Friday, February 28, 2014

Petfood-focused book demonstrates healthy cuisine for dogs

    Dog-gone Good Cuisine (St. Martin's Griffin), on sale February 18, focuses on cooking healthy and delicious dishes for dogs and humans alike, according to author, nutritionist and chef Gayle Pruitt.
    The book contains more than 100 corn-, sugar-, soy- and gluten-free recipes, including:
    • Salmon Florentine 
    • Individual Spinach Kale Lasagna 
    • Spiced Stuffed Peppers 
    • Twice Baked Broccoli Asparagus Soufflé 
    • Pears with Raspberry Sauce 
    • Cream of Cinderella Pumpkin Soup 
    • Chicken Pot Pie cooked in Sweet Pepper 
    • Tomato Carrot Soup 
    • Curried Beef Sliders 
    • Manicotti 
    Pruitt is on the Health Advisory Board and writes for Nutricula Magazine and Petological, a magazine from the pet's perspective. Pruitt's recipes have appeared in national magazines and in best-selling cookbooks such as Hampton's Diet Cookbook

Purina Pro Plan launches nutritional supplement bars for dogs

    Footballer Eli Manning helped introduce Purina Pro Plan's new nutritional supplement bars for active dogs at the "Purina pro MANning vs. DOG Challenge" in New York City on January 29. The bars, PRiME and ReFUEL, were introduced as part of Purina's SPORT product line.
    "I've been an athlete all my life and have maintained strict training regimens that include high-quality nutrition products that allow me to perform at my best," said Manning. "I'm also a lifelong dog owner and have seen first-hand what amazing athletes dogs are. Purina Pro Plan PRiME and ReFUEL nutritional supplement bars help active dogs not only perform at their best, but help them recover quickly so they can get back outside again tomorrow and enjoy the activities they love to do with their owners." 
    The PRiME bar is a nutrient-dense protein-rich bar that can benefit dogs during exercise, according tp Purina. In order for the PRiME bar to work optimally, it should be fed half an hour before exercise, which gives the dog a chance to digest the bar and have key nutrients present in his blood stream when starting an activity. 
    Fed within 30 minutes post-exercise, the ReFUEL bar helps replenish muscle energy stores and promotes muscle rebuilding after activity, according to the company. Dogs experience muscle breakdown, fatigue and depletion of energy stores, just like humans do. ReFUEL is formulated with rapidly digested ingredients that help reinvigorate tired muscles. 
    In addition to performance nutrition, Purina Pro Plan has given dog owners access to expert training in the palm of their hand with Purina Pro Plan P5, a free mobile app. The P5 app offers dog owners of all breeds and sizes specialized mobile lessons in agility, dock diving, flying disc, obedience, running and strength training. It is available for free for iPhone, Android and Google Play devices.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

AFB to chair Association for Chemoreception Sciences meeting

    At the Association for Chemoreception Sciences (AChemS) 36th annual meeting, to be held on April 9-12, 2014, AFB scientists Nancy Rawson and Susan Jojola will chair a symposium on the topic of behavioral insights into food selection and flavor preference in domestic and wild animals.
    The symposium will include the following presentations:
    • Fred Provenza, Utah State University: The origins of food preference and how it shapes the environment 
    • Matthias Laska, Linköping University: Behavioral responses in large carnivores to mammalian blood odor and a blood odor component
    • Bruce Kimball, USDA National Wildlife Research Center: Using insights into flavor perception to manage wildlife-agriculture interactions
    The AChemS annual meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, FL, USA.

Partner in Pet Food sees sales up 6% in 2013

    European petfood producer Partner in Pet Food (PPF) has released its 2013 financials, showing a 6 % rise in annual sales during the year.
    Total sales came in at €225 million (US$308 million), with a total product volume of 400,000 tons. The company more than trebled its UK sales, up 213%, according to PPF's report. Thirty-five percent of sales were from new products, 11% of sales were generated in new markets and there was a 25% increase in branded sales.
    PPF significantly increased its presence in the key European markets. In November of 2013 the company signed an agreement to supply Tesco with own-label products for sale in the UK. This builds on the long-standing relationship PPF has with the retailer in Central and Eastern Europe. The company forecasts that in 2014 it will triple its UK sales, along with doubling them in Germany and France.
    "PPF has achieved excellent results in 2013 during a difficult market and is now clearly a European market leader in petfood," said Chris Mruck, managing partner and co-head of Central Europe, Advent International. "These results provide a strong foundation for growth in 2014 and beyond. The business has a strong pipeline of opportunities which should allow it to capitalize across Europe." 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Registration open for Alltech’s 30th International Symposium

    As Alltech celebrates its 30th International Symposium from May 18-21, 2014, in Lexington, Kentucky, US, it will invite its event delegates to explore the border between science and magic that genetics expert Dr. Eugenia Wang, University of Louisville, coined at last year's symposium. Balancing pragmatism with possibility, the 2014 Symposium will venture into the "What If" solutions that lie within science, agriculture and nutrition.
    Sessions will specifically focus on crop science, life sciences, Africa, business and technology, on-farm solutions, and opportunities with algae and aquaculture by delving into "What if:"
    • Farmers were more familiar with drones than tractors?
    • Bees and termites cease to exist?
    • We understood and could prevent the rise in precocious female puberty?
    • Alzheimer's disease and adult-onset diabetes are different arms of the same disease?
    • Africa harnessed the power of its oceans and aquaculture?
    • We address the problems of inconsistent farm yields in Africa?
    • Nutrigenomics could achieve one extra pig per litter or 5,000 liters more milk per cow?
    • Fish oil could be completely replaced in a sustainable way?
    • You could get all the health benefits of salmon through scrambled eggs?
    The Alltech Symposium annually draws more than 2,000 delegates from 60 countries. The event, which focuses on creating forums for international discussion and exchange of ideas on a wide variety of topics, typically sees interaction among a diverse group including farmers, business people, researchers, marketers, bankers, entrepreneurs, government officials, university personnel and students, and feed and food industry experts.
    Registration for Alltech's 30th International Symposium is now open and available at an early discount rate of $599 until April 10. To learn more or request an invite, visit

Cargill to acquire Pet Carousel

    Cargill announced February 10, 2014, that it is acquiring Sanger, California, US-based Pet Carousel, a private company formed in 2003 that produces branded and private label pet treats and chews. The transaction is expected to close on, or about, February 28, 2014. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Pet Carousel is part of the pet treat and chew category that generates approximately $1.4 billion in annual US sales.
    Viewed as an investment that complements Cargill's existing California distribution and beef processing businesses, Pet Carousel is an established company with a national reach and is positioned as a provider of all-natural pet products made from high-quality, USDA-inspected, US raw materials. Pet Carousel will benefit from Cargill's nationwide distribution capabilities and raw material supplies from the company's US beef, pork and turkey processing facilities.
    In addition to a product line that includes private label brands, Pet Carousel produces and markets Roper brand cotton blend chew ropes, Choo Hooves brand natural bones and chews, as well as a line of natural white meat chicken and turkey jerky, and sweet potato and vegetable chews.
    Additional synergies will result in more environmentally responsible products that do not require international transport from various points around the world.
    Pet Carousel's 36,000-square-foot facility in Sanger, employing 25 full-time employees, will continue to produce the company's line of pet treats and chews with increased investment for innovation and new products.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Kriser’s petfood store opens first Texas location

    Kriser's, an all-natural petfood store, has opened its first Texas, USA, location in Houston, according to a report.
    Kriser's, which offers petfood, supplies and grooming services, opened its first store in 2006 in Chicago. The Houston location will bring its number of stores to 23.
    Its local competitors include Natural Pawz, which has 12 Houston locations and three Mini Pawz stores inside pet resorts.

Small meals, greater frequency may curb cat obesity

    Researchers from the University of Illinois interested in finding a method to maintain healthy body weight in cats have looked at a previously suggested claim that increased meal frequency could help to increase overall physical activity. The idea is to feed cats the appropriate amount of food needed to maintain a healthy body weight, but to offer it in more frequent, smaller meals throughout the day.
    Animal sciences researcher Kelly Swanson and his lab at U of I determined that both increasing the frequency of meals fed per day, as well as offering meals that contained added dietary water-neither method involved decreasing the overall amount of daily food intake-did promote more physical activity among the cats in the study. "It all comes down to energy in and energy out," said Swanson. "It's very simple on paper, but it's not that easy in real life, especially in a household where there is more than one pet. That can be difficult, but I think these two strategies are very practical ideas that people can use."
    During the two-part study, researchers evaluated the activity of the cats between meals using activity collar monitors. In the first experiment, the cats were divided among four rooms and were given dry kibble meals four times per day, two times per day, one time per day, and in the fourth room, were fed a random number of meals per day. The overall amount of food fed to each cat in each room per day was the same; feeding frequency varied.
    In the second experiment, the cats were divided among two rooms and were fed twice per day with a 70% hydrated diet, using similar amounts of dry kibble used in the first experiment to maintain body weight. Water was added to the kibble an hour before each meal time, according to Swanson.
    The cats were placed in their individual cages only during mealtimes so that the researchers could accurately monitor their food intake. During the activity monitoring times, the cats had limited interaction with people. The researchers evaluated the cats' food anticipatory activity (FAA), which included the activity of each cat two hours before meals were given. During the dry kibble experiment, they noticed that the cats were much more active during those anticipatory times, especially those fed four meals per day and those given meals at random times.
    "If they know they are going to get fed, that's when they are really active, if they can anticipate it," said Swanson. The cats showed an even greater spike in physical activity in the second experiment when they were fed meals with the added water. However, Swanson said the biggest difference in peak activity times with this group occurred in the periods after they had eaten. He added that the researchers had not determined why this was, though factors such as increased use of the litter box, for example, could have come into play.
    "I think veterinarians will be interested in this information because it gives them evidence to be able to recommend something to pet owners that could help with feline obesity and diabetes," said Swanson. "When cats are allowed to feed ad libitum, it's difficult to prevent obesity. It is important to identify the right diet. Many owners are accustomed to dumping a pile of food out for multiple cats, just once per day. The owner does have an active role in helping with weight management."
    The key is figuring out how much food is needed to maintain your cat's healthy body weight. "It is tricky because labels on petfood provide ranges for how much should be fed," said Swanson. "If you're feeding a cat, that food is supplied to thousands of cats with different metabolism. Some are spayed or neutered, and ages are different."
    Adding water to dry food, or using wet canned food, may provide a greater gut fill to pets. Swanson also said once the dry kibble absorbs the water, it does look like "more" to the owner, perhaps alleviating the fear that the pet is not eating enough. He also said that rotating between dry kibble meals and wet or canned food could also help in maintaining body weight. Recognizing that the lifestyle of pet owners may not allow for regulating multiple feedings per day, Swanson said if a pet owner could even go from offering only one meal per day to two, it could possibly promote more physical activity.

Monday, February 24, 2014

High-end dog beverages the latest trend in pet pampering

    California-based Yappy Hour Vineyard's nonalcoholic meat gravy for pets, sold in wine bottles and keeping to a wine theme with names like "Bark-deaux" and "Char-dog-nay", highlight the latest trend in pet pampering.
    Adult-themed beverages for animals have been a growing trend in the pet product industry, according to reports. Bowser Beer, for example, launched in 2008; a microbrewery in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, sells "beer" for dogs; and a Japanese sake company sells a variety of nonalcoholic spirits for pets.
    The co-owners of Yappy Hour Vineyards got the idea for the product while working on gift baskets for dogs, noticing that there were a lot of dog-themed wine products (glasses, cocktail napkins), but no actual "wine." They began testing various options and came up with a (alcohol-free) chicken broth-based drink that they say tastes like a chicken gravy that you'd put over mashed potatoes or rice.
    The drink is made in a Food and Drug Administration-approved facility in Florida and retails for $19.99.

Petfood Forum 2014 to offer a2z-powered Attendee Acquisition Widget

    The 2014 Petfood Forum (PFF) will leverage Maryland-based event management software company a2z Inc.'s ChirpE Attendee Acquisition Widget solution to enhance the event.
    The widget is a plug-and-play website component that will enable exhibitors to showcase their event participation at PFF from their own websites. Visitors to the exhibitors' websites can access with a single click the exhibitor's booth profile, PFF's event website and the registration page. 
    In addition, the widget will offer exhibitors a straightforward solution to building a pre-show lead list. It comes bundled with a dashboard that helps exhibitors monitor and evaluate their ROI from the widget.
    For more details and to register for Petfood Forum 2014 please visit

Friday, February 21, 2014

Virginia petfood tax bill postponed to 2015

    The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), Pet Food Institute (PFI) and a coalition of other interested parties submitted testimony and requested that Senate Bill 622 be passed over for consideration in the current session by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation & Natural Resources. By a 15-0 vote, the committee postponed consideration of the bill until 2015. The bill's sponsor has said that he will work with the industry to find alternate sources of funding for Virginia's spay/neuter fund.
    SB 622 would amend Section 3.2-6500 of the Code of Virginia to create the "Companion Animal Surgical Sterilization Fund." The fund would reimburse participating veterinarians for the surgical sterilizations they perform on "eligible" cats or dogs. A companion animal shall be eligible for surgical sterilization at no or reduced cost to its owner if it is:
    • The companion animal of a low-income owner 
    • A feral or free-roaming cat
    • In the possession of an animal shelter, pound, other releasing agency or nonprofit organization and has not been transferred from a jurisdiction outside Virginia into the Commonwealth.
    The program would be funded by imposing upon every person in the Commonwealth engaged in business as a manufacturer, wholesaler or distributor of petfood products an annual Companion Animal Surgical Sterilization Fund surcharge of $50 for each ton of petfood distributed. The bill does provide that such petfood be exempted from the state's existing litter tax.

HH Backer cancels spring 2014 trade show

    H.H. Backer Associates Inc. has announced that it will cancel its spring trade show, scheduled for April 9-11, 2014, at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA.
    "We simply could not get enough exhibitor support this year to allow us to produce a quality spring trade show that people have come to expect," said Colette Fairchild, the show's director. H.H. Backer's flagship event, Backer's Total Pet Expo Fall (September 19-21, 2014, Chicago) will continue as an annual event, said Fairchild. Exhibitors that have contracted for the spring show will have their choice of receiving a full refund or applying their deposit to the autumn show.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

US pet product supplier Central Garden & Pet reports Q1 results

    US pet product supplier Central Garden & Pet Company reported 2014 first-quarter net sales of US$290.5 million, compared with US$292.5 million in the first quarter of 2013. The company's first-quarter operating loss improved to US$8.4 million, compared to an operating loss of US$13.1 million in the comparable period of 2013, according to the company. 
    "Our first quarter showed some improvement," said John Ranelli, president & CEO of Central Garden & Pet. "Our focus on the customer and operational and financial fundamentals is beginning to yield results. I am pleased we are starting to see improved performance from the changes we are making."
    Net sales for the garden segment increased US$8.6 million, or 9% from the same period in 2013, to US$105.9 million. The garden segment's branded product sales were US$92.8 million and sales of other manufacturers' products were US$13.1 million. First-quarter net sales for the pet segment declined US$10.6 million, or 5% from the same period in 2013, to US$184.6 million. According to the company, lower sales of wild bird feed and aquatics products were the most important reasons for the declining sales.
    The pet segment's branded product sales were US$140.5 million and sales of other manufacturers' products were US$44.1 million. The pet segment's operating income was US$14.4 million, compared to US$10.2 million in the same period in 2013, according to the company.

AFIA joins coalition to push for federal GMO labeling solution

    The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has announced its membership in the newly formed Coalition for Safe Affordable Food (CFSAF), joining a national effort to urge Congress to quickly seek a federal solution and establish standards for the safety and labeling of animal feed, petfood and human food and beverage products made with genetically modified ingredients.
    "AFIA firmly believes there should be a federal GMO labeling solution protecting consumers by ensuring the safety of both food and feed ingredients produced through the use of modern agricultural biotechnology," said Leah Wilkinson, AFIA director of ingredients, petfood and state affairs. "If a labeling solution is not agreed upon and even a few of the pending state initiatives are successful, the feed industry's cost of doing business goes up, on-farm production costs go up, and ultimately the consumer pays the price, with no important information in hand."
    The broad coalition said such a federal GMO labeling solution would:
    Eliminate confusion: Remove the confusion and uncertainty of a 50-state patchwork of GMO safety and labeling laws, and affirm the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as the nation's authority on the use and labeling of genetically modified feed and food ingredients.
    Advance food safety: Require FDA to conduct safety reviews of all new GMO traits before they are introduced into commerce. FDA is empowered to mandate the labeling of GMO food ingredients if the agency determines there is a health, safety or nutrition issue with GMO technology.
    Inform consumers: FDA will establish federal standards for companies seeking to voluntarily label their products for the absence of or presence of GMO ingredients to clearly understand their choices in the marketplace.
    Provide consistency: FDA will define the term "natural" for its use on food and beverage products so human food and beverage companies and consumers have a consistent legal framework for food labels while informing consumer choice.
    "With the vast majority of U.S.-produced corn and soybeans enhanced through biotechnology, U.S. feed products made with these genetically modified ingredients are deemed safe by FDA, and have been used by the industry for more than 20 years. They are beneficial to not only the industry, but to the planet and its population as a whole," said Wilkinson.
    It is expected the global population will increase from 7 billion people to 9 billion people by 2050, and the world will need 70 percent more food production to meet the growing demand.
    "AFIA recognizes the need for a consistent, national GMO labeling solution, but is strongly against labeling laws set by political campaigns or state and local legislatures. AFIA recommends FDA determine whether labeling is necessary as it is most in tune with our nation's animal feed and food systems," Wilkinson said. "Such a solution determined by FDA, will help the industry to safely and continuously use evolving production technology to help meet global needs."

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Greenies brand, PetSmart partner for National Pet Dental Health Month

    As a part of National Pet Dental Health Month (February) and the PetSmart "Healthy Teeth. Healthier Life." initiative, the Greenies brand team and PetSmart will be encouraging pet parents to take care of their pets' teeth in PetSmart stores throughout the U.S.
    Through this initiative, pet parents will be encouraged to seek professional preventive care through veterinary oral exams and teeth cleanings. They will also be encouraged to administer daily at-home care through teeth brushing or dental chews or treats with the Veterinary Oral Health Council Seal of Acceptance.
    "We are taking advantage of the opportunity to educate pet parents on how preventive oral care helps keep their pets healthy," said Dr. Simon Starkey, education veterinarian at PetSmart. "That's why we celebrate National Pet Dental Health Month and team up with brands like the Greenies brand that are dedicated to the specific and extremely important area of oral health."
    Part of the brands' collaboration for National Pet Dental Health Month is a Pet Dental Day on Saturday, February 22. PetSmart associates will be giving coupons to their first 50 customers for a free individually wrapped Greenies canine dental chew. PetSmart Grooming Salon associates will also give oral care tips and information from the Greenies brand team with additional coupons for a free Greenies canine dental chew. Quantities of coupons are limited at each store. The week leading up to the Pet Dental Day, Starkey will take to the airwaves, offering interviews to discuss pet oral health.  

Report looks at trends in UK pet ownership

    There has been nearly a 10 percent increase in the number of pet shops in the UK over the past two years, according to a report.
    Euromonitor says the amount spent on petfood and pet products is up 4 percent from last year, and it expects that growth to continue at the same pace for the next five years.
    As pet owners are spending more on food, treats, fashion, grooming, walking services and pampering services for their pets, vendors are cashing in. New pet websites are popping up, selling anything from gourmet petfood to bargain products.
    "More people treat their pets as a member of the family and are willing to give them nothing but the best," says Paula Flores, head of pet care research at Euromonitor. "There is a trend towards humanizing pets and wanting premium products so the market is still strong."
    Flores said as pet ownership increases, so is the trend of keeping smaller pets. The number of French Bulldogs registered in the UK was up nearly 50 percent, Boston Terriers were up 11 percent, and Chihuahuas and Pugs were up nearly 5 percent.

Increase in abandoned dogs blamed on Mexico's 'luxury tax' on petfood

    A new 16 percent "luxury tax" on petfood in Mexico could lead to more abandoned and neglected dogs in Tijuana, according to a report.
    The tax is meant to help ease Mexico's budget woes. Pet ownership is viewed by the government as a luxury, therefore making the petfood tax a "luxury tax."
    Josh Pratter, director of Baja Dog Rescue in Tijuana, said the group has started to see the result of the tax on the abandoned dog population.
    "We're seeing a larger dog on the street now. Bigger dogs are consuming more food so it's more costly to have a bigger dog. They want a smaller dog so the cost is less on a weekly or monthly basis for them," Pratter said.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Burns Pet Nutrition wins in magazine poll

    UK-based petfood manufacturer Burns Pet Nutrition has been voted as winner in a poll conducted by the dog magazine Your Dog Magazine in three categories: best dry dog food, best wet dog food and best specialist food.
    The readers of the magazine had the opportunity to nominate their favorite products in various categories. Burns products are hypoallergenic, and free from additives, preservatives and colorants, according to the company. The company also says that all Burns diets are formulated without ingredients which commonly cause food intolerance such as wheat, soy, dairy and flavorings.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Midwestern grocery store seeks pet products made in US

    Made in USA Certified has partnered with Daymon Worldwide to create an opportunity for the petfood industry to get products on the shelves of a major Midwestern grocery store in an end cap kiosk dedicated to pet products made in the US.
    This is a branding and distribution opportunity to increase market share and brand awareness. Made in USA Certified is looking for petfood products and treats that are eligible to be displayed in this special rollout in 40 stores across the Midwest.  
    To qualify, companies must have the ability to stock the shelves in inventory and be made in the US.
    The promo pricing for this initiative expires February 20, 2014, as the retailer deadline to participate is fast approaching with an anticipated rollout March 1.

Pet Fair Asia 2014 adds new petfood and other exhibit areas

    Pet Fair Asia 2014 (PFA), being held August 21-24, at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center, is expanding with three new exhibiting areas: petfood suppliers row, veterinary products and food and accessories for small-sized pets.
    The 2013 show had 600 exhibiting companies from 23 countries, up 20% year-on-year. More than 40,000 visitors attended the show, including 15,000 professionals from 43 countries. Sixty-five percent of exhibitors re-booked on the spot for a 2014 booth, according to organizers.
    Petfood suppliers row will feature additives, machinery and packaging relevant to the industry. The area aims to highlight companies' products and know-how for a wide audience as China's petfood industry continues to grow significantly. In addition, the third Petfood Forum China will be held concurrently with PFA on August 22. Featuring nutritionists and suppliers, Petfood Forum will be an opportunity to catch up on industry best practices, develop relationships among Chinese pet industry leaders or simply expand a company's professional network. Petfood additives, processing machinery, packing techniques, and products and services will all be on display.
    As part of the new veterinary products exhibit, the 7th Shanghai Pet Health Care Seminar is expected to draw 800 vets, roughly 250 of which are directors or managers of pet hospitals. Attendees will also join the 1st Annual Meeting to discuss issues on management and operation in pet hospitals. Pet hospital equipment, surgery machinery, pet medicine, bio-products, health food, prescription feed and detection paper and reagents will be on display.
    Cages, toys, supplies, pets, food, snacks and health food for small-sized pets will be the focus on the food and accessories for small-sized pets section of the show.

Petco partners with Pet Industry Sustainability Coalition

    The Pet Industry Sustainability Coalition (PISC) recently interviewed Jim Thomas, vice president sustainability, safety & environmental health at Petco, to discuss why sustainability is so important to the pet product retailer. Petco is the first retailer to join the PISC.
    "At Petco we believe that reducing waste, using less energy and recycling materials saves money, is good for business and benefits the environment.  Pet parents really care about the environment, and our job is to provide them with products that are aligned with their values," Thomas said.
    He said Petco is working with its vendors to pursue its sustainability goals and reduce its "environmental paw print."
    "Sustainability at Petco requires us to engage our internal teams and work with all of our suppliers to improve the products that reach our shelves," Thomas said.
    He said it is sustainability can benefit Petco's vendors, too.
    "Everyone in our internal organization somehow touches sustainability - from the purchasing agent working with buyers to the administrative assistant who makes sure that reports are printed double-sided. From the vendor perspective, there wouldn't be a single supplier that couldn't benefit and shouldn't be paying attention to sustainability," he said. "All companies generate waste, use materials, water and resources and there are potential ways to do it better."
    The company hopes to develop sustainability criteria similar to the Walmart Sustainability Index within five years, Thomas said.
    "Customers are going to demand more transparency and traceability. Arguably, if you want sustainable products, you have to ask suppliers questions in order to determine what to buy. At the end of the day we may not see sustainability as the No. 1 purchasing criteria, but it will surely rise into consideration along with price, quality, and customer service."

Friday, February 14, 2014

Amalfi ingredients absorbed into new parent FoodSafe Technologies

    Amalfi Ingredients LLC of Deer Park, New York, USA, has been absorbed into a new parent holding company, FoodSafe Technologies LLC. The new structure highlights the growth in the food safety and pathogen protection sectors which match the company's overall long-term strategy.
    "We are very excited to open this new chapter for our company," said FoodSafe Technologies President Frank Monteleone. "While the core historic roots for Amalfi Ingredients may have been food protection through antioxidants, our key direction and continued growth is in pathogen prevention and control. This is especially true in Salmonella and E. coli elimination, where our TopShieldR Plus and Meat DefendR products have proven to be leadership products in these areas."
    FoodSafe Technologies LLC will also be located in Deer Park, New York, USA. FoodSafe Technologies is in the midst of a five-year strategic organic growth plan, which will include people and facility expansion.
    "Amalfi Ingredients will be a division of FoodSafe, and the EXTEND-OX antioxidant and stability products will continue to be a part of our product portfolio. This change is necessitated by the organic growth we are seeing in food protection in all key markets, driven by our TopShieldR Plus and Meat DefendR products, and we are excited to give this part of our business, and the customers we serve in food protection, a greater focus."

Mars Petcare expands North Germany production plant

    Mars Petcare has expanded its plant in Verden, North Germany. At the start of 2014, the company commissioned a new production line for single-serve pouches at the facility. In the last nine months €17.4 million (US$23.6 million) has been invested in expanding the plant.
    With new filling machines, high-bay systems and a new packing line, the plant expects to increase its capacity further in the future. "We are increasing our annual volume to over 50,000 metric tons in the single-serve portion segment," said Manfred Goetjes, production director at Mars Petcare. "That is an increase of 50%. We are thus responding to customers' wishes, as demand for single-serve packs is rising steadily." 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Vital Petfood Group to become license holder of Technic-Cal Products

    Vital Petfood Group A/S will become the new license holder of Technic-Cal Products for Dogs and Cats, effective February 1.
    "We are very proud to have acquired the license of the Techni-Cal brand, and we look forward to working very close together with all current distributors and developing the business together with them," said Paul van der Raad, CEO of Vital Petfood Group A/S.
    Susanna Koning, owner and CEO of Techni-Cal AG, said the Techni-Cal products, in the near future, will be manufactured, sold and marketed by Vital Petfood Group A/S. "Vital Petfood Group has very much expertise in producing super premium pet food and has extremely dedicated staff among which two veterinarians. I am sure that the new license agreement with Vital Petfood Group will benefit distributors, retailers, customers as well as the end consumers - the dogs and cats."

AFIA files comments on Food Safety Modernization Act

    The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) has filed two sets of comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pertaining to the Food Safety Modernization Act. The comments addressed AFIA's concerns with the proposed rules on the foreign supplier verification programs and third-party auditor/certification bodies and provide the agency with suggestions for modifying the rules with the feed industry in mind.
    In the first set of comments, which responded to FDA's Foreign Supplier Verification Programs proposed rule, AFIA said that one regulatory solution may not be appropriate for both human food and animal feed. "FDA has separated the human and animal food preventive controls rules," said the comments. "Although there will be a single Foreign Supplier Verification Program rule for food for humans and animals, FDA should consider different approaches for animal feed where appropriate."
    AFIA also pointed out FDA's intent to align the FSVP rule with the various provisions of the animal food preventive controls rule, as required by international trade agreements. The organization said it intends to provide further full and in-depth feedback on certain aspects of the FSVP rule in correlation with their comments currently in development on the animal food preventive control rule. Such areas include the modified requirements for very small importers and very small foreign suppliers, and the section on hazard analysis.
    The second set of comments responded to FDA's proposed rule on the "Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors/Certification Bodies to Conduct Food Safety Audits and to Issue Certifications." AFIA, although supportive of the development of an accreditation system that will increase the reliability of third-party food safety audits and certifications, said that the program might not achieve the number of participants needed to make it a viable system due to the onerous notification and reporting requirements proposed by FDA.
    "We are particularly concerned about the heavy requirements that would be placed on consultative audits, which are an important tool by which companies find out what they may be doing wrong and improve their food safety practices," said the AFIA comments. "Any requirements that discourage use of consultative audits or constrain the free exchange of information between the auditor and the audited facility would be highly counter-productive."
    AFIA's comments said FDA should give the term "a serious risk to the public health" a narrow interpretation, and that the preamble of the proposed rule insinuates FDA believes the FDA notification requirements of an accredited auditor/certification body should apply to both Class I and Class II recall situations.
    "AFIA believes this broad interpretation of the notification requirement is problematic … If FDA were to require notification of every condition that could result in a Class I or Class II recall, the agency would be flooded with notifications of minor conditions," said the comments. "Such an overbroad notification requirement would also deter many eligible entities from using accredited auditors/certification bodies."
    AFIA had originally requested all three proposed rules have the same comment deadline, and said it intends on submitting further comments on both proposed rules in their comments on the animal feed preventive control proposed rule, which are due March 31.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Petland expands to Central, South America

    International pet specialty group Petland is expanding its franchise borders into Central and South America, with stores opening in Brazil in early 2014. A master franchise agreement has also been signed for stores to open in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras, according to the company. 
    "We are pleased with the opportunity to expand our international family," said Petland President and CEO Joe Watson. "Petland stores in Brazil and in Central America will make a positive, consistent impact on overall pet retail and will provide a unique, convenient pet shopping experience for families looking for a new pet or buying supplies for their current pets."
    Petland Inc. is a franchise operation with full-service retail pet centers across the US, Canada, Japan, China, Mexico, Brazil and South Africa.

World Pet Association to host World Pet Expo 2014 in China

    The World Pet Association (WPA) will host the World Pet Expo 2014 (WPE'14) at the Xiamen International Conference and Exhibition Center in Xiamen, China. The event will be held April 29-May 1, according to organizers.
    The expo, with an exhibition area of 15,000 square meters, sets up international-standard booths and devotes itself to shaping into the most well-known and best-service pet expo in China. WPE'14 connects with a great number of experts, exhibitors and professional visitors from dozens of countries and regions, including Southeast Asia, North America, East Europe and Australia, say organizers. It is estimated that the number of customers attending WPE'14 will exceed 50,000, while the exhibiting enterprises will reach 500.
    Among other things, the exhibition category covers cats, dogs, ornamental fish, birds, horses, reptiles, amphibians, pet grooming, and medical equipment and pharmacy.
    Highlights of WPE'14 will include:
    • NGKC Dog Competition
    • WPA Pet Groomers' Skill Contest
    • WPA Cross-straits Pet Veterinarian Conference
    • Pet Photography Contest, with a theme of "We have a beloved pet in the family"
    • WPA Pet Welfare-Advocating pet affection and culture
    • WPA Pet T-stage Show-Integrating popularity
    • Annual Conference of Asia Ornamental Fish Union-attended by presidents of aquatic associations from 10 Asian countries and regions, including Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, Indonesia, Cambodia, Chinese Hong Kong and Taiwan

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Pedigree highlights shelter dogs with 'See what good food can do' program

    At the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, baseball player David Ortiz and actor Josh Duhamel were on site to help kick off Pedigree's "See what good food can do" campaign and help shine a spotlight on the millions of shelter dogs in need of a home. The new documentary-style campaign features real stories of shelter dogs, their shelter caregivers and the dog's new families.
    Pedigree is now calling on the rest of the US to get involved:
    • Every time dog lovers tell their tale of what their dog means to them, using #DogTales on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, Pedigree will donate a bowl of food to a shelter dog in need.
    • View the documentary-style films by Ortiz and Duhamel at and share these videos with friends. Leave a comment and let Pedigree know what your shelter dog means to you.
    • Check out the new Pedigree commercials that document real dogs stories and their transformations with new homes on the brand's YouTube page,
    • Be on the lookout for Duhamel's own personal documentary-style story which showcases his involvement with shelter dogs.

IBISWorld estimates 7.8 percent annual growth in online petfood sales

    IBISWorld estimates that revenue for the online petfood and pet supply sales industry has increased in the past five years an average of 7.8 percent annually to $3.2 billion.
    Rising pet ownership in the United States and growth across the e-commerce sector have caused the industry to experience overall growth, despite the recession. Furthermore, increasing demand for premium petfood and online animal pharmaceutical sales also contributed to industry growth during the past five years.
    While most pet owners indicated they reduced spending on pet supplies during the recession, according to a survey conducted by Pet Business, many consumers gravitated online to purchase more-affordable substitutes in lower quantities. Per capita disposable income, expected to increase 3.1 percent in 2014, is expected to cause revenue growth of 2.5 percent in 2014.
    With rising revenue, industry profit margins have increased over the five-year period. According to IBISWorld Industry Analyst Andy Brennan, "Industry profit has risen due to improvements in automation, which caused wages to decline as a proportion of revenue." Furthermore, premium petfood and supplies have boosted profitability because they typically have higher markups. Rising profit has caused the number of industry firms to increase at an average annual rate of 1.2 percent to 3,612 in the five years to 2014. Niche players like 1-800-PetMeds and discount retailers like Walmart have rapidly gained market share within the industry. Niche operators will likely continue entering the industry during the next five years, especially those that specialize in targeted markets, such as supplies for exotic animals or health-oriented products.
    IBISWorld forecasts that industry revenue will increase in the five years to 2019. During that time, stores will benefit from an increasing number of pets in the United States and rising per capita disposable income. However, online pet retailers also will experience increasing competition from brick-and-mortar stores that also sell petfood and supplies, including grocery stores. "This trend is largely due to the closing of a tax loophole that has allowed many Internet retailers to forgo charging sales tax," says Brennan. This factor is expected to cause profit margins to decline, since firms will need to reduce prices to remain competitive.
    For more information, visit IBISWorld's Online Pet Food & Pet Supply Sales in the US industry report page.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Academy of Natural Health Sciences offers pet nutrition online courses

    Academy of Natural Health Sciences is offering a pet nutrition online home-study program. These pet nutrition programs specialize in canine nutrition, feline nutrition, equine nutrition, or general clinical pet nutrition.
    The Canine Nutrition Program is a 100-hour program covers a variety of subjects. Courses include The Problems with Pet Food; Protein, Carbs and Fat for Dogs; Health Benefits of Proper Feeding; Making the Switch to a Better Diet; Feeding and Dry, Canned or Frozen Food; Feeding Options for Busy Owners; Keys to Healthy Homemade Meals; Preparing Homemade Meals; Raw Food Feeding; Pet Nutrition Supplements; Herbs for Dogs; Homeopathic Remedies; Flower Essence Use; Veterinary Acupuncture; Veterinary Chiropractic; Massage Techniques; Vaccinations; and Natural Remedies and Health Problems. Upon completion of the program, the student will be awarded a Canine Nutrition Certificate that can be applied to the school's Clinical Pet Nutritionist program.
    Similar to the Canine Nutrition Program, the Feline Nutrition Program is also a 100-hour certification. Courses are similar to the canine program; however, vary slightly. Some special feline courses include Litter Box Tips, Raw Food Feeding, What Cats Need and Don't Need, Species Appropriate Nutrition, and Proper Dosing for Cats.
    The Clinical Pet Nutritionist Program is a 500-hour program that goes into more detail with pet nutrition studies. Starting with the canine and feline programs, students also examine pet nutrition through courses such as Anatomy and Physiology for Cats and Dogs; Dog and Cat Diseases; Sports Nutrition for Dogs; Clinical Nutrition for Dogs and Cats; Diseases and Natural Remedies; Raw Food Feeding for Dogs and Cats; Breed Specific Nutrition; Prescription Diets for Dogs and Cats; Herbology for Dogs and Cats; Homeopathy for Dogs and Cats; Drug, Herb and Supplement Interactions; Preventing Drug-Caused Nutrient Depletions; Blood Work and Nutritional Interpretations; Canine and Feline Health Assessments; CPN Business and Legal Guides; along with a Counseling Practicum. Graduates are awarded with a Clinical Pet Nutritionist (CPN) Diploma upon completion.
    The last program available for pet nutrition through the Academy of Natural Health Sciences in the Equine Nutrition Specialist (ENS) program. Still in development, the Academy of Natural Health Sciences is still converting the program to an online curriculum.
    For more information on these programs or to enroll today, visit

Friday, February 7, 2014

Interzoo 2014 bookings point to upcoming exhibition success

    Four months before the start of the event, Interzoo 2014 has already attracted a significant response from exhibitors, according to organizers: some 1,350 companies have booked their stand at the world's leading exhibition for pet supplies.
    Exhibitors and visitors can obtain information about the products, program and services at Interzoo from the updated website "Interzoo 2014 will also be the biggest marketplace for the international pet industry," said Hans-Jochen Büngener, chairman of the Interzoo Exhibition Committee. "About 80% of the exhibitors registered so far are from abroad and about 20% are first-time exhibitors."
    Ten halls are already booked up, but a limited number of stand spaces are still available in hall 3 and in the new hall 3A, say organizers. The registrations for larger spaces from companies in Europe are mainly from Spain, France, Belgium, Great Britain and Italy. The exhibition also has more exhibitors to show from overseas, particularly from the USA and Asia. Many countries will again present their products in large pavilions, including Brazil, China, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Canada, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and the USA.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bravo! Pet Foods upgrades heritage brand

    Bravo! Pet Foods is upgrading its heritage brand, introducing a new logo, slogan and packaging design with will officially debut during Orlando's Global Pet Expo, happening March 12-14, 2014.
    The updated logo features a brilliant red color that has become synonymous with the Bravo brand for easy recognition, while contemporizing the insignia with a softer, more approachable font, according to the company. A canine and/or feline silhouette will accompany the new logo for easy product differentiation. These illustrated pets feature an activated color palette to signify the brand's various nutritional benefits.
    The new slogan, "make good happen," was developed to:
    • Reflect the company's commitment to offer only the finest quality, healthiest and tastiest dinners and treats for pets
    • Communicate the brand's feel-good mission and ongoing commitment to the community and rescue shelters
    • Resonate with the brand's target market
    For continuity, consistency and heightened point-of-sale impact, the entire Bravo line will receive updated packaging in 2014. The new designs are tailored to create a billboard effect when merchandised, with appropriate violators and highlighted sales points to distinguish each product's protein, purpose and benefits. All of these elements work together to maximize shelf and freezer impact, simplify consumer shopping and increase retail sales, says the company.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Nestle Purina to reintroduce Waggin' Train dog treats

    Nestlé Purina has announced plans to reintroduce its Waggin' Train dog jerky treats in February, along with a sister brand. The product was pulled from production in 2013 on concerns about possible linked pet deaths and a resulting government investigation, but the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no conclusive findings on the link between the China-made chicken treats and pet illnesses.
    Pending federal lawsuits against Nestlé Purina (and competitor Del Monte Corp.) from customers who say the companies' treats did their pets harm, along with lingering concerns overall, may make Waggin' Train's revival difficult. But Nestlé Purina maintains that their treats have always been safe for pets. "It was always safe to feed, and we are very confident with these products," said Nina Leigh Krueger, president of Waggin' Train. "We definitely believe in this brand, and we feel like there is good growth potential for the company."
    Waggin' Train now contracts with a single-source, U.S.-based supplier for raw materials at a newly built facility in China and has its own in-house inspectors on site, according to Nestlé Purina's Vice President of Manufacturing Bill Cooper. "We certainly had very stringent testing prior to the withdrawal, but we've enhanced that," Cooper said. "We've also met with the FDA on several occasions to go through our testing," said Cooper. "We are confident the quality controls are better than anyone else's manufacturing jerky treats."
    The company said it's bringing Waggin' Train back due to consumer demand. The product lineup has been pared down from about 30 products to its current offerings: Chicken Jerky Tenders made in China, and two U.S.-made products, Jerky Duos and Smoky Jerky Snacks.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Brit petfood brand receives 2014 Global PETS Award

    Brit, a petfood brand of Vafo Praha, received the 2014 Global PETS Award during the recent Global PETS Forum in Amsterdam. PETS International General Director Corine van Winden presented the award to Vafo Praha Managing Director Pavel Bouska.
    Throughout its 20-year history, Vafo Praha has consistently increased the quality of its products, introducing innovative petfood solutions to the market, opening new product categories, and communicating the principles of healthy nutrition and related care to consumers. Good cooperation with suppliers and customers is considered a win-win principle and a great value.
    The Global PETS Award is awarded yearly to a company from the international pet industry that has shown above-average performance in the theme of that year's Global PETS Forum. 

AVMA won't warn against feeding treats tied to illness, deaths

    Despite reports of pet illness and deaths tied to jerky treats, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) says it won't warn pet owners against feeding the treats to their dogs, according to an NBC News report.
    The AVMA rejected a resolution this month that would have discouraged use of the jerky products until further evidence about safety is available.
    "The resolution as presented is basically dead," said David Kirkpatrick, an AVMA spokesman. "We don't have the scientific proof to say, 'Don't do it.'"
    Instead, the AVMA's house of delegates recommended that the group tell its 85,000 members to report jerky-related pet problems to the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and to work with the FDA to safeguard animals through "quality control of pet food and treats."
    The strips, nuggets and other treats have been linked to nearly 600 pet deaths and 4,500 illnesses since 2007. The conditions include gastrointestinal illnesses, kidney failure and Fanconi syndrome. The AVMA and the FDA remind owners that jerky treats are not a necessary part of a pet's diet and to seek medical care at the first sign of gastric distress or kidney trouble.
    The AVMA resolution came weeks before Nestle Purina Pet Care said it plans to introduce new versions of its Waggin' Train products in February, and Del Monte Foods Corp. said it would offer new versions of its Milo's Kitchen treats in March.
    The companies issued nationwide recalls last year after New York state agriculture officials detected trace levels of unapproved antibiotics in jerky treat samples. The FDA and company officials said that the antibiotics weren't tied to the ongoing reports of illnesses.
    Nestle Purina said it has made "significant enhancements" to the Waggin' Train production process, including limiting meat sourcing to single suppliers and requiring that each batch of treats be tested for a range of contaminants.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Honest Kitchen unveils new packaging for human-grade petfood line

    The Honest Kitchen, a producer of natural, human-grade petfood products, has redesigned its packaging. The new boxes will debut at the Global Pet Expo in Florida, March 12-14, 2014, and will hit store store shelves at the end of March.
    "We wanted the packaging to evoke a very natural, culinary look and feel that plays up the beautiful ingredients we use in our human-grade foods," said Lucy Postins, The Honest Kitchen's founder and CEO. "Also, we're placing a heavy emphasis on the meat or fish source in each recipe, along with more clearly defining the life stage and differentiating the grain-free from whole-grain diets, to help streamline the shopping process and allow consumers to more easily select the recipe that's right for their pet."
    The Honest Kitchen is also rolling out a smaller 2-pound trial box in their bestselling recipes: Force, Embark, Love and Keen. Each 2-pound box will make 8 pounds of real food when hydrated.
    The Honest Kitchen's petfoods are dehydrated, which results in a compact, nutrient-dense finished product, according to the company. Pet owners just add warm water to make a real-food meal in three to five minutes, and because the food is so concentrated, a 10-pound box will actually yield 40 pounds of food when hydrated, and will last a 30-pound dog up to six weeks.
    The company collaborated with long-time partner Bulldog Drummond (San Diego, CA) to create the new design concepts. Hand-painted illustrations of the company's ingredients and also Honest Kitchen employees' own pets, which adorn the new boxes, were created by artist Natalya Zahn, and the production and file preparation work was completed by Jen Cadam Design.

AFIA, panel provide FSMA update at Pet Food Conference

    The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) in partnership with the USPOULTRY Poultry Protein and Fat Council held its Pet Food Conference at the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta on January 28. During the morning session, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) took center stage. An expert panel featuring Jodi Miller, regulatory manager, P&G Pet Care; Steve Taylor, director of regulatory affairs-US/Canada, Hills Pet Food; and Bart Dunsford, Key Product Development/Technical Services, Animal Science Products, tackled the main issues of interest to the producers of animal food.
    The final proposed rule was published in October 2013; however, AFIA, National Grain & Feed Association (NGFA), Pet Food Institute (PFI) and National Rendering Association (NRA) asked for and were granted an extension, which pushed the date for submission of final comments to March 31, 2014.
    "AFIA's goal is to clarify to determine what the comments need to be-what the proposed rule means-and collect feedback about how it will impact the industry," says Leah Wilkinson, AFIA director of ingredients, petfood and state affairs. "This goes for what works as well as what doesn't work."
    Ingredients, co-products, petfood and livestock feed are included under the "animal food" rule, which were based on human food current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs).
    "The question is whether or not the [human food rule] was an appropriate start," Miller says. "I don't think it was. The animal food industry is a diverse industry with a multitude of processes and facilities. The language is too prescriptive and broadened to greater degree than it historically had been."
    Taylor adds: "Diversity makes [the proposed animal feed rule] onerous."
    The panel agreed that the cGMPs should apply to all animal groups because it is the overall industry's responsibility to produce safe animal food-whether for livestock or for pets-and separate rules or exemptions would cause confusion.
    "How can an ingredient supplier have one set of cGMPs for feed and another for pet food companies?" Taylor asked. "How are human food manufacturers going to handle this when it comes to supplying their co-products to animal food or pet food? It should be an even rule."
    The panel highlighted several new guidelines and definitions under the proposed rule for animal food:
    • Personal hygiene: Employees should wash their hands; sick employees cannot handle feed/pet food; and maintain adequate cleanliness.
    • Hazard analysis: Includes identification of hazards that may occur naturally or unintentionally introduced.
    • Chemical hazards: Such forms of chemical hazards include pesticides, drug residues, natural toxins, decomposition, unapproved food additives and nutrient imbalances. Nutrient imbalances should be defined as nutrient toxicity and deficiency because prescribed diets may purposely be imbalanced. In addition, several co-product ingredients could be considered a chemical hazard. The group feels these distinctions will be addressed during the comments period.
    • Training: Qualified individuals can obtain training "via courses with standardized curriculum or through on-the-job experience to develop and apply a food safety system." The panel suggests keeping employee training records on hand should the company be called to present them.
    • Food safety plans: The proposed rule requires inclusion of hazard analysis, recall plan, corrective action procedures, preventive controls, procedures and frequency of monitoring process control systems, and verification procedures as part of a food safety plan.
    • Supplier verification: The panel feels further clarification is needed in terms of when it is appropriate to require them to carry out the rule requirement and who it should apply to. For example, does it apply to all facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold animal food, or just to those that manufacture or process it?
    Under a court order, the final rules must be issued on June 30, 2015. Compliance dates will vary depending on the size of the organization. The rule will go into effect 60 days post-publication.