Friday, May 30, 2014

RECALL: Pet Center Inc. recalls Lamb Crunchy's dog treats

    Pet Center Inc. of California, USA, has issued a recall for Lamb Crunchy’s dog treats due to possible Salmonella contamination.
    The recalled products are sold in 3-ounce bags of Lamb Crunchy’s dog treats (LAM-003) with UPC number 727348200038 and date code 122015. The products were made in the USA and distributed to California, Wisconsin, Colorado and Washington states to Gelson’s Market, General Pet, Nor-Sky Pet Supply and Independent Pet.
    The bacteria was found by the State of Colorado Department of Agriculture in a random sample. If you purchased this product, do not give it to your pet. Return it to the place of purchase for a refund.

Backer's Total Pet Expo adds new features for 2014

    H.H. Backer Associates is adding more features to its annual Backer’s Total Pet Expo, including a smartphone app, a Secret Shopper contest and other attractions. The changes to the 2014 pet products trade show, which will be held September 19 to 21 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in suburban Chicago, follow a revamped 2013 exhibition.
    The app, available from iTunes and Google Play, is designed for smartphones and tablet computers. It locates exhibitors, displays schedules, speaker bios and maps, and offers a QR scanner, photo gallery and social media links. The Secret Shopper contest will reward exhibitors through the use of mystery shoppers who will visit booths to assess vendors’ knowledge and service.
    Also planned are the Top Ten All-Natural Product Lounge within the All-Natural Area on Level 1, which will showcase products voted on by retailers before the show; and US$10,000 in prizes for exhibitors who pitch "an interesting and innovative pet product." In addition, a preshow seminar, "The Nuts and Bolts of Bigger Retail Profits,” will be hosted by business professional Chris Beykirch on September 18.

Kenya petfood market set for growth

    Kenya's petfood market is poised for growth as the country's wealthy catch up with the global trends of increased pet ownership and pet humanization, according to reports.
    According to the US Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service, Kenya’s petfood market grew 27% in 2006–2010, and Kenya’s petfood imports totaled about US$960,000 in 2010. “People are now busier and wealthier," said Riaz Gilani, director of Kenyan petfood manufacturer Gilani Gourmet. "They have children whom they cannot spend time with [compared] to previous generations. So there are a lot of instances where a parent would be arm twisted into buying a puppy for their child. You have situations where people would rather have dogs for security, especially if they have a big compound. You also have the growing class of people who buy dogs for status [and] this is a growing trend in Kenya.”
    Barriers such as high taxation, prohibitive permit requirements, fears of terrorism and high electricity costs make it difficult to do business in Kenya, said Gilani.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Canine osteosarcoma study presented at American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine forum

    Advaxis Inc., a biotechnology company developing cancer immunotherapies, has announced that principal investigator Nicola Mason, BVet.Med, PhD, DACVIM, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, will present updated data from the ongoing ADXS-cHER2 study in canine osteosarcoma at the 2014 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) Forum on June 5, 2014, in Nashville, Tennessee. ADXS-cHER2 is an immunotherapy that targets the HER2 oncogene, which is overexpressed in certain solid-tumor cancers, including pediatric bone cancer and breast cancer.
    In her presentation, "Clinical Evaluation of a HER2/neu-Targeting Vaccine to Prevent Metastatic Osteosarcoma," Mason will provide updated data from the ongoing study in pet dogs with osteosarcoma. "We are excited that Dr. Mason will be presenting these encouraging data from our canine trial at the ACVIM Forum, which focuses on the latest developments in animal health," said Daniel J. O'Connor, CEO of Advaxis. "Without question, her research has not only been groundbreaking in the treatment of canine osteosarcoma, but the results have also affirmed the potential of ADXS-cHER2 as a treatment for a host of human cancers, including bone cancer and breast cancer, where the HER2 oncogene is overexpressed. In particular, these data, along with the strong parallel between canine and pediatric bone cancer, were instrumental in our recent decision to pursue a clinical development program with ADXS-cHER2 in pediatric osteosarcoma."

New York City launches domestic violence victims with pets campaign

    The Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV) has unveiled a campaign in support of Urban Resource Institute’s (URI) People and Animals Living Safely (PALS) initiative to shelter domestic violence victims with pets.
    Throughout May, in recognition of Pet Safety Awareness Month, the campaign will canvass New York City via retail outlets and grassroots distribution, with the goal of raising awareness about the services now available to victims of abuse with pets. To support this campaign, Petland Discounts will place posters on the doors of its 70 stores in the New York area and C-Town and Bravo Supermarkets will include information in its weekly store circular across all five boroughs.
    “This creative private-public partnership with the Urban Resource Institute, Petland Discounts and C-Town and Bravo Supermarkets will help connect survivors with critical domestic violence services,” said Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence Commissioner Rosemonde Pierre-Louis. “Survivors who flee an abusive home no longer need to leave their beloved pets behind. Now, the entire family can find safety and security together in a supportive domestic violence shelter.”
    Studies show that as many as 48% of domestic violence victims stay in abusive situations out of fear of what would happen if they left their pets behind, and more than 70% of pet owners who enter shelter report that the abuser has threatened, injured or killed family pets. URI is the only one of NYC’s 50 domestic violence shelters that accommodates pets, filling a critical gap by addressing the unique challenges families with pets face.
    “Pets are part of people’s families, and no one should have to face the impossible decision to leave a pet behind in order to flee a violent relationship,” said Nathaniel Fields, president and CEO of URI. “With this campaign, OCDV is taking a bold step in spreading the word about URIPALS so that we can help more New Yorkers escape abuse and rebuild their lives as a family unit.” 
    OCDV staff and community partners will also hand out materials and information to hundreds of commuters in neighborhoods with a high incidence of domestic violence. These outreach efforts will promote the safety of families with pets, provide information about where to get help if someone is being abused including OCDV’s New York City Family Justice Centers, and encourage people to participate on social media with the hashtag #NYCendDV. 
    To learn more about URIPALS and for tips on keeping the entire family safe in domestic violence situations, please visit For help from one of OCDV’s New York City Family Justice Centers, visit or call the City’s Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-621-4673 or 311. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Global GMO Free Coalition launched

    The Global GMO Free Coalition launched on May 20, 2014, bringing together GMO Free groups across six continents with a partner membership of more than 4.5 million people.
    The Global GMO Free Coalition, with more than 60 partner organizations, is the first globally coordinated network to address the genetically modified (GM) food and crop industry in both the media and in public and government advocacy areas. The aim of the coalition is "to cut through biotech industry propaganda and to provide independent information that leads to responsible actions from food regulatory bodies in countries worldwide," according to organizers.
    The coalition will provide journalists and governments worldwide with a source of independent information. Journalists will be welcomed to contact the coalition 24 hours a day for quotes and reactions from the top global experts in the field of GMOs. The Coalition will also coordinate expert speakers to attend public and private events wherever they are held around the globe. These speakers will present sustainable alternatives to GMOs.
    The Global GMO Free Coalition partners are from countries around the world, including the US, UK, Russia, Iran, Chile, Taiwan, the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, New Caledonia, Ghana, Georgia and Ireland.

Big Heart Pet Brands among Nielsen 2014 US Breakthrough Innovation winners

    Big Heart Pet Brands is among 14 companies to receive Nielsen's 2014 US Breakthrough Innovation Award.
    This is the third year that Nielsen has presented the award in the US. 2014’s product winners were all launched in 2012 and met the standards for distinctiveness, relevance and endurance in order to qualify. Nielsen analyzed over 3,400 new consumer product introductions which launched in the US in 2012 to determine which products demonstrated breakthrough results.
     The full list of winners:
    • Angry Orchard Hard Cider, The Boston Beer Co.
    • Barcel Takis, Barcel USA
    • Bud Light Lime Ritas, Anheuser-Busch
    • Depend Silhouette Briefs for Women and Depend Real Fit Briefs for Men, Kimberly-Clark
    • Febreze Car Vent Clip, Procter & Gamble
    • Gevalia Kaffe Retail Coffee, Kraft Foods
    • International Delight Iced Coffee, The WhiteWave Foods Co.
    • Meow Mix Tender Centers, Big Heart Pet Brands
    • Mucinex Fast-Max, Reckitt Benckiser
    • Nabisco belVita Breakfast Biscuits, Mondelez Global LLC
    • Nature Valley Protein Bars, General Mills
    • Sargento Ultra Thin Slices, Sargento Foods
    • Tide Pods, Procter & Gamble
    • ZzzQuil, Procter & Gamble
    "Given the very competitive marketplace and high new product failure rate, we celebrate the Nielsen Breakthrough Innovation winners’ extraordinary achievement,” said Rob Wengel, senior vice president, Innovation, Nielsen. “These diverse new products carry the common thread of finding and filling unmet consumer needs while demonstrating that with significant effort, game-changing innovation is possible in any category and by all types of companies.”

pawTree utilizes social selling approach to pet care

    pawTree, a social-selling pet products start up, merges the social selling industry and the pet industry to target a mutual customer who is passionate about pets and people. The company said it aims to allow pet parents to learn about products and shop for their pets through in-home parties (called Pawloozas) and word of mouth.  
    Products are brought to customers through pawTree representatives, petPros, who will then help customers come up with a personalized nutrition plan that considers each pet's individual needs. In addition to custom petfoods and supplements, pawTree offers an exclusive line of treats, health solutions, food bowls, pet collars, pet beds and toys. 
    pawTree launched on April 26, 2014, and currently has petPros in 16 states.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Blue Buffalo officially files lawsuit against Nestle Purina

    The Blue Buffalo Company Ltd. officially filed a lawsuit against Nestlé Purina PetCare Company on May 14, 2014. The lawsuit, in response to a lawsuit filed by Purina against Blue Buffalo, claims defamation, unfair competition, false advertising and violations of trade practice statutes.
    More specifically, the complaint states that Purina has blanketed the media with blatantly false ads about Blue Buffalo’s ingredients and malicious attacks on Blue Buffalo’s integrity. Blue Buffalo seeks injunctive relief, corrective advertising and damages "occasioned by defendants’ false and deceptive advertising campaign," according to the company.
    "In our lawsuit we demand that Nestle Purina be held accountable for their actions, and that they stop their carefully orchestrated PR campaign designed to erode the trust that pet parents place in our BLUE brand," said Blue Buffalo Founder and Chairman Bill Bishop. "Product quality has always been at the center of everything we do at Blue Buffalo, so we are not about to let Nestle Purina make derogatory and unsubstantiated claims about our company, our people and our products."
    The company said that while the matter is now in the courts, Blue Buffalo intends to continue defending its integrity and product quality. "[Litigation] is not the way Blue Buffalo likes to do business, said Bishop. "We’d much prefer an environment of transparency in which pet parents know the ingredients of every petfood, and decide for themselves which one they want to feed their dog or cat." 
    The lawsuit was filed in US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in St. Louis under the case caption Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd. v. Nestle Purina Pet Care Company, and John Does 1 – 10.  

Canada-based pet treat company seeks funding for expansion

    Crocx Inc., a French-Canadian company that produces 100% natural, 70% organic treats for dogs and horses, is aiming to collect CAD$4500 by June 1, 2014, for its Kickstarter campaign.
    Funding will go toward hiring a full-time employee, improving organization, expanding output with the use of new, efficient equipment, acquiring food certifications and adding air conditioning to the production facility. With enough help, the horse and dog treats will also be made available to people in other countries, including the US, according to Crocx.
    Pledge levels have been created to help generate donations. Levels extend from a CAD$5 donation which gets a big thank you, to the CAD$2500 pledge, which not only gets the thank you, but a Crocx sticker, poster, basket of Crocx cookies, two 500g cookie bags each month for a year, three 3kg buckets of cookies for the shelter of the donor’s choice, plus future products not yet launched.  

Lawsuit against American Pet Food Manufacturing Company claims supplier money owed

    Georgia-based food supply company Foodpros Marketing Inc. has filed a lawsuit against pet treat manufacturer American Pet Food Manufacturing Company (APFM) for allegedly failing to pay for US$155,000 worth of chicken breasts and other items it had ordered.
    Foodpros filed the complaint on May 1, 2014, in US District Court in London. APFM's founder, Kimberly Monday, is also named in the suit. According to the court filings, APFM received orders of tens of thousands of chicken breasts starting in August 2013 into September 2013. Foodpros claims the amount billed via invoices to APFM was due within 14 days of the goods being delivered and accepted. APFM and Monday paid a total of US$21,800, the lawsuit claims, in increments ranging from as little as US$500 to as much as US$5,000 between October 2013 and March 2014.
    “The Defendant has become delinquent on its account and has failed to become current on its account payments despite several demands for it to do so,” the lawsuit claims. As of April 28, Foodpros claims APFM owes it US$155,000 and that “at the time the Defendant took possession of the goods, Defendant had no intention of paying FoodPros for the goods …”
    APFM has been involved in multiple instances of litigation recently. In January 2014, APFM was ordered to pay roughly US$82,000 to settle a lawsuit brought against it by a local staffing service, The Job Shop, as part of a partial summary judgment. Nesco Resource, another staffing service, filed its own lawsuit against APFM in February, claiming the APFM owes it US$146,016.65 for temporary employment services it provided.

Monday, May 26, 2014 launched to help combat cat obesity

    Kate and Steve O'Brien have launched, a site that focuses on the health of cats. The site is sister to, which highlights canine health.
    The sites aim to raise pet owners' awareness to the issue of pet obesity and educate owners about food, nutrition and the importance of exercise for the health and longevity of their pets. "We want [pet owners] to know what's in the food they are feeding, recognize how much they are feeding and understand how both factors impact their pets' health and longevity," said Kate O'Brien. "Just as with dogs, overweight cats are more susceptible to obesity-related diseases, particularly diabetes, as well as osteoarthritis and liver and kidney problems."
    SlimKitty has a database with more than 1,000 cat foods so far that tracks ingredients, nutrients and calories. The SlimDoggy database is at 3,000 dog foods. "SlimKitty is just starting out, but our hope is to gain a following of caring, concerned cat owners who want to feed their cats the best they can feed them while also making sure their cats stay fit through activity and exercise," said Kate O'Brien. "We all love our pets and want what’s best for them. What could be better than a long happy, healthy and fit life?"

Friday, May 23, 2014

Blue Buffalo responds to Nestle Purina lawsuit

    The Blue Buffalo Company Ltd. has responded to a lawsuit filed by Nestle Purina PetCare Company, claiming that the lawsuit's allegations are false. Blue Buffalo said that it intends to "aggressively defend the integrity of our brand and our products.
    "It is an easy thing to make unsubstantiated claims, put them in a lawsuit and then publish them all over the web to disparage and defame a company," said Blue Buffalo. "It is quite another thing to prove those allegations." Nestle Purina's lawsuit claims that several of Blue Buffalo's products do in fact contain poultry by-product meal, corn and rice hulls, despite Blue Buffalo's marketing to the contrary. Blue Buffalo reiterated in its response that the company does not use chicken by-product meal or poultry by-product meal in any of its products; does not use ground corn in any of its products; and does not use artificial preservatives in any of its products.
    "We’re disappointed to see one of the largest food companies in the world, with over US$100 billion in sales, launching such a baseless lawsuit against a family-run company and attempting to prosecute it on the Internet," said Blue Buffalo Founder and Chairman Bill Bishop. "My sons and I founded Blue Buffalo with the mission of bringing transparency to petfoods, and made the True Blue Promise to our pet parents. Clearly, some of our major competitors, who have built their business using lower cost ingredients, are upset. We will always stand behind our promise and our products."

Hubbard Feeds relaunches Hubbard Life brand dog and cat food

    Hubbard Feeds has announced a re-launch of its Hubbard Life branded dog and cat food line, with a new and improved ingredient profile and poly-woven packaging.
    The Hubbard Life brand now has a 20-pound puppy bag size to add to its offerings. Hubbard Feeds has also introduced its new Kinetic premium sporting dog food line, designed for highly active, energy-expanding sporting dogs.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

FDA releases operational strategy for implementing FSMA

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released its operational strategy for implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), aiming to protect public health by the strategic implementation of prevention-oriented food safety standards.
    "This strategy document is intended to guide the next phase of FSMA implementation by outlining broadly the drivers of change in FDA’s approach to food safety and the operational strategy for implementing that change, as mandated and empowered by FSMA," said the FDA. "The appendix provides guiding principles for how the strategy can be implemented with respect to food and feed facilities, produce safety standards and import oversight. This document will guide the work of teams responsible for developing the specific strategies, capacity building, training and operational plans needed to implement FSMA in these areas. It also provides the basis for dialogue with FDA’s government partners and other stakeholders concerning implementation of the FSMA rules."
    The strategy includes:
    • advancing public health
    • leveraging and collaborating
    • strategic and risk-based industry oversight
    Fulfilling the vision of risk-based prevention to protect public health—and successfully implementing FSMA—depends on close partnership and full integration of all implementation efforts carried out across the Foods and Veterinary Medicine Program, at both the work planning and operational levels, said FDA. This integrated and collaborative approach involves CFSAN, CVM, ORA, the Office of Global Regulatory Operations and Policy, and the Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine.
    FDA plans to fulfill the vision of FSMA and strengthen food safety protection by applying the principles outlined in the strategy across the entire food safety program, while adapting them to the specific challenges posed by implementation of preventive controls, produce safety standards and FSMA’s new import system.

Latest AAA PetBook adds pet-friendly restaurant listings

    The 16th edition of Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook includes a new section listing nearly 700 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated restaurants across the US and Canada that welcome pets in outside dining areas.
    The AAA PetBook provides detailed listings—including pet policies, amenities and fees—for more than 13,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels, plus more than 800 pet-friendly campgrounds. For recreation planning, the book lists national public lands and attractions that allow pets and 300 dog parks in the most popular travel destinations. Tips for first-timers and seasoned pet travelers address packing, pet etiquette, border crossing and emergency vet clinics.
    The release of the new edition marks the opening of the next annual AAA PetBook Photo Contest sponsored by Best Western. Travelers who snap a photo of their pet on vacation can enter through November 30. Each year, winners are selected to appear on covers of the next edition and receive additional prizes. See inside The AAA PetBook for details, or access official rules, an entry form and the contest photo gallery at

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Dogswell launches contest to raise animal adoption awareness

    Dogswell has launched a national contest to raise awareness for animal adoptions in honor of National Pet Month. As of May 19, 2014, consumers will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite no-kill animal shelter to win a professional photo shoot for their adoptable dogs.
    The contest will run for four weeks. An announcement will be made on June 30 with the name of the winning no-kill shelter. Fifteen adoptable dogs from the shelter will get their “picture perfect” moment captured by Kaylee Greer from Dog Breath Photography. The winning shelter will also receive a six-month supply of Dogswell food.
    “Dogswell is proud to celebrate the efforts of shelters across the country while showing that something as simple as a picture can increase a dog’s chances of getting adopted,” said Dogswell CEO Brad Casper. “We are thrilled to partner with Kaylee Greer to help these dogs make the best ‘first impression’ and increase their chances for a healthy and happy life.”
    To vote for your local no-kill shelter, visit the #Smile4DogswellContest tab on Dogswell’s Facebook page, as well as the respective shelter’s Facebook page to like and/or share the Dogswell-branded post throughout the month of May. Consumers are also encouraged to participate using the hashtag #Smile4DogswellContest across all social platforms. 

Purina sues Blue Buffalo for false advertising, disparagement

    Nestlé Purina PetCare Company has filed a lawsuit in federal court in St. Louis, Missouri, against The Blue Buffalo Company Ltd., for false advertising, disparagement and unjust enrichment—including violations of the Federal Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)). 
    Blue Buffalo’s promotion, advertising and packaging state that its petfood products contain “No Chicken/Poultry By-Product Meals.” In its complaint, Purina alleges that testing conducted by an independent laboratory found that several of Blue Buffalo’s “Life Protection” petfood products contained significant percentages of poultry by-product meal. Testing was done from samples of multiple formulas of Blue Buffalo petfood purchased at retail stores on both the East and West Coasts, says Purina. Independent testing also showed that Blue Buffalo “LifeSource Bits” contain poultry by-product meal and corn, and several Blue Buffalo products promoted as “grain-free” actually contain rice hulls, according to the company.
    The lawsuit follows a March 2014 decision of the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, which found that Blue Buffalo is engaging in misleading advertising practices with respect to its claims about competing products. The NAD decision recommended that Blue Buffalo correct its television ad campaigns by removing all of its allegations that Blue Buffalo’s competitors are misleading consumers.

WellPet announces new ad campaign with 'spokescat'

    WellPet has announced the unveiling of a new ad campaign, "We Create Wellness," that focuses on the emotional relationships between pet owners and their pets, and will feature British Shorthair "spokescat" Wella. The cat will join Wellsy, the Austrian Shepherd who served as the brand's "spokespet" in 2013.
    This campaign's message will be communicated through the tagline on both dog and cat print ads, which reads “Naturally, she’ll love you for it,” paired with a close-up shot of either Wellsy or Wella. The theme also echoes through the cat and dog television spots, which highlight the healthy ingredient list the brand is synonymous for, but also remind pet parents that they’re really feeding their pets quality, natural food to promote overall well-being. 
    The ads (print and TV) officially premiere in May in the US and Canada. The campaign also includes digital media (display, mobile, online video, and SEM/social media), according to WellPet.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Iams hosts two-mile dog run during Flying Pig Marathon

      Meredith Leslie, of P&G, runs with Pawl Griffin, Iams VP of Canine Communications, during the Iams Flying Fur dog run in downtown Cincinnati, May 3, 2014. More than 500 dogs and owners ran in the two-mile race as part of races taking place during the Flying Pig Marathon weekend events. Iams Bowls of Love will be donating a bag of petfood for each dog running in the event to the SPCA in Cincinnati. (Tom Uhlman/AP Images for Iams)
    Iams partnered with the Flying Pig Marathon to create the first-ever Iams Flying Fur, a two-mile dog run, that took place on May 3, 2014 as part of the three-day Flying Pig Marathon weekend of activities.
    In addition, Iams Bowls of Love, a national program geared towards helping pets in need, committed to donating one large bag of petfood for every dog participating in the run. With a total of 525 dogs at the event, Iams is donating a total of 7.5 tons of petfood to the local SPCA Cincinnati.
    Partnering with Flying Pig Marathon to create a new competition was not only fun for dog owners and their pets, but also a great way to bring awareness and give back to shelters in the Cincinnati area, said Iams. Iams Bowls of Love is deeply committed to helping pets in need and partnering with hard-working organizations across the country. 

Pet Fair Asia 2014 to be held August 21–24

    The 17th edition of Pet Fair Asia will be held in Shanghai on August 21–24, 2014. Taking a turn toward the future of the Chinese pet industry, Pet Fair Asia will focus on premium exposure and affirm China as central platform for global exchanges, according to organizers.
    The 2014 show will gather more than 650 exhibitors from 31 countries. Filling the 42,000-square-meter exhibiting space of Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center—a state-of-the-art venue built for Shanghai World Expo in 2010—suppliers coming from all around the world will cover the whole range of pet supplies: petfood and treats, accessories and toys, medical care and premium solutions for pet health.
    Attendees can pre-register online through August 15, 2014.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Pet Food Experts to purchase corporate headquarters in Rhode Island

    The Pawtucket Redevelopment Agency (PRA), the City of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and Pet Food Experts have signed a purchase and sale agreement for Pet Food Experts to purchase a three-story downtown Pawtucket building for their future national corporate headquarters.
    Upon the completion of the sale of the building, the company will renovate the 24,000-square-foot second floor, before moving from its current office space. Pet Food Experts' current corporate headquarters and warehouse in Cumberland, Rhode Island, will remain as their Northeast Distribution Center.
    “With so much of our company and family history here in the state of Rhode Island, we are thrilled to find the perfect place in the heart of Pawtucket to accommodate our growing company,” said Michael G. Baker, owner and president of Pet Food Experts.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Three Dog Bakery hosts annual dog food drive

    Three Dog Bakery launched its annual "Feed a Dog Food Drive" on May 1 to help local dogs in need. Participating Three Dog Bakery stores across the US, Canada and Hong Kong are holding food drives to help feed dogs in their local communities, and the drive will run the entire month of May.
    “This is a wonderful event that we are proud to support every year,” said Jamie Wiebrecht, director of franchise operations. “There are many phenomenal organizations that are dedicated to serving homeless and neglected animals. We are extremely happy that we can play a role in raising awareness about shelter dogs while helping to provide thousands of pounds of food. Our hope is that the Three Dog Bakery food will help these organizations continue to make a difference for animals in their area.”
    Since the inception of Three Dog Bakery’s “Feed a Dog Food Drive” in 2011, more than 50,000 pounds of dog food has been donated to dogs in need. In addition to the contributions collected in the bakeries, Three Dog Bakery headquarters will donate up to 500 pounds of additional food and treats to the three bakeries with the most donations.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

RECALL: Bravo issues petfood recall on possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination

    Bravo is recalling select lots and product(s) of Bravo Pet Food because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes
    The recalled product was distributed nationwide to distributors, retail stores, Internet retailers and directly to consumers. The product can be identified by the batch ID code (best used by date) printed on the side of the plastic tube or on a label on the box. The recalled products are as follows: 
    1) These products are being recalled because they may have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
    Product: Raw Food Diet BRAVO! BEEF BLEND for DOGS and CATS (Made in New Zealand)
    All 2 lb., 5 lb., and 10 lb. tubes
    Product Numbers: 52-102, 52-105, 52-110
    Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier
    Product: BRAVO! Balance Premium Turkey Formula (Manufactured by: Bravo! Manchester, CT)
    3 lb. box with (12) 4oz. burgers
    Product Number: 31-401
    Best Used By Dates: 1/07/16 and 2/11/16
    2) These products are being recalled out of an abundance of caution because while they did not test positive for pathogens, they were manufactured in the same manufacturing facility or on the same day as products that did test positive.
    Product: Raw Food Diet BRAVO! LAMB BLEND for DOGS AND CATS (Made in New Zealand)
    All 2 lb., 5 lb., and 10 lb. tubes
    Product Numbers: 42-102, 42-105, 42-110
    Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier
    Product: Raw Food Diet BRAVO! LAMB BASIC for DOGS AND CATS (Made in New Zealand)
    2 lb. tubes
    Product Number: 42-202
    Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier
    Product: Raw Food Diet BRAVO! Beef & Beef Heart for DOGS AND CATS (Made in New Zealand)
    5 lb. tubes
    Product Number: 53-130
    Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier
    Product: Raw Food Diet BRAVO! 100% PURE & NATURAL PREMIUM GRASS-FED BUFFALO for dogs and cats (Manufactured by: Bravo! Manchester, CT)
    NET WT 2 lb. (32 oz.) .91 kg. (tubes)
    Product Number: 72-222
    Best Used By Date: 1/07/16
    Product: Bravo! Turkey Balance Formula (Manufactured by: Bravo! Manchester, CT)
    NET WT 2 lb. (32 oz.) .91 kg., Chub (tube)
    Product Number: 31-402
    Best Used By Dates: 1/07/16 and 2/11/16 
    NET WT 5 lb. (80 oz.) 2.3 kg., Chub (tube)
    Product Number: 31-405
    Best Used By Dates: 1/07/16 and 2/11/16
    Product: Raw Food Diet BRAVO! LAMB BLEND for DOGS AND CATS (Manufactured by: Bravo! Manchester, CT)
    5 lb. (80 oz.) 2.3 kg., Chub (tube)
    Product Number: 42-105
    Best Used By Date: 2/11/16
    The voluntary recall has been issued because the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported an independent lab detected the bacteria in a sample during a recent review. The company has received a limited number of reports of dogs experiencing nausea and diarrhea that may be associated with these specific products. The company has received no reports of human illness as a result of these products. 
    Bravo said it discontinued all manufacturing in New Zealand on October 10, 2013, and will immediately start working with distributors and retailers to properly dispose of any affected product left on freezer shelves. The company will also be announcing the recall to pet owners to ensure they dispose of any affected product that has been purchased.
    Bravo said it is issuing this action out of an abundance of caution and sincerely regrets any inconvenience to pet owners as a result of this announcement. The recalled product should not be sold or fed to pets. Pet owners who have the affected product at home should dispose of it in a safe manner. They can return to the store where purchased and submit the Product Recall Claim Form available on the Bravo website,, for a full refund or store credit. More information on the Bravo recall can also be found on the website, or by calling toll-free 1.866.922.9222.

Petfood Forum China 2014 topics announced

    Petfood Forum China 2014, scheduled for August 22 in Shanghai, will focus on pet nutrition, ingredients and formulation—the foundation for all petfood products and for new product development, the organizers have announced.
    China is one of the fastest growing pet care markets worldwide, according to Eurmonitor, including its domestic petfood manufacturing industry. At Petfood Forum China, professionals from those manufacturers can get in-depth information from leading industry experts on the petfood product and ingredients market and the key ingredient categories for meeting companion animals’ nutritional needs—plus, how to formulate products to satisfy varied and sometimes conflicting requirements (marketing, nutritional and regulatory) as well as how to process petfoods to best deliver nutrient and product benefits.
    Petfood Forum China will again be held at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center and will also feature leading industry supplier-sponsors and networking opportunities. The conference will be co-located with Pet Fair Asia, one of the largest trade shows for the pet industry in China, which runs August 21-24, 2014.
    For more information on topics and speakers confirmed to date for Petfood Forum China, visit Registration for the conference will be available by early June.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hill's Pet Nutrition provides tips to ensure pet's safety in an emergency

    In coordination with the season of preparedness, Hill’s Pet Nutrition has shared best practices for pet owners to be ready for any type of an emergency by recommending the following "Seven Tips to Ensure Your Pet’s Safety in an Emergency":
    Hill's Pet Nutrition's suggested "Pet Emergency Go-Kit."
    • Ensure your pet can be identified by either a microchip or collar ID tag and that contact information is up-to-date.
    • Prepare a “Pet Emergency Go-Kit” of pet supplies that is readily accessible in an emergency. Your Pet Go-Kit should include: First aid supplies and guide book; three-days’ supply of petfood (in a waterproof container) and bottled water; a safety harness and leash; waste clean-up supplies; medications and medical records; a contact list of veterinarian and pet care organizations; information on your pet’s feeding routine and any behavioral issues; comfort toys; and a blanket.
    • Display a pet rescue decal on your front door or window to let first responders know there is a pet in the house. Include your veterinarian’s contact information.
    • Learn where your pet likes to hide in your house when frightened. Finding your pet quickly will help you evacuate faster.
    • Identify a location to take your pet if you need to leave your immediate area. Keep in mind that disaster shelters for people may not be open to pets. Scout hotels and motels with pet-friendly policies and ask relatives or friends if they could house you and your pet.
    • Carry a picture of your pet in the event of separation.
    • If you need to evacuate, consider taking a pet carrier or crate for transport and safe-keeping.

Merrick Pet Care launches dog food advertising campaign

    Natural petfood manufacturer Merrick Pet Care has launched its “Best Dog Ever Deserves the Best Food Ever” advertising campaign with Austin, Texas-based agency McGarrah Jessee. The new campaign for the company’s all-natural Merrick brand dog food marks the most substantial marketing investment in its 25+ year history and comes at a time when the brand is experiencing double-digit growth in the expanding natural, premium petfood category, according to the company.
    “Our new campaign is based on the guiding insight that most pet parents truly believe their dog is the best dog ever, and to honor that bond they seek the very best for their dog when it comes to choosing a food,” said Mark Sapir, vice president of marketing for Merrick Pet Care. “This emotional insight wrapped around the benefits of our food—high quality, nutrition and great taste—guided the development of the campaign as we celebrate the special relationship between pet parent and pet shown through shared joy at mealtime.”
    As pet parents continue to research petfood brands online, a major component of the campaign will target current and potential consumers via search, display and remarketing. In addition, there will be a heavy social media component to reach new and current pet parents, as research demonstrates pet parents are particularly active across a number of social platforms and receptive to brand messages there. “The natural petfood category has become very crowded, and a highly targeted digital campaign is the best way to break through to the right consumers and reach them via multi-media channels that bring our story to life in the most compelling ways,” said Sapir.
    Finally, the company is updating the Merrick website with a dynamic comparison tool for pet parents to compare their dog food brands to Merrick, and offering a money-back guarantee to reinforce that pet parents will find Merrick to be “the best food ever, for the best dog ever.”

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

PetSmart Inspiration Waggin' Tour to bring 'pet-inspired' moments to everyday life

    PetSmart's Inspiration Waggin' Tour aims to transform everyday moments into pet-inspired ones with a six-city tour in the US and Canada.
    During the tour, dogs, puppies and cats will visit retirement centers, university campuses and local spots so people "can benefit from a wagging tail and and some unconditional love to make even the most regular of days better," said PetSmart. “The purpose of the Inspiration Waggin’ tour is to bring pet-inspired moments to people across the country,” said David Lenhardt, PetSmart president and CEO. “PetSmart is all about creating more moments for people to be inspired by pets with our unique products, services and experiences, and the Inspiration Waggin’ is a great example of our commitment to this mission.”
    The Inspiration Waggin' will make stops in:
    • Los Angeles – May 9
    • Phoenix – May 12
    • Dallas – May 14
    • Chicago – May 15
    • Toronto – May 20
    • New York City – May 22

Kemin to expand Missouri processing plant

    Kemin Industries plans to expand its production facility in Verona, Mo. The five-year expansion plan includes a more than US$14 million capital investment and is expected to create 24 jobs, according to reports.
    According to the state Missouri Department of Economic Development, the firm’s expansion will allow increased production capacity of the existing facility that manufactures meat protein used in palatants for premium and superpremium petfoods. “Missouri’s prime location in the middle of the animal health science corridor has provided an excellent environment for our palatant plant,” said Giuseppe Abrate, president of Kemin Industries’ petfood ingredient division. “Access to diverse industry resources has served our business well and will help us achieve our vision of touching half the people, and pets, of the world with our products and services.”
    The Verona expansion is part of the company’s global expansion plan. Kemin is in the middle of a US$40 million expansion at its corporate headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, where it recently opened a new state-of-the-art research and development facility. When this expansion is complete, Kemin will have added six new manufacturing facilities, three research facilities and a new corporate headquarters building in Southeast Des Moines.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Vancouver-based petfood retailer Petcetera to close six more stores

    Vancouver, Canada-based petfood retailer Petcetera will close six more stores in six cities by May 31, 2014, as part of an ongoing restructuring by the company, according to reports.
    Stores in Penticton B.C., Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Dartmouth, N.S., are the latest closures, on top of two in Abbotsford B.C., and Niagara Falls, Ont., that were announced in March.
    The company said in March that it planned to file for creditor protection. This is the second major downsizing for Petcetera since 2009, when the number of stores in its retail network was cut to 18 from 50. It said Monday that it currently employs more than 300 employees in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia locations.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Silliker offers white paper on FSMA and petfood safety

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Council for Agricultural Science and Technology paper focuses on GE food labeling

    The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology issue paper 54, "The Potential Impacts of Mandatory Labeling for Genetically Engineered Food in the United States," examines arguments for and against the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods, the costs involved with labeling and experiences in countries that use mandatory labeling. Led by Task Force Chair Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam, the authors gather factual information to produce a peer-reviewed publication that clarifies the potential impacts of mandatory labeling.
    Proponents of mandatory GE labeling cite the right to know what is in their food as an important attribute of a democratic society. Opponents think that such a label will increase the cost of food and confuse consumers with no corresponding improvement in human health or food safety. Seemingly contradictory studies are cited to support opposing views—informed discourse about this emotional issue is hard to find. This paper looks at key aspects of the argument including the following:  
    • Public opinion, polls and methods used
    • Consumer choice and interpretations that support both sides
    • Right-to-know issues
    • Food safety and testing
    • Legal and economic issues
    The paper's authors finish with conclusions they pulled from their science-based research. They also call for better communication about this issue, and recommend that legislators and consumers should be provided with independent objective information to help move the national discussion from contentious claims to a more fact-based, informed debate.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

PetSafe brand launching 'Bark for Your Park' contest

    PetSafe brand, a developer of pet behavioral, containment and lifestyle product solutions and services, is launching its fourth annual Bark for Your Park US nationwide contest on May 7, 2014.
    One US city will win US$100,000 and four other finalist cities will be awarded US$25,000 each to build an off-leash dog park in their community. “PetSafe is honored to be able to give back to communities who are eager to help make their towns more pet-friendly,” said Randy Boyd, CEO and president of Radio Systems Corporation, makers of the PetSafe brand. “As part of the PetSafe brand, we’ve seen firsthand how a dog park can enhance a community, bring responsible pet owners together and create a wonderful place to live and visit. We are hopeful that every US community will be inspired to bark for their park this year!”
    From May 7 through June 7, anyone within the continental US can vote for his or her city online at In order to advance to the finals, each community must complete their application by finding a home for their dog park and encouraging their civic leaders to support the park. Based on the information provided by each city, PetSafe will confirm the availability of land, civic leader support, population size and total number of votes to select 15 finalist communities, which will be announced June 13.

Bangkok 2014 agriculture, pet tradeshows a success

    FIAAP, VICTAM and GRAPAS 2014 were held in Bangkok in April, and the shows were a success in spite of unrest in Thailand and general elections in India and Indonesia. Petfood Forum Asia was held in conjunction with the agriculture-focused shows.
    According to show organizers, exhibitions were hold out and more than 15% larger than the 2012 show. The majority of visitors were from Thailand, South and South East Asia—30% were from outside of Thailand. The number of dedicated visitors to the shows was just over 6,100.
    General elections in India and Indonesia meant fewer visitors from those countries, but the biggest challenge was the civil unrest in Thailand, especially in Bangkok, which left some visitors uneasy about traveling to the area.
    Two firsts for the shows were the ASEAN Feed & Rice Symposium, held by Victam International BV of the Netherlands, and the inaugural session of the ASEAN Feed Summit, also organized by Victam International BV and hosted by the Thai Feed Mill Association.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Purina-sponsored cat cafe opens for one weekend in New York

    The Purina-sponsored Cat Café opened on April 24 in Manhattan, and cat lovers enjoyed complimentary "cat'achino" cappuccinos, discussed cat health and learned about cat adoption with 16 cats in attendance. Purina One hosted the café as a pop-up shop, lasting only through April 27, but organizers said they hope the event encourages cat health awareness and adoption.
    "The goal of what we're doing here is try to start a conversation about cat health," said Niky Roberts with Purina One. "What better place to do that then over a cup of coffee with some friends in a café? We thought if people are going to be talking about cat health, you should be among your subjects and have cats all around you.
    "It's a great thing because dogs are very publicly social—you can take your dog out and go for a walk, talk to people at the dog park—but that's not a luxury most cat owners have, so this is a place you can talk with like-minded people about cat health and be among cats."
    The café featured a "Cat Chat" speaker series with discussions led by a cat behaviorist, a veterinarian and other cat experts. Purina One partnered with North Shore Animal League, a large, no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization based in Long Island, New York, to bring 16 specially chosen cats from around the country to hang out at the café.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Champion Petfoods to build new Kentucky kitchen

    Canada-based Champion Petfoods is building a new kitchen in Auburn, Kentucky, USA—the company's third kitchen, according to reports.
    "The agricultural heritage and proximity to ranches and farms make locating to western Kentucky an excellent choice," said Champion Petfoods President and CEO, Frank Burdzy. "We are very pleased that the Commonwealth of Kentucky is partnered with us to grow our biologically appropriate mandate.
    "Our new custom-fitted kitchens will advance our biologically appropriate and fresh regional ingredient foods," said Burdzy. "We're going to install the best technology available to prepare a unique variety of innovative foods reflecting the Kentucky region." 
    Champion's Canadian kitchens will focus on supplying the pet specialty market in Canada, Europe and Asia, while the new Kentucky kitchens will supply the pet specialty market in the US, said the company. Champion's new "Made in Kentucky" foods will be available in 2016.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Ingredient company Symrise to buy Diana for US$1.8 billion

    German scents and flavors group Symrise will buy France's Diana Group for an agreed EUR1.3 billion (US$1.8 billion) including debt to narrow the gap on top rival Givaudan and expand in natural ingredients and petfood, according to the company. The purchase from private equity group Ardian will make Symrise the world's third-biggest scents and flavors company, up from number four, and help it toward a goal of boosting annual sales by around EUR1 billion by 2020.
    Symrise Chief Executive Heinz-Juergen Bertram said the firm would likely finance the deal via a 10% capital increase, as well as a mix of debt and equity. Based on Symrise's current share price, a sale of 10% of its stock would generate around EUR400 million (US$552.4 million). The acquisition should start adding to earnings per share from 2015 onward, said Symrise.
    "We think that the acquisition, although not cheap, makes strategic sense for the company," said Berenberg Bank analyst Evgenia Molotova, saying Diana had a very strong market position in natural ingredients as well as in the petfood market. The deal values Diana at 14 times its 2013 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).
    According to reports in March 2014, Diana had attracted bids worth more than EUR1.2 billion (US$1.66 billion) including debt from Symrise and Japan's Ajinomoto.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Fromm Family Foods, Milwaukee World Festival to host Fromm Petfest

    Fromm Family Foods is partnering with Milwaukee World Festival Inc. to bring Fromm Petfest to Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee, Wis., on September 20, 2014.
    The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will play host to a variety of pet-focused attractions and activities, including dock diving, agility demonstrations, nutritional seminars, grooming competitions, a pet-themed marketplace, family-focused games and activities, contests, live music, food and more. The Wisconsin Humane Society and Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission are charitable partners, and Fromm will work to raise funds at Petfest to support both organizations and benefit local animals in the community in need.
    Fromm Petfest admission and parking will be free for all attendees. Dogs and cats are welcome as long as they're on leashes and up-to-date on vaccinations.