Wednesday, December 31, 2014

KaNoodles dental chews earn pet business award

    KaNoodles Premium Dental Chews for Dogs, by Vets Plus Inc., have been awarded the honor of a 2014 Pet Business Industry Recognition Award. The winners were selected by the editorial team of Pet Business and announced in the magazine’s December 2014 issue.
    “We’re so excited to have received this award for the new KaNoodles chews," said Cherie Grandt, director of marketing at Vets Plus. "They’re a unique product—from the ingredients to the shape—and we’re excited about how the industry and pet parents are embracing the chews.”
    KaNoodles Premium Dental Chews have a flexible shape with deep grooves that maximize contact with the tooth surface for a better clean. “As the dental category grows, pet parents have more options for convenient oral health care," said Grandt. "KaNoodles chews stand out because of their flexibility and digestibility.” The chews are made of an extruded pasta base that is completely digestible, so there’s no harm to the dog if swallowed. With zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber, KaNoodles chews help keep teeth and gums healthy while providing support for a strong immune system.
    KaNoodles chews for dogs were launched in the USA and Canada in August 2014, and are available in four sizes for adult dogs small to extra-large.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

RECALL: Barkworthies recalls dog chews on Salmonella concerns

    Chicken Vittles dog chews recalled after routine testing by Colorado Department of Agriculture

    Barkworthies of Richmond, Virginia, is recalling select lots of its Barkworthies Chicken Vittles dog chews because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
    The recalled product was distributed nationwide beginning on May 6, 2014. The product can be identified by the Lot Code printed on the back of the plastic pouch or on the bottom. This product is being recalled as it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella:
    Lot Code: 1254T1
    Size: 16 oz. plastic pouch
    Best Used by Date: May 2016
    UPC: 816807011510
    The recall was initiated after routine testing by the Colorado Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of Salmonella in a single lot of the product. No additional products are affected by this recall. The company has received no reports of illness in either people or animals associated with these products to date.
    The recalled product should not be sold or fed to pets. For a full refund, pet owners should return all unused product to their place of purchase along with a completed Product Recall Claim Form available on the Barkworthies website.

Petfood Forum 2015 announces speakers, new schedule

    Petfood Innovation Workshop: Next Generation Treats, which will take place April 27 in Kansas City, Kansas, USA, will include a field trip to a Food Innovation Accelerator Lab at nearby Kansas State University-Olathe. There, participants can practice product development of treats with several hands-on exercises using actual ingredients and processing techniques.
    Sales of pet treats are growing 5% to 8% a year globally, with double-digit increases in some regions as pet owners around the world seek to pamper their pets yet still feed them wholesome, healthy snacks, including functional ingredients. Participants in the Petfood Innovation Workshop can learn about upcoming trends and new product ideas for this dynamic category, then engage in hands-on experimentation, making new types of treats at the Food Innovation Accelerator Lab.
    Just about 30 minutes from the Kansas City Convention Center, this new Kansas State University (KSU) campus features a test kitchen where Greg Aldrich, PhD, Research Associate Professor at KSU and President of Pet Food Ingredients & Technology, will lead industry suppliers through helping petfood professionals create new bench-top, baked and molded treats.
    Space for Petfood Innovation Workshop: Next Generation Treats is limited. Early bird registration savings are available through February 15, with additional savings for professionals also registering for Petfood Forum 2015.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Rondo Food invests in new administration building

    Krefeld company Rondo Food has constructed a new building on its premises. With this development, the company has re-established itself for the future, according to Rondo Food.
    Administration departments and sales for the whole of the company group are located at the Krefeld site, and all the central functions such as purchasing, financial accounting and human resources converge at this site. “In the past, there wasn’t a free desk and our capacities were all utilized,” said Managing Director Dirk Wellen. “Our old 1970s building hadn’t been sufficient to meet the demands that the modern working day places on our staff for some time. There was also a need for modernization in several areas; for example, window insulation and the IT infrastructure."
    The company has invested US$4 million in a new, modern administration building that was completed in August 2014. After a 10-month building phase, the three managing directors and all staff were able to move into the new building. In the new building there are only a few individual offices, allowing for more open-plan offices with zones for working together to realize more intensive communication and teamwork, according to the company.
    The new administration wing has been constructed in front of the old building. In a second building phase the existing old building will be disassembled and a new two-story building will be built in its place. The new home for some members of staff, for example from the purchasing and sales services departments, will be in that new building. Additional social rooms will be constructed in the then available free areas. All of the departments closely linked with production, such as product development and quality assurance, that were previously located in a different area on the premises, are now under one roof. All building work should be completed in the spring of 2015.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Vital Essentials announces 2015 resolution focusing on pet health

    Vital Essentials has announced its 2015 resolution—to encourage American pet parents to feed healthier diets. Throughout 2015, Vital Essentials is planning a number of events to call attention to its Alpha prey-model diet, which the company touts as a healthier way to feed dogs and cats.

    “Most Americans are typically more health conscious during January,” said Lanny Viegut, Vital Essentials CEO. “We want them to think about a healthier lifestyle for the entire family, including their dogs and cats.” To kick off the new year, Vital Essentials will be promoting three of the top-selling Purely RAW frozen entrées in support of its Feed Healthycampaign at independent pet specialty retail stores throughout the US. These entrées will be marked with a “Special Price” tag on packages.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

NGFA seeks to change proposed rule on petfood, animal feed

    The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) during a recent public meeting urged the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make significant changes to its proposed rule that would establish for petfood and animal feed new requirements for current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs) and hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls.
    The FDA conducted the public meeting to receive stakeholder feedback on four major re-proposed rules associated with its implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The four re-proposed rules address produce safety, CGMPS and preventive controls for human food, CGMPs and preventive controls for petfood and animal feed, and foreign supplier verification programs.
    The FDA issued the reproposed animal feed rule on Sept. 29, 2014 to provide the agency's current thinking on requirements after its review of comments received in response to its original proposal issued in 2013. The NGFA submitted extensive comments on the 2013 proposal, and recommended that FDA make major changes and re-propose the rule for additional stakeholder comment given the very significant nature of the regulations, and the extent of changes recommended by the NGFA and other stakeholders.
    During the public meeting, Max Fisher, NGFA director of economics and government relations, said he commended FDA for re-proposing the rule and allowing additional comment. But Fisher said the NGFA remains concerned that "many of the proposed CGMP provisions continue to mirror those established for human food, and do not reflect the realities associated with feeding animals, nor are they necessary to assure the safety of feed products."
    In prior statements to FDA, the NGFA has urged the agency to develop final requirements that are practical, achievable and serve to benefit the safety of petfood and animal feed. In doing so, the NGFA has cautioned that adding unnecessary regulatory burdens and costs would undermine the industry's ability to serve the animal agriculture industry and divert finite resources away from effective practices that already are assuring a safe and abundant supply of petfood and feed.
    "The NGFA requests that FDA carefully consider the economic impact of its proposed requirements and weigh the extensive costs against anticipated benefits, which the agency has yet to quantify," said Fisher. The NGFA's economic analysis of FDA's original proposal indicated the requirements would cost petfood and animal feed facilities more than US$500 million annually—approximately four times more than estimated by FDA.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Dimensioning a conveying system for bulk materials

    When considering the installation of a new vacuum conveying system for the handling of granular bulk materials, there is a checklist of questions that need answering, according to Thomas Dahl, strategic sales OEM for the material handling division of Piab AB. The designer of the system will need the answers in order to dimension, design and assemble a system that suits the application.
    1) What material?: The designer needs to know the bulk density of the material; i.e., how much it weighs in kilograms per liter (kg/l). It is also important to establish an approximate size for individual particles in the material, measured in micrometers (µm).
    2) How clean?: In order to choose the right type of equipment for the conveying system, the designer also needs to know what their client requires in terms of cleanliness of the transported material.
    3) How far?: Spatial data regarding the transportation system itself is also vital. The designer has to know how far the material needs to be transported.
    4) What capacity?: The capacity, throughput, or flow rate of the system is next on the designer’s list of questions. The capacity is measured in tons per hour and, together with the respective vertical and horizontal distances, it provides the designer with a figure that is used to select a pump for the system.
    5) Any risks?: To avoid dust explosions, specialized equipment may be required for materials prone to developing static electricity. Compliance with industrial standards included in regulations such as the EU ATEX Directive is an essential part of the design work.
    6) Test it?: An experienced designer will have no problem dimensioning and building a vacuum-based conveying system for common materials. However, faced with unfamiliar materials or perhaps extreme spatial constraints, the designer may decide to test the system in-house before it is implemented at the client’s premises.
    Having ticked off all the questions on the checklist, the designer is ready to set to work building a system fit for purpose. Furnished with all the necessary information regarding: the fluidity, bulk density, and particle size of the material; the horizontal and vertical distances in the available space; the desired capacity; any special requirements concerning cleanliness or potential risks; and results from a potential trial run, the designer can choose the right vacuum conveyor for the job.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Pet's, Vet's Packaging Forums to be held in February 2015

    Together with the representatives of pet industry brands, pharmaceutical companies and packaging suppliers, the Paris Packaging Innovation Hub is organizing a set of conferences—Pet's Packaging Forum on Feb. 4, 2015 and Vet's Packaging Forum on Feb. 5—focusing on technology that will boost innovation in the sector.
    "Developed in close collaboration with brands a packaging experts, Pet's and Vet's Packaging Forums are unique opportunities to take stock of innovations, technical advances and packaging trends," said show organizers.
    The Pet's Packaging Forum will include discussions on petfood packaging challenges and enhancing consumer experience. The Vet's Packaging Forum will highlight point of packaging and drug delivery, and the current status of packaging and dispensing innovations.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Study explores role of gut bacteria in development of obesity in dogs

    A new study has found that human and canine obesity share some similarities, according to Science magazine. Obese people have a less diverse array of bacteria living in their guts than do thin people—and the same holds true for dogs.
    According to the study abstract, which was published in December 2014 in the "Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine," seven Beagle dogs were fed commercial petfood over a period of six months to increase their weight and seven other Beagle dogs were fed a restricted amount of the same diet to maintain optimal body condition over a period of six months. Researchers found that the seven Beagles in the first group gained an average of 4.93 kilograms—about 67% of their initial average weight.
    "When the researchers examined the fecal samples collected from both groups after six months, they found that the guts of obese Beagles contained a smaller diversity of bacteria than those of the other dogs," said Science magazine. "What's more, microbes from the phylum Firmicutes were the predominant group in the lean dogs, whereas gram-negative bacteria called Proteobacteria were prevalent in the obese group."
    The study says that decreased serotonin levels in the obese group might increase the risk of obesity because of increased appetite, and that microflora enriched with gram-negative might be related to chronic inflammation status in obese dogs. However, according to the study authors, more research is needed to examine what role gut bacteria may play in the development of obesity.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

PetSmart to be bought by BC Partners for US$8.7 billion

    Pet supply retailer PetSmart Inc. has made an agreement to be bought by a private equity consortium led by BC Partners Ltd. for US$8.7 billion, in the largest leveraged buyout of the year.
    Activist investor Jana Partners LLC began pushing for a sale after disclosing a 9.9% stake in PetSmart in early July 2014, according to reports. PetSmart said BC Partners, as well as some of its fund investors, including La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and StepStone, signed an agreement to buy the company for US$83 per share. Longview Asset Management, which has a 9% stake in PetSmart, will roll a third of its holding into the deal.
    The buyout price represents a 39% premium to PetSmart's closing price of US$59.81 on July 2, 2014, the day before Jana disclosed its stake and called for PetSmart to explore a sale. Jana paid less than US$55 per share on average for its percent stake in PetSmart, according to regulatory filings.
    PetSmart, which has about 54,000 employees and operates 1,387 pet stores, said in August 2014 it would explore a potential sale of the company. PetSmart faced mounting investor pressure at a time when fierce competition from large retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Amazon, is squeezing specialty stores.

    In November 2014, PetSmart reported flat third-quarter net income of US$92.2 million as net sales rose 2.6% to US$1.7 billion.

WIPIN seeking experts for third annual women-focused pet business conference

    Women in the Pet Industry Network (WIPIN), an organization focused on women entrepreneurs in the pet industry, is seeking experts to share their knowledge and expertise at its 2015 Conference & Awards Show, Aug. 13-15, 2015 in Portland, Oregon. The 2015 conference theme is “Creative Collaboration.”
    “We’re seeking speakers who can inform and help WIPIN members—female (and a few smart male!) entrepreneurs—committed to growing their businesses, their networks and themselves,” said WIPIN President Shawna Schuh. “The annual conference is a way to augment what WIPIN provides members all year: a myriad of online resources and educational growth opportunities as well as avenues for rich collaborating.”
    WIPIN’s previous conferences have featured dozens of speakers from throughout the US and Canada—a collection of skilled professionals who delivered presentations on: business growth, strategic partnerships, effective marketing and promotion, and the importance of inspiration, motivation and laughter.
    “Being at the WIPIN 2014 conference as both a speaker and delegate was a complete life changer,” said Nickey Rautenberg, founder and online marketing strategist of Pet Industry Marketing Group. “Speaking gave me great exposure for my business and also allowed a greater merger between the world of Internet marketing and the pet industry; my ultimate goal. I have no doubt that the Women in the Pet Industry organization will continue to allow me to network in a way I would not be able to otherwise.”
    WIPIN invites speaker proposals for the following overall categories:
    • Developing effective business strategies
    • Mastering marketing, PR and social media
    • Maximizing networking and connection opportunities
    • Managing resources wisely
    Experts interested in speaking at the 2015 conference can view the speaker application and submit their proposals online

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New Petfood Innovation Workshop on treats to feature test kitchen sessions

    Petfood Innovation Workshop: Next Generation Treats, which will take place April 27 in Kansas City, Kansas, USA, will include a field trip to a Food Innovation Accelerator Lab at nearby Kansas State University-Olathe. There, participants can practice product development of treats with several hands-on exercises using actual ingredients and processing techniques.
    Sales of pet treats are growing 5% to 8% a year globally, with double-digit increases in some regions as pet owners around the world seek to pamper their pets yet still feed them wholesome, healthy snacks, including functional ingredients. Participants in the Petfood Innovation Workshop can learn about upcoming trends and new product ideas for this dynamic category, then engage in hands-on experimentation, making new types of treats at the Food Innovation Accelerator Lab.
    Just about 30 minutes from the Kansas City Convention Center, this new Kansas State University (KSU) campus features a test kitchen where Greg Aldrich, PhD, Research Associate Professor at KSU and President of Pet Food Ingredients & Technology, will lead industry suppliers through helping petfood professionals create new bench-top, baked and molded treats.
    Space for Petfood Innovation Workshop: Next Generation Treats is limited. Early bird registration savings are available through February 15, with additional savings for professionals also registering for Petfood Forum 2015.

Purina develops petfood focusing on cognitive health

    To help pets sustain healthy brain function into their later years, Nestlé Purina has developed a nutritional blend of key ingredients that specifically target risk factors linked to brain aging, according to the company. The new blend, developed by Purina scientists, consists of key ingredients such as fish oil, B vitamins, antioxidants and the essential amino acid arginine. The nutritional breakthrough can help maintain cognitive functions, such as memory, social interaction and learning abilities, says Purina.
    In a recent survey conducted by Purina, 54% of dog owners aren't aware that physical changes in dogs can be related to cognitive issues. But 45% of dog owners have noticed their dogs slowing down mentally as they get older. More than four in 10 dogs in the US are older than seven years, and nutrition can help maintain healthy brain function, says the company.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

IFFO launches video on omega-3s in salmon feed

    As farmed salmon becomes a regular feature in diets, it is important to understand its nutritional benefits. Salmon is still an excellent source of omega-3s, containing more than most other fish, but do consumers understand enough about the amounts of EPA and DHA found in salmon and the recommended levels in our diets? IFFO’s latest video helps answer this, focusing on the crucial role of omega-3s in salmon feed, especially EPA and DHA, and the changes in levels used.
    Salmon have a very limited ability to make EPA and DHA. The concentration of EPA and DHA in their flesh is directly linked to their diet, which in the wild is rich in fish oil. Farmed salmon feed used to contain 100% fish oil, rich in EPA and DHA, but supplies of sustainable fish oil are limited. As salmon farming grows, more and more feed is required but the levels of available fish oil remain unchanged, says the IFFO. The amount of fish oil used in feed is therefore decreasing and is now supplemented with an increasing percentage of vegetable oil, resulting in lower levels of EPA and DHA in salmon. Farmed salmon still contains more EPA and DHA than most other fish but consumers need to be aware of the varying levels of EPA and DHA in salmon and ensure that they continue to eat enough to reach the recommended intake levels of 250 mg per day, as recommended by the World Health Organization.

Euromonitor releases trends in pet nutrition video

    In September 2014, Euromonitor International presented the results of its annual pet care research at the National Pet Industry trade show organized by PIJAC Canada. The video (first in a series) presented discussed some of the trends in pet nutrition that featured prominently at the show and reflect well trends observed in petfood retail in the US and Canada.
    In the video, Euromonitor takes a look at three trends: locally sourced food, ethically sourced food and "free from" food. The video features Svetlana Uduslivaia, senior research analyst for Euromonitor. The upcoming second videocast will discuss product development trends with emphasis on the expanding array of proteins used in petfood.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dogswell donates 15,000 pounds of petfood at NKLA adoption weekend

    Dogswell teamed up with Best Friends Animal Society to help people feed their dogs at NKLA Adoption Weekend with LiveFree food. For each dog adopted, Dogswell donated three months of LiveFree dog food and more than five pallets to Best Friends Animal Society—more than 15,000 pounds of dog food.
    Dogswell's LiveFree food is available exclusively at independent pet retailers and at Unleashed by Petco. A round-up video of the event is available on YouTube.

Interzoo Summit recap film now available

    The Interzoo Summit—the international conference in English—took place for the first time on May 28 just before Interzoo 2014 (held May 29–June 1), and a video of highlights is now available.
    During the show, Interzoo promoter Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft Zoologischer Fachbetriebe invited top managers and managing directors from companies trading in pet supplies and companies exhibiting at Interzoo to discuss the current challenges for the international pet supply trade in a customer-orientated omni-channel market. Well-known speakers presented successful concepts for emotional customer loyalty, the development of private labels, and growth models for cooperation with manufacturers and other players in the supply chain.
    Participants and speakers also had the opportunity to meet in the evening over dinner with musical accompaniment. The first Interzoo Summit was organized in cooperation with the international magazine Pets International and NürnbergMesse.
    A video of the Summit can be seen online for those looking to get a preview of 2016's event, which will take place May 25, a day before Interzoo 2016 on May 26–29.

Friday, December 12, 2014

NutriFusion formulates nutrient-rich products for pets

    NutriFusion, a provider of natural nutrition and phytonutrient products for food manufacturers, has extended its flagship ingredient, GrandFusion, into the petfood sector.
    Food manufacturers will be able to infuse their existing brands with NutriFusion’s pet-friendly blends that are conducive to a diet rich in vitamins that include fresh fruits and vegetables, such as beets, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, cranberry, strawberry, apple and pumpkin. NutriFusion’s pet blends are all natural, non-GMO and gluten-free with Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12, C, E and zinc.
    “As pets increasingly assume the role of ‘family members’ in households, owners are looking to confer the benefits of their own wellness routines, especially functional ingredients,” said William Grand, president and CEO of NutriFusion. “NutriFusion takes pride in the quality of its products, and our new pet blends will assure that pets get the essential vitamins they need to stay happy and healthy.” NutriFusion’s method allows the vitamins and phytonutrients contained in fruits and vegetables to be “naturally stabilized,” in powder form, for inclusion into petfoods. GrandFusion allows food processors to add natural nutrients to a wide variety of finished food products. It is an all-natural, patented blend of fruits and/or vegetables that can significantly increase the nutritional profile, and therefore the marketability of food, beverage and supplement products, according to the company.

AFIA to host eighth petfood conference at IPPE

    The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) will host a one-day Pet Food Conference at the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, Georgia, on Jan. 27, 2015. The educational conference will discuss nutrition, trade and certification programs impacting today’s petfood and petfood ingredient manufacturers.
    More than 10 speakers will address a variety of topics at the conference, including Dr. Daniel McChesney, director of office of surveillance and compliance at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, who will provide agency updates and the impact on the petfood industry.
    The conference will feature several other industry experts including Dr. Colin Basler, Center for Disease Control and Prevention; LeAnn Chuboff, Safe Quality Food Institute; Marianne Smith Edge, International Food Information Council; Richard Ten Eyck, The Association of American Feed Control Officials; Dr. David Meeker, National Renderers Association; Janet Riley, American Meat Institute; Dr. Charles Starkey, American Proteins; Dr. Kelly Swanson, University of Illinois; Gina Tumbarello, AFIA; and Svetlana Uduslivaia, Euromonitor International. There will also be a petfood safety panel, featuring Jolyda Swaim, Olsson, Frank and Weeda, and other petfood manufacturers and ingredient suppliers, which will give an update on the proposed Food Safety Modernization Act rules, food safety plans and sampling.
    IPPE is expected to attract more than 28,000 attendees and is a collaboration of three trade shows—International Poultry Expo, International Feed Expo and International Meat Expo—representing the entire chain of protein production and processing. The event is sponsored by the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), American Meat Institute (AMI) and US Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY).   

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Banfield Charitable Trust, Royal Canin launch holiday petfood drive

    Banfield Charitable Trust and Royal Canin invite pet owners and advocates across the US to participate in and support the ninth annual holiday petfood drive. The program, launched Dec. 1, 2014 and running through Dec. 24, features 12 days of promotions that will raise awareness about pet hunger, collect petfood and raise funds to benefit senior citizen pet owners needing support in the care of their companions.
    Through the 12 Days of Joy Pet Food Drive, Royal Canin encourages consumers to drive donations by sharing snapshots of the joy their pets bring to everyday life. The donations will benefit seniors who need the support to keep their companions, but struggle with mobility and costs. Together with Banfield Charitable Trust, Royal Canin will encourage fans to post photos of their pets that bring delight to their lives, and in return will donate food to those in need.
    How to participate:
    • Make a monetary donation: Make a monetary donation at or at Banfield Pet Hospitals to fund grants for local Meals On Wheels petfood programs. For donations of US$10 or more, KONG will donate a toy to the pet of a Meals On Wheels client.
    • Donate bags and cans of dog and cat food at one of Banfield Pet Hospital's 870+ locations across the US.
    • Submit a pet photo on Royal Canin's Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages. A photo submission will account for 20 pounds of food donated.
    • By submitting pet pictures, users are also entered to win a daily prize from Royal Canin. During the month of December, additional information (and new ways to win) will be provided on Royal Canin's social networks.
    The program runs through Dec. 24, 2014.

Mars acquires P&G petfood business in Australia, New Zealand

    Mars Incorporated has completed its acquisition of the Iams and Eukanuba pet brands from The Procter & Gamble Company in Australia and New Zealand. This follows an agreement announced by the companies earlier in 2014 and receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals. Mars has already acquired Procter & Gamble's petfood business in North America, Latin America and other select countries.
    The Iams and Eukanuba brands will be part of Mars Petcare, joining brands Pedigree, Whiskas, My Dog, Dine, Optimum, Royal Canin, Nutro and Advance. The move is a strategic addition to the company's pet care portfolio that will enable Mars Petcare to meet the needs of more customers and pets in Australia and New Zealand, said the company. "Owning a pet is an important part of many people's lives in Australia and New Zealand—there are over 8.5 million pet cats and dogs," said Sylvia Burbery, general manager Australia, Mars Petcare. "Pets are an essential part of society and provide invaluable support in facilitating human interaction, social connections and providing companionship. Iams and Eukanuba are great products and are a welcome addition to our petfood offering. They complement our existing brands and will help us better meet the needs of our much loved pets."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Petfood Forum Europe registration now live

    Registration for Petfood Forum Europe 2015 is now open, with 10% off the price if you register before April 1. The conference will be held June 10, 2015, at the Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany, in conjunction with VICTAM International 2015.
    The dynamic petfood market is growing quickly in developing regions like Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia; and even with slow growth lately in developed markets like Western Europe, opportunity abounds for innovative, healthy petfood products to capture pet owners’ attention and purchasing power. At Petfood Forum Europe, attendees will glean new information and ideas to innovate and expand their business.
    Petfood Forum Europe has offered expert knowledge and valuable networking for European petfood professionals since the late 1990s. In 2015, it will again be co-located with VICTAM International, together with the 6th FIAAP International Conference. The 2015 VICTAM International event combines the FIAAP, VICTAM and GRAPAS exhibitions (and their respective conferences) under one roof at Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany, June 9–11, 2015, and will attract a large audience of feed professionals from all around the world.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Trouw Nutrition donates to K9s for Warriors

    Each year, Trouw Nutrition USA aims to give back to companion animals. For its 2014 donation, Trouw has send a cash donation on behalf of its customers to support K9s For Warriors, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and national member of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), which provides service dogs to warriors/veterans that suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury post 9/11.
    The three-week program that K9s For Warriors offers is at no cost to the warrior. The program takes place at their Florida location and is designed for the warriors to come and meet their new companion and to begin training together. The service dog trains to help the veteran recover from conditions such as PTSD and traumatic brain injury. The program involves not only the veterans and their new service dog, but there are also highly skilled, certified dog handlers and trainers that are available throughout the entire training program.
    "Each year, we look forward to the holiday season," says Trouw. "Teaming up with K9s For Warriors shows our commitment to the pet industry. As we take time this holiday season to remember our working K9’s, we also would like to take a moment to reflect back on all the individuals that are in need of service dogs. From all of us at Trouw Nutrition, we hope that you can enjoy the holidays with your family and friends and reflect on the blessings we have been given."

Monday, December 8, 2014

Petco to acquire online pet product retailer Drs. Foster and Smith

    Petco has entered into an agreement to acquire Drs. Foster and Smith, a veterinary-owned online pet supply company. The acquisition will unite one of the largest pet specialty retailers with one of the largest online pet retailers in the US.
    "This move underscores our commitment to nurturing the complete health and well-being of animals and further allows Petco to meet the diverse and expansive needs of pet parents," said Jim Myers, Petco CEO. "As pet lovers first and foremost, our values are perfectly aligned with Drs. Foster and Smith, and we're confident this new addition to our business will help us continue to offer the very best in products and services to pets and pet parents." The acquisition will complement Petco's existing capabilities in pet health to include prescription services, including prescription diets, preventive care and a broad base of products created by licensed veterinarians.
    "At our founding, our intent with Drs. Foster and Smith was to provide pet owners with veterinary advice and quality pet supplies at affordable prices," said Race Foster, DVM, co-founder of Drs. Foster and Smith. "We believe Petco shares those same values, and we look forward to building on our original mission." The acquisition includes both Drs. Foster & Smith's prescription services as well as its popular branded products, including joint care supplements, dog and cat foods, dog beds, cat furniture, horse supplies, equine equipment and other pet care essentials.
    The transaction is expected to be completed by early 2015 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals. The terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

Friday, December 5, 2014

For every can of Merrick petfood purchased at Petco in Dec., one meal will be donated to a rescue animal

    Petco and Merrick have partnered to give back to pet shelters during the holiday season. For each Merrick can of petfood purchased at Petco in November or December 2014, a meal will be donated to a rescue animal.
    The companies will donate meals up to US$1 million of cans purchased to selected shelters:
    Special displays are up in Petco stores throughout the US so pet parents can learn about the promotion and pick up a can to help make a difference in a shelter animal's life. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Natural pet products to exceed US$7 billion in 2014

    Natural pet products are expected to exceed US$7 billion in 2014, and premiumization has been a primary driving force behind it, according to a Packaged Facts report.
    The report, "Natural, Organic, and Eco-friendly Pet Products in the US, 5th Edition," says that natural petfood will account for US$6.6 billion in sales by the end of 2014, and natural pet care products will make up the remainder. Premium foods are doing better right now than other petfood segments, boosting the natural products category. Margins on superpremium petfoods can reach 40%, compared with 30% for premium brands and 20% or less for standard brands. As more of these higher-end foods take on the "natural" claim, sales will continue to rise for that segment, according to Packaged Facts.
    On the other side of the coin, offering just a natural claim isn't enough for consumers anymore, and consumers are willing to spend more for additional health and wellness benefits. According to Packaged Facts’ April/May 2014 survey results, 64% of pet owners believe that high-quality petfoods are effective for preventive health care, and 68% are willing to spend extra money to ensure the wellness of their pets. Sixty-two percent of pet owners check product labels on the petfoods they buy, and 42% are concerned about their pet having food intolerances or allergies, according to the survey.

Freeze-dried, refrigerated/frozen petfoods continue strong growth

    The natural food category, which has been driving the petfood market for over 10 years, continues to spawn trends that rise and fall on much shorter timeframes—challenging manufacturers and retailers to keep pace while making a profit, according to GfK's latest data.
    The latest point-of-sale data from GfK’s pet specialty store panel in the US shows that sales of gluten-free dog and cat food have already begun to plateau, posting 39.2% growth from January through August 2014, as compared to 91.2% for the same period in 2013. By contrast, freeze-dried food recorded a 43.8% sales rise in that timeframe (similar to 46.9% in 2013), while the controversial refrigerated/frozen category saw a lift of 17% (consistent with 17.5% in 2013).
    The GfK pet retail panel includes neighborhood shops and superstores alike, representing over 11,000 pet specialty outlets in the US. GfK captures and reports dozens of metrics—from pounds sold to new products introduced—covering more than 350 manufacturers and over 22,000 SKUs.
    Collectively, the freeze-dried, refrigerated/frozen and gluten-free categories accounted for over US$566 million in sales in the first eight months of 2014, more than double the US$243 million they posted in the same time frame in 2012. Gluten-free remains the heavyweight in pure dollars, though, representing US$450 million in sales, versus US$71 million for refrigerated/frozen food and US$45 million for freeze-dried.
    Natural food is still the category "to beat" in dog and cat food, according to GfK, accounting for 79% of all new items introduced from January through August 2014, and for US$3.3 billion in sales during the same time frame—two-thirds of all petfood sales (US$4.9 billion total). Both natural sales figures represent upticks from the same time period in 2013.
    One element of natural food that appeals to pet specialty retailers is the higher-than-average price points these SKUs command, says GfK. Natural dog and cat foods (including treats) sell for US$2.55 per pound on average, compared to the average of US$2.18 per pound for all petfoods in general. The price per pound for freeze-dried dog and cat items is essentially six times higher than the average price for all categories (US$11.51 per pound versus US$2.18). Refrigerated/frozen food, meanwhile, is more than double the average price per pound (US$5.11 versus US$2.18).
    “Natural remains pretty much the only game in town when it comes to high-growth dog and cat food items,” said Maria Lange, senior product manager of GfK’s retail and technology team, which manages the pet specialty panel. “Dog and cat owners have shown a willingness to pay extra for emerging benefits—such as gluten-free and freeze-dried—that often mimic the ones seen in human food. Manufacturers and retailers need to give their customers access to the latest talked-about SKUs while keeping actual sales dollars in perspective; categories posting the highest growth and capturing the most headlines may still be minor forces when it comes to meeting revenue targets.”
    Although the refrigerated/frozen food category has been beset by negative media stories about recalls and Salmonella risks, sales have continued to grow (at about 17% to 20% annually) over the last four years. And, despite the added burden of installing refrigerators and freezers and culling expired items, the percentage of outlets—neighborhood and superstores—carrying refrigerated/frozen food has grown from 65% in 2011 to 75% in 2014.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Zoetis to purchase animal health assets of Abbott

    Zoetis Inc. has announced an agreement to purchase the animal health assets of Abbott for US$255 million. Abbott Animal Health is a companion animal health business focused on the veterinary surgical suite. The acquisition will strengthen Zoetis’ companion animal product portfolio and expand its diagnostics business as more pets are being treated for pain and serious illnesses, according to the company.
    “The addition of Abbott Animal Health assets is an excellent complement to the Zoetis companion animal business and addresses the challenges our customers face today in effectively raising and caring for animals that are living longer and receiving more intensive medical and surgical treatment,” said Zoetis Chief Executive Officer Juan Ramón Alaix.
    “The transaction is aligned with our value creation strategy to deploy capital to acquire products that enhance our portfolio. This acquisition strengthens our pain portfolio and our diagnostics business so we can deliver more customized solutions to veterinarians.”
    Going forward, Zoetis said it remains committed to its strategy of acquiring complementary businesses and products that can generate sustained value to shareholders. No other terms of the transaction are being disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015, pending the successful completion of customary regulatory and legal reviews.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Jackson Galaxy to deliver closing keynote for Petfood Forum 2015

    Courtesy of Jackson Galaxy
    Jackson Galaxy, star of My Cat From Hell, will deliver the closing keynote for Petfood Forum 2015.
    Petfood Forum, the exclusive, premier event for the global petfood industry, has announced that Jackson Galaxy, star of the hit Animal Planet show My Cat From Hell, will deliver the closing keynote for the 2015 conference on April 29. He will talk about the inspirations for his career, lessons he’s learned from working with cats and their owners and why his primary goal is to help save the 4 million animals that die in shelters each year, working through his Team Cat Mojo campaign and Jackson Galaxy Foundation.
    A self-described “cat behaviorist by day and rock ‘n’ roller by night,” Galaxy has over 15 years’ experience working with animals, starting at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley in Boulder, Colorado, USA. There, he became fascinated with the animals in his care and studied as much as he could on cat behavior. After nine years, Galaxy co-founded Little Big Cat Inc., with Dr. Jean Hofve, a holistic veterinarian, to give mind-body consultations to cat guardians, focusing on the connection between physical and behavioral health. Galaxy continued his private practice after moving to Los Angeles in 2007, which led to My Cat From Hell.
    Galaxy has written two books, Cat Daddy: What the World’s Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean, and Catification, published in fall 2014. He works closely with animal shelters and rescue organizations, teaching his Cat Mojo lecture series to volunteers, staff and adopters, and helping with behavioral and environmental enrichment programs for their residents. He serves on the board of directors for Stray Cat Alliance and Fix Nation in Los Angeles and Tree House Humane Society in Chicago, is on the board of advisors for Neighborhood Cats in New York City and Rescue Me Magazine and is an ambassador for Best Friends Animal Society.
    Scheduled for April 27-29 in its new location of Kansas City, Missouri, USA, Petfood Forum 2015 will also feature 27 other learning sessions, a large exhibit hall and many networking opportunities. Early bird registration savings are now available through February 15. For more information, visit

Monday, December 1, 2014

Merrick releases infographic on organic petfood

    Merrick Pet Care has developed an infographic for its Castor & Pollux Organix brand highlighting organic food and how much it matters to pet parents.
    Among the topics discussed in the infographic: the value placed on organic food for pets compared to the rest of the family; what's important about organic to pet parents; and common misconceptions surrounding the USDA Organic logo. The infographic can be found on Merrick's Facebook page.

AFIA addresses FDA on Food Safety Modernization Act

    The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) addressed the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) during a Nov. 13, 2014 public meeting on the four re-proposed Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules. AFIA and the 575 members it represents submitted comments to FDA in March 2014 and are taking the additional time provided to prepare feedback on the supplemental proposed rules published Sept. 29, 2014.
    AFIA said it remains concerned with items addressed in its original comments that are not fully addressed in the supplemental, particularly the differentiation between human food and animal food as well as the looming high costs of the rule for its members. "There are a few proposed CGMP provisions that still appear geared toward human food, not animal food," said Paul Keppy, AFIA government affairs specialist. "This is frustrating because the spirit of the law clearly allows for treating animal food and human food regulations differently. On the other hand, there are places where animal food is left out of important rules."
    Keppy said the additions in the supplemental represent significant cost increases. He said FDA's own numbers in the original Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis (PRIA) concur, showing the cost of the rule to far exceed the benefit. "Feed is already 70% of the cost of raising an animal," said Keppy. "AFIA members want to make animal food safer, not more expensive. We continue to believe the costs can be reduced by a less prescriptive set of CGMPs and a strong approach to controlling significant hazards through CGMPs."
    AFIA will submit comments on the proposed supplemental rules, which are due by Dec. 15.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Pack Expo International 2014 attendance tops 2012 numbers

    Packaging and processing professionals gathered in Chicago, Illinois, USA, for Pack Expo International and Pharma Expo 2014. With preliminary figures topping 48,600 attendees, show owner and producer PMMI (The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies) anticipates recording a 6.5% attendance jump over 2012.
    The four-day event, held Nov. 2–5, covered more than 1.2 million net square feet of exhibit space in McCormick Place with 2,352 exhibiting companies—an increase of more than 19% for exhibiting companies from Pack Expo International 2012. “Pack Expo International 2014 was definitely a success,” said Jim Pittas, senior vice president, PMMI. “Exhibitors sold machines right off the show floor and collected high quality leads from the steady flow of attendees.”
    Pre-show registration was well ahead of 2012 figures, and that momentum continued on site, according to show organizers. Pharma Expo, which PMMI produced in partnership with the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering, contributed to the surge in attendance, with twice as many attendees identifying their primary or secondary markets as “pharmaceutical.”
    “Exhibitors begin planning their strategy for the next Pack Expo almost immediately after the close of the previous year’s show, and they need to know they’ll get a strong return on their investment,” said Pittas. “The success of the inaugural Pharma Expo proves the strength of the Pack Expo brand across all vertical markets and reinforces the industry’s view of Pack Expo as the preeminent North American packaging and processing show.”
    Pack Expo East will be held Feb. 16–18, 2015, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Registration is US$30 through Jan. 21, when it increases to US$60.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

AFIA publishes energy management guidelines

    In order to assist the feed industry in the conservation of resources, preservation of the environment and reduction of cost in the area of energy management, the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has published an updated "Energy Management Guidance Document." The six-chapter guide was drafted by AFIA's production compliance, equipment manufacturer and integrator committees and covers state regulations, the organization and development of an energy management program, feed industry audits, calculating energy cost and methods for conserving energy.
    The document is designed to help feed manufacturing facilities understand how to develop benchmarks within their companies and offers suggestions for improvement based on the findings. "It does not matter your profession—professional athlete or feed mill operator—the only way to improve your performance is to measure every aspect of your operation and then develop a plan to make improvements based on those results," said Keith Epperson, AFIA vice president of manufacturing and training.
    Key areas the document provides details on are: calculation of electric bills and how to reduce electricity usage in a feed facility; energy audits specific to natural gas consumption, operating temperatures of a boiler, peak demand usage and more; and the proper maintenance of boilers within a mill, especially if operators are pelleting feed or flaking grains. "Our goal is for feed mill operators to welcome this document into their facilities as our members always look to become more energy efficient, environmentally sound and up-to-date with current regulations," said Epperson.

Pets benefit human health, says survey

    A recent survey conducted by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute has found that there are human health benefits to owning a pet. The survey interviewed 1,000 family doctors and general practitioners.
    Ninety-five percent of those surveyed either own or have owned a pet, and 69% have worked in a facility that used pets to assist patient treatment or therapy. Ninety-seven percent said they believe there are health benefits to owning a pet. In addition:
    • 75% of those surveyed said they've seen a patient's overall health or a specific medical condition get moderately or significantly better after the patient adopted a pet.
    • 87% said they've seen a patient's mood or outlook improve as a result of owning a pet. 
    • 84% said they talk to patients about their pets.
    • 60% have recommended that a patient get a pet.
    • 82% said that if medical evidence supported it, they would prescribe a pet for a patient.
    The respondents reported hearing about the health benefits through several sources, including patient stories (64%), personal experience (59%), traditional news media (44%) and medical journals (38%). 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

RECALL: Natura Pet recalls dry cat, ferret food due to vitamin insufficiency

    Natura Pet Products has initiated a limited, voluntary recall of certain dry cat and dry ferret food lots produced in its Fremont, Nebraska facility. Due to a formulation error, these products contain insufficient levels of vitamins and excess minerals.
    There have been no reports of animal health concerns to date, but these lots do not meet established quality standards and should not be consumed by pets, said Natura. No other EVO products or lots are affected by this issue. The affected product and lot codes are:
    EVO Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Formula dry cat & kitten food; 15.4 pounds; UPC 5148 541400
    Exp. 02/19/2016; Lot code 4300A700D2
    EVO Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Formula dry cat & kitten food; 2.2 pounds; UPC 5148 541402
    Exp. 02/20/2016; Lot code 4301A700A4
    EVO Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Formula dry cat & kitten food; 2.2 pounds; UPC 5148 541402
    Exp. 02/20/2016; Lot code 4301A700B4
    EVO Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Formula dry cat & kitten food; 2.2 pounds; UPC 5148 541402
    Exp. 02/20/2016; Lot code 4301A700C4
    EVO Grain Free Ferret Food; 6.6 pounds; UPC 5148 542101
    Exp. 02/19/2016; Lot code 4300A700D3
    The problem was discovered during the investigation of an ingredient inventory discrepancy. Only the above five lots are affected. These lots were distributed through independent retailers in CA, GA, MI, MN, NV, PA, TX, VT and Canada, as well as online.
    Retailers have been contacted and are instructed to immediately withdraw these lots from store shelves. Consumers who purchased the product should discontinue feeding the product immediately and discard as normal household waste. Natura said it is taking immediate corrective action as a result of its investigation.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

PMMI 'Pack Gives Back' raises money for K9s for Warriors

    The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies' (PMMI) "Pack Gives Back" event at Pack Expo International and Pharma Expo 2014 raised over US$34,000 for K9s for Warriors, a charitable organization dedicated to providing service dogs to military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress as a result of their service since 9/11. The Nov. 3 event, open only to Pack Expo and Pharma Expo registrants, featured former Tonight Show host and comedian Jay Leno.
    Leno entertained a sold-out crowd of 1,900, and funds raised included a portion of ticket sales and supplemental donations collected online and on site at Pack Expo. The program includes three weeks’ training for the canine/warrior teams at the K9s for Warriors facility in Ponte Vedra, Florida. Over 90% of the partnered dogs are obtained through rescue groups.
    “We’re always happy to support those that have fought for our country,” said Charles D. Yuska, president and CEO of PMMI. “Our service men and women have given so much for us. It’s a pleasure to be able to give something back to them.” A link for donations will be active through November 2014 at, and donations are always accepted at

Freshpet raises US$156 million in initial public offering

    Freshpet Inc., a US-based maker of premium petfood for cats and dogs, raised about US$156 million in its initial public offering after its IPO was priced at US$15 per share, above the expected price range of US$12–$14.
    The company sold 10.4 million shares. At the IPO price, the company was valued at US$477 million, based on outstanding common stock of about 31.8 million, according to reports. The company counts private equity firm MidOcean Partners LP and Tyson Foods Inc. among its investors.
    Freshpet is expected to debut on the Nasdaq on Friday under the symbol "FRPT."

Monday, November 24, 2014

Morris Animal Foundation undertakes Golden Retriever Lifetime Study

    Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is the largest and longest effort ever undertaken to improve the health of dogs, according to the group. Over the next 10 to 14 years, observational data collected from 3,000 Golden Retrievers will help the foundation learn how to prevent cancer and other diseases that take the lives of dogs.
    More than 70 million dogs live in the US, and half of them over the age of 10 will die of cancer, says Morris. In addition, cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over the age of two. "We must stop this disease," says the foundation, which is encouraging Golden Retriever owners to enroll their pets in the study.
    The study is part of the foundation's Canine Lifetime Health Project, a US-wide effort to make the world a better place for dogs. Through this initiative, Morris manages studies that will help identify new tests, diets and therapies for preventing, diagnosing and treating health problems in dogs. The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is the first, and is the largest and longest study ever conducted in veterinary medicine, according to Morris.
    Morris Animal Foundation is a nonprofit organization that invests in science that advances veterinary medicine for companion animals, horses and wildlife. The foundation is a global leader in animal health science, and its funding helps more species in more places than that of any other organization in the world, says Morris. 

Eurofins acquires SF Analytical Labs

    Eurofins Scientific, a global leader in analytical support to the global food market, has announced the pending acquisition of SF Analytical (SFA) Laboratories. The transaction will close at the end of November 2014.
    The acquisition will strengthen Eurofins’ growing presence in the US, as well as expand the current base of operations in the Midwestern US. “We’re excited about becoming part of the global services of Eurofins, adding Wisconsin and the Upper Great Lakes Region to the multiple services offered,” said David Kliber, president of SFA Labs. “We will retain the 114-year-old Wisconsin brand which will now be called ‘Eurofins SF Analytical’ and our established relationships and recognition will be seamless to clients and the community. People will still work with our employees as they have for decades in New Berlin and the Milwaukee area. At the same time, the lab will now be able to serve more clients with greatly expanded capabilities on a regional and national level as part of the Eurofins network of laboratories in the US.”
    The acquisition by Eurofins will allow Kliber and his staff to offer the full range of services available from Eurofins’ group of global laboratories. Eurofins says it is committed to providing the best laboratory services and client support to its customers and is dedicated to consistently delivering the highest level of analytical testing technology available in the industry.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Find petfood’s ‘moisture sweet spot’

    Most petfood products have a “moisture sweet spot” – an ideal range that maximizes quality and profit while keeping the product safe from mold and microbes.  Water activity is the best way to find that sweet spot – and monitor to make sure you always produce to that specification.
    Register at to attend the webinar, “Update on Using Water Activity to Manage Safety and Quality in Petfood,” which will be held Tuesday, December 9, 2014, at 10 a.m. CST. This webinar is sponsored by Decagon and presented by WATT Global Media.
    • By attending the webinar, you will learn:
      How to identify a petfood product’s “moisture sweet spot”
      How testing can reveal a product’s moisture secrets
      How to use water activity to maximize safety, quality, and profit in your products
    The speaker for this webinar will be Brady Carter, who has been a senior research scientist at Decagon since 2004. He has a master’s degree in crop science with an emphasis in cereal chemistry. His current research is focused on developing a hydrothermal time-based shelf life model. He is a popular presenter on measuring water activity in food.

Miranda Lambert, Pedigree partner to support pet adoption


    On Nov. 3, 2014, country singer Miranda Lambert joined Pedigree at the company's Pet Adoption Suite to help support the adoption of shelter dogs.
    Attendees at the event learned about the "See what good food can do" campaign and watched behind-the-scenes footage from Lambert's documentary-style short film about helping to improve a local shelter. Adoptable dogs from shelter partner Metro Animal Care and Control were on-site to show the importance of finding forever homes for shelter dogs everywhere.

PISC partners with B Lab for accelerator program

    The Pet Industry Sustainability Coalition (PISC) has partnered with non-profit B Lab to help companies evaluate their sustainability performance as part of PISC's Accelerator program. The Accelerator is a collaborative program designed to help companies identify and implement key areas of improvement in sustainability.
    “This is a partnership that connects two organizations with similar core values and leverages their potential to provide a critically needed tool for PISC members,” said Spencer Williams, president of West Paw Design and founding member of PISC. “Here at West Paw, the B Lab assessment has been a catalyst for employee lead improvements, building pride and furthering innovation.”
    B Lab is used as part of the second step of the Accelerator program, where participants take a quick assessment that focuses on three areas of sustainability: environment, community and employees. After completing the assessment, companies receive report cards with comparative results from other companies participating in the program that will assist them in building a plan for improvement with PISC.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Petfood sales to reach US$33 billion in 2018

    Driven by increased focus on pet health and the increasing impact of the human-animal bond, US sales of petfood will rise 16% between 2015–2018 to reach US$33 billion, according to Packaged Facts in "Pet Food in the US, 11th Edition."
    Packaged Facts estimates petfood sales in 2013 were US$28 billion. The petfood category experienced much of its growth outside of the core mass market, particularly in channels like farm/feed, Internet and pet specialty. Sales are expected to remain relatively flat through the rest of 2014, though opportunities exist in the premium food sector as pet owners purchase these products to protect the health of their animal companions, according to the report.
    "Looking ahead, the trick will be to find ways to grow this mature market, since at its current pace pet population growth is not sufficient to drive higher levels of market growth," said Packaged Facts research director David Sprinkle. "For several years much of the dollar growth in the petfood market has come from converting pet owners to higher priced foods as part of the humanization trend."
    Premium petfoods will account for 42% of petfood sales in 2014, followed by regular petfood at 30% and value petfood at 12%, with treats comprising the remaining share of sales. On both the dog and cat sides of the market, the premium share of sales has expanded, mostly as a result of growth in the superpremium segment. Treats have also grown their share of the market, primarily due to the robust interest in treats among dog owners, many of whom have turned to functional treats as a way to ameliorate pet health conditions and promote overall wellness. Cat owners, on the other hand, have not proven as likely to indulge their pets in superpremium fare, and have also been slower to embrace functional treats, suggesting areas for market expansion as cat food and treat marketers continue to trend into premium and functional fare, with products and trends often crossing over from the dog side, according to the report.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mars Petcare, WikiVet partner to improve online veterinary encyclopedia

    WikiVet and Mars Petcare have announced a collaboration that aims to improve the quality and reach of reference materials freely available online to veterinary students, practicing veterinarians and vet nurses through WikiVet’s veterinary encyclopedia. The collaboration will develop high-quality training and reference materials on certain areas of preventative healthcare to increase awareness and complement the growing vet school curriculum in this area, according to the partners.
    “Preventive healthcare for pets is a shared passion for both Mars Petcare and WikiVet," said Dr. Stephen Harris, research manager, oral care, Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, Mars Petcare. "It can greatly improve the quality and length of a pet’s life by reducing the risk of developing serious, costly and sometimes fatal diseases. We are excited to combine our deep expertise in the health and well-being of pets with WikiVet’s dynamic site to drive greater awareness of this important subject.”
    The first WikiVet online materials focus on cat and dog dentistry. The module features resources developed in partnership with the specialist veterinary dentist Lisa Milella (BVSc DipEVDC MRCVS), and endorsed by Waltham.
    “There is a gap in understanding about the importance of dental care and oral hygiene as a form of preventative healthcare,” said Nick Short, head of the eMedia Unit, Royal Veterinary College. “By collaborating with Mars Petcare and Lisa Milella to develop these comprehensive resources, we aim to raise awareness amongst veterinary students, nurses and the wider profession of best evidence-based practice in dental care. We hope that this will have a positive impact on the support that the profession can offer owners to improve their pets’ health and well-being.”
    The WikiVet Cat and Dog Dentistry chapter is freely available online to all users of WikiVet.

Haarslev acquires C.A. Picard screw press technology division

    As part of the overall strategy and to strengthen the after sales and service business areas, Haarslev Industries has acquired C.A. Picard’s screw press technology division. In the US, it will be merged into Haarslev Industries Inc. After the transaction, C.A. Picard Engineering GmbH & Co. KG will be renamed as Haarslev Press Technology GmbH & Co. KG in Germany.
    “This acquisition supports Haarslev’s strategy to continue to strengthen our after sales and service division," says Claus Østergaard, president and CEO of Haarslev Industries A/S. "With the acquisition of the screw press technology division we will increase our product know-how within screw press applications and at the same time broaden our worldwide coverage for after sales and service.”
    With the acquisition of the screw press technology division and their presence in the US market from C.A. Picard, Haarslev will be able to provide its customers with better service and stronger screw press application know-how, according to Hans-Henrik Nissen, president of Haarslev Industries. "All in all, to help our customer to reduce their down time and in the same time increase their yields," he said.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

German court rules patent infringement case in favor of Zip-Pak

    The Düsseldorf Regional Court has ruled in favor of Zip-Pak, a division of Illinois Tool Works (ITW), in a patent infringement case against Elplast Sp.z o.o. initiated in November 2013. The court ruled that an Elplast product infringed several claims of the Zip-Pak patent in question.
    The ruling was pronounced final Oct. 6, 2014. Krieger Mes & Graf von der Groeben and Roche, von Westernhagen und Ehresmann represented ITW in the matter. “We are very pleased that the court ruled in our favor in this matter," said Eric Plourde, manager of intellectual property for Zip-Pak. "Zip-Pak has long been known as a leader for investing in new innovative products and processes and, in order to protect and continue to make these investments, we will strongly defend our global intellectual property."

Alltech releases preliminary data from crop mycotoxin analysis

    While experts are forecasting a record-plus year for crop yields, an abundant harvest does not always indicate a problem-free crop to feed to livestock, and preliminary data conducted by Alltech’s 37+ Mycotoxin Analysis Program is showing there might be issues to watch for.
    Late season rains have slowed harvest across the Midwest US. As of Oct. 27, 2014, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated the corn harvest at 46%, a 15% increase from the previous week but 19% behind the five-year average. Corn conditions were estimated by the USDA at 74% “good” or “excellent” condition, 19% was considered “fair” and 7% was considered “poor.” While these initial condition ratings look favorable, experts warn that seasonal conditions still might have taken a toll on the crop and left behind some masked mycotoxins.
    “Cool, wet weather can be a precursor for mold growth and can lead to possible mycotoxin issues,” said Dr. Max Hawkins, nutritionist with Alltech’s Mycotoxin Management Team. “Fusarium graminareum can produce a variety of mycotoxins and prefers high moisture and temperatures from 59 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This year’s growing season was cool and wet and the harvest season has also been delayed by wet weather."
    An early indication of the Fusarium issue was found in the wheat crop, where high levels of Deoxynivalenol (DON) were found east of the Mississippi River, Dakotas and into Canada. DON levels in these regions ranged from 1,000 ppb to 15,000 ppb. According to Hawkins, this places wheat at a potential high risk for livestock feed, and extreme caution should be used when feeding straw to ruminants.
    Corn silage samples have also indicated there might be challenges in the 2014 crop. “The 2014 corn season started off slow due to wet planting conditions and cool soil temperatures," said Heath Paradice, technical manager for Alltech Crop Science. "As a result, while some corn was planted in April, most was done in early to mid-May and in some cases like northern Iowa, planting extended into June. The late planted crops are doing better than expected due to a late fall, but that corn is coming in at a higher moisture content."
    The first 35 corn silage samples analyzed at the recently ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited Analytical Services Laboratory of Alltech using Alltech’s 37+ analysis contained an average of 6.83 mycotoxins per sample. Further analysis showed that Type B Trichothecenes, DON and other DON group mycotoxins had an average/sample of 2,087 ppb. Fusaric acid, which can act synergistically with DON, had an average/sample of 1,322 ppb. “Combined, these mycotoxins can have a significant impact on dry matter intake, milk production, growth rate, feed efficiency, gut health, organ function and immune response,” said Hawkins.
    With an average/sample level of 126.7 ppb, Zearalenone is showing levels higher than in the past two years. Other Penicilliums, which can impact gut health and rumen function, are typically referred to as “storage mycotoxins” as they require little oxygen and can flourish rapidly in stored forages. Hawkins said the 2014 crop has had some relatively high Penicillium levels already at harvest.
    Corn that is stressed and damaged by weather events and insects is more susceptible to mycotoxins. While walking fields and looking for signs of molds, ear rot and stalk rot can be indicators for mycotoxins, there can be toxins present with no visible mold. Hawkins said he recommends having samples analyzed for mycotoxins. “The outlook for corn grain is concerning as the crop has been subjected to a later harvest with increased rain while still in the field,” said Hawkins. “The crop may be harvested at higher moisture levels, which can put added pressure on drying and storage environment to ensure grain at 15% moisture or less for long term storage."

Monday, November 17, 2014

Freshpet announces #FreshDance pet challenge

    Freshpet, a company that makes fresh, refrigerated dog and cat food, has announced the #FreshDance Challenge, asking pet parents to show their and their pets’ dance moves before, during or after any meal. Then, pet parents can share a photo, video or text of the #FreshDance experience, helping to highlight movement as part of health and wellness for pets and people.
    Enter the #FreshDance Challenge by visiting or Participants can also submit on Twitter, Instagram or Vine using the hashtag #FreshDance. The contest runs from Nov. 3 through Nov. 21, 2014.
    Winners will be chosen by the team at Freshpet to receive the following prizes:
    • 1 Grand Prize winner will receive US$500, a custom Freshpet refrigerator and Freshpet food and treats.
    • 5 Runner-up Prizes will receive a FreshDance gift pack filled with Freshpet goodies and a Whistle Activity Monitor.
    • First 100 entries will receive a US$2.00 off coupon.
    Along with each entry, Freshpet will make a donation to Vanderbilt University’s Pet Therapy Research Program. The program is specialized for children undergoing cancer treatment, and funds ongoing visits with therapy dogs. Their goal is to prove the positive effect therapy pets can have on wellness, especially during treatments. 

Ganeden publishes product, prebiotics study in Anaerobe

    Ganeden Biotech, a manufacturer and marketer of probiotics, has published its nineteenth peer-reviewed study in Anaerobe (The Official Journal of the Anaerobe Society of the Americas). The study, conducted by Dr. Glenn Gibson, professor at the University of Reading, England; in their validated intestinal model, demonstrated that there are benefits to taking GanedenBC30 and prebiotics together versus taking prebiotics alone, according to the company.
    Prebiotics have been shown to increase healthy bacterial species such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. In the study, bacterial flora changes were analyzed with prebiotics alone as well as with prebiotics plus GanedenBC30. While there were increases in lactobacilli and bifidobacteria in both cases, there were additional increases in other good bacterial strains (such as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, an important bacteria for intestinal health) when consumed along with GanedenBC30. In addition, prebiotic activity was increased when consumed with GanedenBC30 as measured by an increase in short chain fatty acids, which are important components for intestinal health.
    “This study is exciting, as it lays the groundwork for continuing our research into the combined benefits of GanedenBC30 and prebiotics,” said David Keller, vice president of scientific operations at Ganeden Biotech. “We are well aware of both the benefits of GanedenBC30 and the benefits of prebiotics separately, but now we have data showing increased digestive benefits of consuming them together.”

Friday, November 14, 2014

Caru Pet Foods donates petfood to Chicago animal rescues

    Caru Pet Foods has donated 5,700 pounds of the company's Natural Stews petfood to six Chicagoland rescues and animal care facilities: Tender Loving Care, Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society, K9 4 Keeps, Chicago Canine Rescue, Pet Project Rescue and One Tail At A Time. In turn, One Tail At A Time allocated a portion of their Caru Natural Stews to the local Animal Care & Control, and Project Rescue Chicago shared with Animal Welfare League's Chicago intake facility and Be Fido's Friend.
    In July, Caru donated 600 pounds of stews to It's A Pittie Rescue as a part of Daily Kibble's rescue initiative. With more than 6,000 pounds of product, worth more than US$40,000 in retail value, donated to date in its first year of business, "Caru is really living up to it's name, which means 'to love' in Welsh," said Caru CEO and Co-Founder Adrian Pettyan. The company said it looks forward to supporting other rescues and shelters in the future.