are cut into lumber. The chips are treated with heat, high pressure and water to separate them into cellulosic fiber and hemicellulosic carbs, such as the GGMOs. 
    USDA Agricultural Research Service chemist Neil P.J. Price began his studies of these fiber-rich carbs in 2007 under the terms of a cooperative agreement with a company called Temple-Inland. This Texas, USA-based producer of wood products made from loblolly pine and other southern yellow pine trees approached ARS about potential new applications of the carbs.
    Price used proton magnetic resonance and other analytical techniques to study the potential benefits of the carbs as a petfood ingredient. This research led to another collaborative study directed by George C. Fahey, Jr., a University of Illinois emeritus professor of animal sciences.

    In the second study, purified GGMOs from southern yellow pine were added, in place of dietary cellulose, to a high-quality kibble at the rate of 0.5-8 percent. The kibble, or a "control" kibble containing no added GGMOs, was then fed to six healthy female dogs. Analyses of the dogs' fecal samples showed that increasing the percentage of pine GGMOs in the kibble was, in general, associated linearly with several significant indicators of a healthy lower digestive system, including an increase in populations of beneficial Bifidobacterium bacteria.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Packaging films manufacturer Clysar purchased by Cove Point Holdings

    Cove Point Holdings LLC, a privately held company, announced that its affiliate has purchased the Clysar division of Bemis Company Inc., a manufacturer of polyolefin shrink films used in petfood packaging
    Now an independent company, Clysar will move its headquarters from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA, to Clinton, Iowa, USA, where its extrusion and converting campus is located. 
    "Our capable, dedicated Clinton workforce has played a pivotal role in our first half-century of growth," said Hare. "This is an opportunity for Clysar to centralize our leadership, technology, development and manufacturing to make us an even stronger force in the shrink film market."

Halo petfood brand hosts New York, pet adoption event in June

    Halo, Purely for Pets hosted a "Pop up Shop" through June 26 at the Roger Smith hotel in New York, New York, USA,  allowing visitors to meet adoptable pets, enter weekly raffles and hear from pet experts like Dr. Marty Becker.
    The month-long event, "Halo City tails - NYC" lets pet lovers help pets in need by making charitable contributions for a chance to earn prizes like a shelter donation and tickets to see brand owner Ellen DeGeneres' "Ellen Show."
    Along with the "Pop up Shop" in New York, a social media "Check in for Charity" campaign. The campaign allows pet lovers to visit Halo retailers around the country for a chance to win 10,000 meals of Halo for their favorite shelter from Additionally, for every dollar's worth of Halo petfood customers purchase during the event, will donate one meal of Halo Spot's Stew to a New York area shelter.
    "Pet adoption is something I'm extremely passionate about. I believe that by working together, we can find good homes for the millions of homeless and abandoned pets out there," DeGeneres says.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

UK retailer Sainsbury's launches new dog, cat food range

    UK retailer Sainsbury's launched The Delicious Collection, its own range of petfood for dogs and cats.
    The new premium range includes 18 formulas made with real meat. The food is served in a microwavable container so your pet can "finally enjoy a hot meal at the end the day, just like the rest of your family," the retailer says. 
    According to Michael du Sautoy, category manager for Household and Pet, said: "Sainsbury's knows what an important part animals can play in our customers' lives...The new Delicious Collection petfood is another way of giving your pets some extra loving care. Offering quality, real meat with no additives or preservatives is a great way of helping ensure your pet is enjoying the best of everything."

Raw petfood diets have health benefits for dogs, article says

    Feeding raw petfood diets has been debated by both pet owners and health experts, says an article on the pet website Pawnation, which looks at whether or not these diets really lead to a longer life for pets.
    Pet writer Dorri Olds says she supports the raw diet after having success feeding it to her dog and believes the health benefits will help her dog to live longer. 
    Raw petfood diets are based on the concept that dogs are carnivores and so, would naturally eat raw meat in the wild, as opposed to the grains like wheat, rice, soy and corn found in typical commercial diets.
    Olds says she decided to try the raw food diet after meeting dog chef Kevyn Matthews, who told her that raw food will help extend her dog's lifespan. Olds claims her dogs bowel movements are healthier and her dog's breath and coat improved after switching to the raw diet. 
    "When your pet eats heated and processed 'dead' food without enzymes, their system will kick into survival mode to digest food," Olds says. "This means borrowing digestive enzymes from their metabolic enzymes. When that happens, your pet's body is in overdrive and only able to partially digest food. Whatever isn't digested can enter the bloodstream."
    However, some believe that the health risks of feeding a raw diet are greater than the benefits. Bacteria like Salmonella can be spread easily, but Olds says Matthews assured her his raw diet plan includes probiotics to fight off potential infection. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

RECALL: Natura Pet Products recalls dry dog, cat food lots for potential Salmonella contamination

    Natura Pet Products is voluntarily recalling lots of its dry petfood brands because the products have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
    The recall applies to all lot codes, UPC's and package sizes with expiration dates prior to June 10, 2014, of the following petfood products:
    • Innova dry dog and cat food, biscuits, bars and treats
    • EVO dry dog, cat and ferret food, biscuits, bars and treats
    • California Natural dry dog and cat foods, biscuits, bars and treats
    • Healthwise dry dog and cat foods
    • Karma dry dog foods
    • Mother Nature biscuits, bars and treats
    The recalled products were packaged in a single production facility. During FDA testing, a single lot tested positive for the presence of Salmonella. The company says it has not received any reports of pet or human illness associated with the products. The affected products are sold in bags through veterinary clinics, select pet specialty retailers, and online in the United States and Canada.
    Consumers should discard affected products. Contact the company at +1.800.224.6123 for further information or product replacement.

UK petfood manufacturer Pets Choice adds 50 jobs

    UK-based petfood manufacturer Pets Choice is expanding and creating 50 new jobs after receiving a loan from NatWest bank. 
    The funds allowed the company to expand by purchasing a larger factory space to increase production capacity. The company forecasts a 50 percent increase in turnover over the next three years. The company also plans to invest £5 million (US$7.7 million) in new machinery over the next five years.

Premier Pet Nutrition launches three new petfood calibrations for NIR machines

    Premier Pet Nutrition has launched three petfood calibrations to enable petfood manufacturers to maximize their NIR machine's capabilities and enhance petfood palatability, shelf life and quality.
    The three new calibrations can be uploaded to an existing NIR machine: 
    • The Cook Value calibration measures how well a dry petfood has been cooked, stating the level of starch gelatinisation (percent). It also provides instant feedback to the extruder operator if they are putting too much or too little energy into the petfood.
    • Peroxide Value (PV) is a measure of the level of oxidation in fats in a petfood. By measuring the PV using NIR, it is possible to assess how oxidized the fats are and if the palatability or shelf-life are going to become issues for that batch of petfood.
    • Water activity (aw) is one of the most critical factors determining the quality and safety of a dry petfood. If it is too high, the dry petfood will mold and spoil due to microbial growth. The new aw calibration gives instant feedback on how likely a petfood is to spoil once packed. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Petfood company Nestlé Purina to buy pet adoption website Petfinder

    Nestlé Purina PetCare Company announced it has signed an agreement to buy pet adoption website Petfinder from Discovery Communications LLC. The purchase will allow Nestlé Purina to broaden its support for pet welfare organizations and strengthen its role as a provider of online pet-related information. 
    The transaction, Nestlé's first major acquisition of a digital property, is expected to be completed in July. Nestle Purina aims to enrich and add value for the site's more than 100 million annual visitors, while the online space also provides a digital and mobile platform to engage with a growing group of involved pet consumers.  
    "Petfinder is the on-line leader in linking prospective adopters with adoptable pets, and a resource for pet owners' life-long relationship with their pets," says Joe Sivewright, president, North American Pet Food, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company. "We value Petfinder's existing framework, which is fully aligned with our commitment to pet welfare organizations and our belief that pets and people are better together. We plan to strengthen that solid framework with our extensive nutritional expertise and vast knowledge of pet welfare."
    "Discovery has been a proud owner of Petfinder, and we are extremely supportive of its animal welfare mission," says JB Perrette, chief digital officer, Discovery Communications. "As we have refocused our ad-supported digital mission on being the number one non-fiction video/media company across all screens, we were eager to find a great new home for this unique company. We are confident that Nestlé Purina is a noble steward of the Petfinder mission and will further fuel the company's growth. Discovery looks forward to continuing our relationship with Petfinder through support of the Petfinder Foundation and through our valued advertiser relationship with Nestlé Purina."

ASPCA, Rachael Ray to award US$600,000 to shelters for saving homeless pets

    The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is hosting the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, where a total of US$600,000 in prize grants will be awarded to help shelters save more homeless cats and dogs.
    The 49 contestants in 30 states will work to save more animals during the months of June, July and August than they did over the same three-month period in 2012. Last year's competing shelters saved more than 56,000 cats and dogs during the contest, an increase of 14,376 over the same period in 2011.
    ASPCA and Rachael Ray will award a US$100,000 grand prize to the shelter contestant that achieves the greatest increase in pets' lives saved during this three-month period. The contestant that does the best job of engaging its community members in helping to save more animals will win US$25,000. Those organizations that do the best in their divisions will be eligible for between US$10,000 and US$25,000 in additional grants. In total, US$600,000 in grant funding will be awarded for increases in animal lives saved, as well as a photo contest and general participation. 
    For more information about the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, please visit

Monday, June 17, 2013

PetSafe names 15 US cities as finalists in 'Bark for Your Park' contest

    PetSafe announced 15 cities across the US that will move on to compete as finalists in the "Bark for Your Park" contest with a chance to win US$100,000 or US$25,000 to build a local dog park.
    For the third year in a row, pet lovers across the US demonstrated their desire for off-leash dog parks in their communities, nominating 1,130 cities to compete to win a share of US$200,000 in funding for local dog parks through the PetSafe contest.
    "We are overwhelmed again by the enthusiasm for 'Bark for Your Park,' and we'd like to see every community in America enjoy a dog park," said Randy Boyd, president and CEO of Radio Systems Corporation, maker of the PetSafe brand. "That's why we're proud and excited to help five of our 15 finalist cities this year build their community dog parks. But, no matter the outcome of the contest, we hope all 1,130 cities will continue to 'bark' for their parks and rally the support needed to make their dog park dreams a reality."
    The finalist communities will continue "barking" for their park by voting daily on and PetSafe's Facebook page now through July 26. Finalist cities are required to submit a 30-second video designed to show the world why they deserve to win a dog park, and each city whose video receives 1,000 views on YouTube will earn an additional 1,000 votes.
    The finalist city with the most votes will be named the winner of a US$100,000 PetSafe dog park. The city with the highest percentage of votes to its population will receive the "Bark from Your Heart" award and earn US$25,000 toward building a local dog park. The top vote-earners in each size category of small, medium and large cities will also each receive US$25,000 toward building a PetSafe dog park. "Bark for Your Park" contest winners will be announced on July 31. 

Petfood manufacturer Royal Canin not exhibiting at Interzoo 2014

    Petfood manufacturer Royal Canin and pet supplies company American Spectrum Brands Group announced the companies will not be exhibiting at the Interzoo fair in Nuremberg, Germany, in 2014. Both companies cited high costs as the reason for their decisions.
    "We have invested a large amount of money in Interzoo in recent years. We have asked ourselves whether this investment goes down well with our partners in the pet supplies trade and is therefore justified," said Steven Sagrodnik, responsible for sales and marketing POS at Royal Canin. "In spite of these considerations, we will of course be available at Interzoo for scheduled discussions, but not on the previous scale." 
    The company said it will use the money instead to target potential partners in the German pet supplies market. Royal Canin is also planning to hold a pet supplies retailers' forum in April for its partners.

Royal Canin develops new dog food formula using feathermeal as protein

    Royal Canin is making a new type of petfood formula designed for dogs with intense allergic reactions to certain proteins, using chicken feathers as the main source of protein instead.
    The new Anallergenic dog food formula was developed over 10 years for dogs that do not respond to limited-ingredient diets because it uses a new source of protein: feather meal. Royal Canin USA President Keith Levy says the feather meal is nutritious and can be made very palatable. 
    "Feathers are broken down to an amino acid level and don't have much of a taste. Then we add palatizers for taste. In this case, we have to be very careful not to provoke an allergic reaction. That's why it took so long to develop this particular food. We're looking for lots of different sources of protein for our foods: hydrolyzed soy; we are currently researching worm meal as a potential protein source for some of our foods in China. I tried some kibble made with worm meal once - it tasted very good. So our approach goes way beyond feathers," he says.
    Levy says one of the benefits to using feather meal is that it supports the company's efforts in sustainability
    "Ultimately we'll have an issue with finding protein for the human food chain. By using alternative sources of protein, we're using something that would otherwise end up in a landfill," says Levy. "It's the best of both worlds: You're not competing with the human food chain, reducing waste and providing an incredibly nutritious protein."

Friday, June 14, 2013

Japanese company stops sales of pet treats made from endangered whales

    A Japanese company has stopped selling petfood made from endangered Icelandic fin whales after a campaign by conservation groups.
    Michinoku Farm was previously advertising jerky-like treats for dogs made from the endangered whales imported from Iceland. However, the company removed the product from its website after protests from four groups, including UK-based Environmental Investigation Agency and US-based Animal Welfare Institute. 
    Michinoku Farm president, Takuma Konno, said the company pulled the treats, despite being legal to sell in Japan. "Dogs are like family members for many people in Japan. We just wanted to sell a wide variety of food for dogs," he said. "Campaigners look at whales as important animals, but we consider dogs to be just as important. Maybe I was ignorant of the debate over whaling, but it's not worth selling the product if it risks angering some people."
    Susan Milward, executive director of the Animal Welfare Institute, said, "We are extremely pleased to see Michinoku Farm respond in such a progressive, compassionate and prompt manner, and we would strongly urge all other businesses to follow suit and end such sales."

Online registration now open for Pet Fair Asia 2013

    Online registration is now open for Pet Fair Asia 2013, being held August 22-25 at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center. 
    The show will feature 600 vendors from 32 different countries promoting and selling their pet products across 37,000 square meters. 
    Petfood Forum China, taking place August 23, will also be co-located with Pet Fair Asia in Shanghai. Petfood Forum China will feature learning and networking sessions designed to address the needs of petfood and treat manufacturers located in China. Online registration for Petfood Forum China is now open, as well. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Euromonitor releases report on Other Pet Food in Romania

    Euromonitor International released its Other Pet Food in Romania report, offering a guide to the country's petfood market at a national level. 
    The report found that local manufacturers are becoming increasingly active due to the fact that most available products are relatively high priced. The report notes the local leading company, Nordic Pet Food, which produces an affordable food for birds and small animals. Additionally, the report offers retail sales data from 2008-12 and forecasts to 2017.
    The report can be purchased online from Fast Market Research.

Washington, USA, church breaks world record for petfood collected in seven days

    Living Hope Church in Vancouver, Washington, USA, recently collected 19,600 pounds of petfood in seven days to break a Guinness world record held for seven years by a South African supermarket. The collection of petfood by the church sets a new world record for "Largest donation of pet food in seven days," according to the World Record Academy.
    The church collected the petfood from April 30-May 5. Senior pastor, John Bishop, said nearly two-thirds of the petfood collected was dog food, but hose feed, goldfish flakes and small animal food was also collected. After being weighed, the petfood was donated to a handful of Clark County animal charities, including 4,000 pounds to the Humane Society for Southwest Washington and 769 pounds to Northwest Battle Buddies, which provides service dogs to combat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
    The previous Guiness world record was set at the Pick 'n' Pay Supermarket in Boksburg, South Africa. The 13,011 pounds, 3 ounces of petfood collected from September 1-7, 2006, was donated to the Boksburg Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Petfood Forum 2014 call for papers announced

    The Petfood Forum 2014 content advisory board is seeking abstracts for noncommercial oral and poster presentations, due by September 16, 2013.
    Potential speakers are invited to submit abstracts on petfood/pet treat topics including nutrition and ingredients; packaging; safety and regulatory issues; processing and production; market data, trends and predictions, including for petfood markets outside the US; company profiles and case studies; marketing, promotions or social media; and new product development.
    Submissions should be emailed; complete submission guidelines are available.
    Petfood Forum 2014 is scheduled for March 31-April 2, 2014, at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel, about 10 miles west of O’Hare Airport near Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Small Pet Select launches Timothy Hay promotion for rabbit owners

    Small Pet Select recently launched a promotional campaign in which interested customers can get an "I LOVE MY RABBIT" sticker free with a Timothy Hay order from the company. 
    The promotion will benefit the House Rabbit Society with 10 percent of each sale donated back to the organization. 
    Since launching its Timothy Hay product at the end of summer 2012, Small Pet Select has grown to more than 47,000 Facebook fans. "The reason for our fast growth thus far is due to a strong focus on product quality and customer service," says co-founder William Gordon. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Merrick Pet Care, Dogington Post host responsible dog owner seminars in June

    As part of an initiative to educate pet parents on how to have healthy, happy dogs and promote the importance of responsible dog parenting, The Dogington Post and Merrick Pet Care have teamed up to create "Merrick Pet Care's Dogington University," a series of eight live seminars presented by top animal health experts throughout June.
    As part of the event, veterinarians and experts from around the country will give one-hour, live presentations to the readers and fans of the site.
    Experts presenting as part of the series include Dr. Ernie Ward, the veterinarian for the "Rachel Ray Show" and author of Chow Hounds. Dr. Ward will speak on the topic of pet obesity. Holistic veterinarian and award-winning author, Dr. Shawn Messonnier will discuss allergies and skin problems in dogs, and how pet parents can treat them both conventionally and naturally.
    Other panelists include Jennifer Kachnic, president of the Gray Muzzle Organization, who will speak about caring for senior dogs; Dr. Doug Kenney, veterinarian and expert on the topic of pet insurance; Leslie May and Johann the Dog, experts in green living; author John Clifton on the subject of vaccinations; Linda Tellington-Jones, the creator of TTouch, a system of animal training, healing and communication that allows people to relate to animals in a deeper, more compassionate way; and Thom Somes, "The Pet Safety Guy" will discuss summer hiking safety for dogs.
    Anyone can register for free online, and a one-time registration will allow access to all eight free seminars.
    "It is widely known that well behaved, healthy dogs stand a better chance of finding and staying in loving homes, away from overcrowded shelters and euthanasia," said Brandy Arnold, content editor for Dogington Post.

Icelandic whales exported to Japan for use in petfood

    Meat from North Atlantic fin whales is being sold by Iceland to Japan to be used in petfood, according to a report
    Iceland plans to resume commercial whaling in June, which is expected to result in catching of more than 180 whales over the next few months. 
    However, the Environmental Investigation Agency is accusing the country's government of breaching a global moratorium on whale hunting, calling the inclusion of the whale species in specialty dog foods in Japan "grotesque." According to the agency's senior campaigner, Clare Perry, "almost 100 percent" of whale meat is being exported to Japan from Iceland.  
    Fin whales are at a very high risk of extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, but Iceland says the fin whale population has increased enough that it can withstand sustainable hunting.

Petfood, treat manufacturers use new closure technology in packaging

    Two petfood and treat manufacturers are incorporating Velcro Industries' new Press-Lok closure technology into their packaging, making it easier for consumers to reseal the packages.
    Holland-based Paragon Pet Products is incorporating the Press-Lok closure technology, produced by Peel Plastics Products Ltd., into packages of its gluten-free, all-natural dog treats, Whimzees. Hill's Pet Nutrition is also incorporating the new closure into its petfood packages from Peel, available through veterinary clinics and pet specialty retailers. 
    The Press-Lok closure system is a hook-to-hook technology that allows consumers to close the package without precise line-up. The closure has an audible click that allows consumers to hear petfood packages open and close for a tight seal and maintain product freshness. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Biomin releases Mycotoxin Survey Program 2012 findings

    Biomin released details on the distribution of mycotoxins according to region of origin and commodity type in its latest Mycotoxin Survey Program 2012. The survey confirmed that mycotoxins are a persistent problem around the world, with 82 percent of analyzed samples showing presence of at least one mycotoxin and more than one mycotoxin in 50 percent of the samples. 
    From January until December 2012, a total of 4,023 mycotoxin samples collected worldwide were analyzed. In total, 14,468 analyses were carried out for the most important mycotoxins in terms of agriculture and animal production – aflatoxins (Afla), zearalenone (ZEN), deoxynivalenol (DON), fumonisins (FUM) and ochratoxin A (OTA). In addition to these mycotoxins, European samples were analyzed for T-2 toxin (T-2). Due to lab regulations in other parts of the world, the presence of this mycotoxin was not tested for in other regions.
    Samples tested were diverse, ranging from cereals, such as corn, wheat, barley and rice, to processing by-products, namely soybean meal, corn gluten meal, dried distillers grains with soluble, and other fodder such as straw, silage and finished feed.
    In the more than 4,000 samples analyzed, Afla were present in 25 percent, ZEN in 46 percent, DON in 64 percent, FUM in 56 percent and OTA in 31 percent. Average contamination levels of all samples were 34 ppb for Afla, 251 ppb for ZEN, 1,088 ppb for DON, 1,350 ppb for FUM and 5 ppb for OTA. Compared with data from the previous year, an increase in the occurrence of fusariotoxins (DON, FUM and ZEN) was observed together with a slight decrease in Afla.

Zip-Pak opens new packaging closure facility in Brazil

    Zip-Pak began commercial operations at its newest plant, a 46,000-square-foot facility in Cabreuva, São Paulo, Brazil, in February. The facility produces a selection of resealable solutions, including string zippers, double-track zippers and flange zippers, which can be used in petfood packaging.
    The new facility allows Zip-Pak to expand its production of closures ideal for form-fill-seal applications, including petfood, and support services. As part of its “global to local” customer service commitment, the Brazil facility also warehouses and distributes many other zippers produced by Zip-Pak facilities in North America and Europe. Zip-Pak field technicians are also consulting with potential customers on ways to retrofit production lines to incorporate resealable packaging.
    "Having a local presence means that Zip-Pak can better serve and meet the needs of this growing and dynamic global market,” said Daniel Richena, commercial director.

Friday, June 7, 2013

PetSmart reports first-quarter 2013 earnings

    PetSmart Inc. reported earnings of US$0.98 per share, up 15 percent compared to US$0.85 per share in the first quarter of 2012. Net income totaled US$102 million in the first quarter of 2013, compared to US$95 million in the first quarter of 2012.
    Total sales for the first quarter of 2013 increased 5 percent to US$1.7 billion, partially impacted by US$2 million in unfavorable foreign currency fluctuations. Comparable store sales, or sales in stores open at least a year, grew 3.5 percent, benefitting from comparable transactions growth of 0.8 percent. Services sales, which are included in total sales, grew 5.8 percent to US$192 million.
    During the first quarter, the company generated US$147 million in cash flows from operating activities, spent US$35 million in capital expenditures and repurchased US$180 million of PetSmart stock. The company ended the quarter with US$324 million in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash, and zero borrowings on its credit facility.
    The company expects comparable store sales growth in the range of 3-4 percent and earnings per share between US$0.82 to US$0.86.

    “As a reminder, the annual guidance for 2013 is for 52 weeks versus 53 weeks in 2012. For fiscal year 2013, we anticipate comparable store sales growth of 3 percent-4 percent, and total sales growth of 3 percent-4 percent. We are raising our earnings per share guidance from a previous range of US$3.76 to US$3.92, to our current expectations of US$3.82 to US$3.94,” said Chip Molloy, executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Online dog sitting community conducts dog owner travel survey

    As the summer travel season begins, online dog sitting community conducted a third-party consumer survey of nearly 1,000 dog owners in the US to identify their travel habits and pet care needs while on vacation.
    According to the survey, about 75 percent of people are planning to travel this summer, but not all will be bringing their dog. “As much as dog owners would like to, sometimes it’s simply not practical, nor cost effective, to travel with our dogs,” said Aaron Easterly, CEO.
    When travelling without their pet, more than 80 percent of dog owners worry about how their dog is cared for when they are on vacation. Almost 15 percent of respondents said they are unsatisfied by their current dog boarding arrangement, while 70 percent of pet owners said they would travel more if they had a trusted source of dog care.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Evanger’s to open new petfood facility near Chicago

    Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Company is planning to open a new facility in the Chicago suburb of Markham, Illinois, USA. 
    With the goal of achieving LEED certification, the petfood facility incorporates a number of sustainable practices. The facility features skylights as the dominant source of light, LED lights controlled by motion sensors, motors utilizing variable frequency drives to use less electricity, and steam created by natural gas powered boiler to heat the plant and cook food.
    “We produce very little waste- the equivalent of a standard family 60-gallon can each day,” said president of Evanger’s, Holly Sher. “Our environment is the lifeblood of our products, so it has always made sense to take every measure possible to help preserve the integrity of our earth, and the ingredients it provides us.” 

FDA releases third Reportable Food Registry Report

    The US Food and Drug Administration has made its third annual Reportable Food Registry Report available.
    The Reportable Food Registry Report summarizes the Registry’s third year of operation, from September 8, 2011, to September 7, 2012). It found that the Registry tracked 224 primary reports – initial reports about a food safety concern; 609 subsequent reports from suppliers or recipients of a food for which a primary report was submitted, and 262 amended reports to correct or add information to reports already submitted. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

FDA extends comment period on proposed food safety rules

    The US Food and Drug Administration extended comment periods on proposed rules for Preventative Controls and Produce Safety under the Food Safety Modernization Act. The comment periods have been extended until September 16.
    The extended comment periods apply to proposed rules for Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventative Controls for Human Food (Preventative Controls proposed rule) and Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption (Produce Safety proposed rule). 
    The proposed rules are the first of five that would establish a foundation and central framework for a modern food safety system under FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act. The three other proposed rules are under review, including: Preventative Controls for Animal Food, Foreign Supplier Verification Program and Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors. 

American Feed Industry Association elects new directors at spring meeting

    The American Feed Industry Association’s board of directors recently met to discuss issues of concern during the spring meeting in Washington, D.C., USA. 
    At the meeting, the board also recognized Al Gunderson, Vita Plus, for his leadership as chairman over the past year, as well as welcomed his successor, Jeff Cannon, Diamond V Mills, and 16 new directors and elected 8 new members to the organization’s Executive Committee.
    AFIA board members discussed a range of topics, including matters pertaining to membership, strategic objectives, finances and regulations and legislation. Board members visited their respective members of Congress on May 15 to promote AFIA positions on proposed legislation for issues impacting the feed and feed ingredients industry, including the new Food and Drug Administration requirement for petfood under the Food Safety Modernization Act.
    A complete list of new board members elected can be viewed online

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Merrick introduces 21 new cat food recipes as part of ‘Real Food Revolution’

    Merrick Pet Care is continuing its “Real Food Revolution” with the introduction of its new Purrfect Bistro menu of 21 recipes offering a variety of high-protein, canned and dry cat foods.
    Purrfect Bistro recipes are formulated to nourish kittens, adult and senior cats, featuring deboned meat as the number one ingredient, in flavors such as chicken, salmon, tuna, duck, turkey and beef. The recipes contain no poultry byproducts or ingredients from China, and they are grain free with essential fatty acids, like omega 6s and omega 3s. Recipes are available in paté, shredded and sliced varieties.
    “We know our cats need a high-protein, moisture-rich diet and that’s why our Purrfect Bistro menu is expansive in the number of high-quality options across both dry and canned recipes,” said Greg Shearson, Merrick Pet Care’s chief executive officer. 
    Merrick’s new recipes will be available in summer at independent pet specialty stores, Petco and select online retailers.

Research and Markets adds Petfood Manufacturers (Global) report to offerings

    Research and Markets added the new report, Petfood Manufacturers (Global), to its offerings. 
    Plimsoll Publishing's Petfood Manufacturers (Global) analysis provides a detailed overview of the worldwide petfood manufacturing market and delivers a comprehensive individual analysis on the top 200 companies, including San Miguel Foods, Continentale Nutrition and Pet Valu Canada.
    Information on financial trends over the past four years is included, for those who want to identify leading and failing companies, seek out acquisitions and analyze industry trends. Information on the largest 200 companies is included in a one-page individual assessment for each company. 
    The report can be purchased online.

Monday, June 3, 2013

US Senate rejects bioengineered food labeling amendment

    On May 23, the US Senate rejected an amendment proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont that would have allowed states to require labels on food or beverages made with bioengineered ingredients. 
    The amendment, which was rejected during a debate on the farm bill, would have made clear that states have the authority to require the labeling of foods produced through bioengineering. It would also have required the Food and Drug Administration and the US Department of Agriculture to report to Congress within two years on the percentage of food and beverages in the US that contain bioengineered ingredients. 
    “An overwhelming majority of Americans favor GMO labeling but virtually all of the major biotech and food corporations in the country oppose it,” Sanders said. “Today’s vote is a step forward on an important issue that we are going to continue to work on. The people of Vermont and the people of America have a right to know what’s in the food that they eat.”

Iams petfood brand to host Doggie Jam concert in Canada on June 8

    On June 8, Iams petfood brand will host a concert for dogs in Canada in celebration of the launch of Iams SO GOOD! dog food. The Iams So GOOD! Doggie Jam will bring together nearly 5,000 dogs and their owners to celebrate the love between people and pets. 
    The Doggie Jam will feature the Toronto Concert Orchestra and Chorus playing classical dog-inspired music. The event will also offer attendees a free product coupon sample, redeemable for a bag of new Iams SO GOOD! petfood. 
    For more details about the event and to purchase tickets, visit the Ticketmaster website.

Meow Mix contest to award free cat food to grand-prize winner

    Meow Mix cat food brand is looking for cat owners to enter the “Meow for Mealtime” contest, in which pet owners can create their own version of the Meow Mix jingle with their cat for the chance to win US$10,000 plus a lifetime supply of Meow Mix cat food. 
    Cat owners can enter the contest on the company’s Facebook page or website through June 9. Cat owners should upload a picture of their cat, select a background and pick a signing voice, letting cat owners produce a customized video and share it via social media. Winners will be chosen daily, and the grand-prize winner will be selected at the end of the promotion.