Thursday, December 31, 2015

Carnivore Meat Co. receives FSSC 22000

Carnivore Meat Co., manufacturer of Vital Essentials, has earned Food Safety System Certification, FSSC 22000.
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification validates Vital Essentials’ commitment to its food safety program for its manufacturing process at their USDA-certified and federally inspected pet food facility in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA. Vital Essentials’ manufacturing process for frozen and freeze-dried pet food and pet treats adheres to the same safety and quality standards of top-tier human food companies worldwide.
“Accomplishing FSSC 22000 has been one of our top goals at Vital Essentials. Attaining this goal was a yearlong process, as it thoroughly audits every manufacturing practice, record-keeping system and employee activity in the facility that affects the production of our high-quality frozen and freeze-dried pet products,” said Lanny Viegut, owner and CEO of Vital Essentials. “I’m very proud of our entire team. FSSC 22000 certification is a testament to our company’s and our employees’ commitment to being a leader in innovative, safe and premium quality pet food and treats that our customers’ pets have grown to love.”
During the certification process, Vital Essentials’ facility went through an extensive audit process in which all areas of the operation were examined: management engagement and responsibility, GMP’s and SOP’s, supplier and sourcing audits, workplace safety, HACCP food safety program, emergency response and preparedness planning, traceability, validation, verification and continuous improvement.
The FSSC 22000 Food Safety System Certification provides a framework for effectively managing the organization's food safety responsibilities. FSSC 22000 is fully recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and is based on ISO Standards. It demonstrates that a company has a robust Food Safety Management System in place that meets the requirements of its customers and consumers.
Vital Essentials is the first in the raw pet food category in the U.S., to receive the FSSC 22000 certification. This certification bolsters several of the company’s other achievements. Vital Essentials is one of only three USDA-certified and federally inspected pet food facilities in the world. They have earned a superior rating (99.3%) from Bureau Veritas (BV), an international food safety audit firm, and recently received their EU certification, permitting the import of their pet products into Europe.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Prins wins Best Product of the Year award

Prins ProCare Super Active pressed dog food has been awarded Best Product of the Year 2015-2106.
Best Product of the Year is one of the leading competitions in The Netherlands during which consumers can vote for their favorite products.
Prins won the award in the pet food category with Prins ProCare Super Active, a 100% natural pressed kibble that is one of the best-selling products in the Prins assortment. This variety is especially recommended for growing and active dogs.
Due to the high density of pressed kibble in comparison to extruded kibble, smaller portions can be fed, thus reducing stomach load. Therefore Prins ProCare Super Active is very suitable for dogs that are active or compete in dog sports.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Simmons Feed Ingredients breaks ground on Arkansas facility

Simmons Feed Ingredients, a division of Simmons Foods Inc. & Affiliates, this month held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new 89,125-square-foot pet food ingredient facility in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
The company plans to invest approximately $26 million in the facility where it will produce fresh and frozen meat ingredients for pet food manufacturers. The project will generate an estimated 78 new jobs.
“The pet food industry requires ingredient integrity, traceability and safety. We’re really proud of the work our team has done in setting a new standard for how ingredients are produced,” said Todd Simmons, CEO of Simmons Foods. “We’re excited to see this innovative facility here in Arkansas.”
He added, “We’re very thankful for the support from our state and community leaders. They made it possible for us to keep this project local.”
Simmons was born and raised in Siloam Springs and took the helm as CEO in 2012. Simmons Foods, a producer of poultry, pet food and ingredient products, is one of the state’s largest private companies and employs over 1,200 people in its Siloam Springs operations. The company combines proprietary processes and its extensive experience in food production to develop innovative, top-quality ingredients for pet food manufacturers.
“Arkansas is fortunate to have a company like Simmons Foods here in our state,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “Simmons has an emphasis on strong family values and an exemplary workforce that have driven the company to today’s significant expansion announcement. Their business model is an inspiration for entrepreneurs throughout the state.”
Founded in 1949, Simmons Foods has been known for its business foresight, innovation, and loyalty to its customers and community. In the late 1990s, the company began to concentrate on business-to-business customers. Some customer relationships go back almost 50 years.
“The Simmons history goes back many decades in Siloam Springs,” said Siloam Springs City Administrator Phillip Patterson. “Simmons is a great corporate partner here, and having them build this facility here is a huge acknowledgement that they want to be here and reinvest in the community.”

Monday, December 28, 2015

Blue Buffalo settles class action lawsuit over ingredients

Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc. subsidiary Blue Buffalo Co. Ltd. has entered into a settlement agreement in class action lawsuits brought against it on behalf of consumers.
The lawsuits claim that some Blue Buffalo products were not consistent with the company’s “True Blue Promise,” which states that the products are “formulated with the finest natural ingredients” and made with “no chicken/poultry by-products meals; no corn, wheat or soy; and no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors.”
On May 6, 2014, Purina filed a lawsuit against Blue Buffalo for false advertising after testing revealed the presence of poultry byproduct meal in some of Blue Buffalo’s top-selling pet foods. On May 6, 2015, Blue Buffalo acknowledged in court that a “substantial” and “material” portion of Blue Buffalo pet food sold to consumers contained poultry byproduct meal, despite advertising claims to the contrary.
Blue Buffalo denies any wrongdoing and has agreed to the settlement to eliminate any ongoing litigation.
Under the terms of the agreement, Blue Buffalo will pay US$32 million into a settlement fund to settle the claims of the plaintiff class. The agreement is subject to preliminary and final approval by the court. The company intends to pay the settlement with cash on hand.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Cargill acquires feed formulation software company

Driven by opportunities in the global feed software market to provide customers with integrated formulation software and solutions on a larger scale, Cargill has acquired Format International Ltd., a leading global feed formulation software company with more than 30 years of experience and more than 5,000 users across 93 countries.
Format International specializes in the design, authoring and marketing of recipe optimization, ingredient allocation and food and feed formulation solutions for the animal feed, aqua feed, pet food, human food, premix and other industries.
Format International will become part of Cargill Feed Management Systems (FMS), a software company that operates as a separate part of the Cargill Animal Nutrition business. FMS has more than 12,000 users and provides formulation and operations solutions to the feed industry.
The acquisition creates a unique opportunity for Cargill to create world-class formulation solutions and provide customers with an even more comprehensive range of products and services.
“This acquisition combines Format International’s software capabilities and state-of-the-art platform with Cargill’s expertise in animal nutrition and nutrient analysis,” said Bruce Feist, managing director, Cargill Feed Management Systems. “Together, we will be able to offer our customers a complete and fully integrated nutrition solution that will deliver the right information to the right person – anytime, anywhere.”
Customers and employees will benefit not only from Cargill’s scale and animal nutrition expertise, but also from working with a company that shares its values. “What impresses me about Cargill is its high ethical standards, sustainable business practices and values-based culture focused on customers, employees and communities,” said Merryl Webster, managing director, Format International. “Its commitment to providing customers with end-to-end solutions will give Format’s customers additional choices of tools and systems which will help to more effectively grow their businesses long-term and ensures that we continue to deliver high quality products and services to them.”

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Geelen Counterflow signs on to Paris Pledge For Action

Geelen Counterflow has signed on to The Paris Pledge For Action.
The pledge is an initiative of the COP21 French Presidency. L’Appel de Paris, or The Paris Pledge for Action, brings together a multitude of voices on an unprecedented scale with a single, collective statement:
“We welcome the adoption of a new, universal climate agreement at COP 21 in Paris, which is a critical step on the path to solving climate change. We pledge our support to ensuring that the level of ambition set by the agreement is met or exceeded.”
Sander Geelen, managing director of Geelen Counterflow: “We have signed this pledge because man-made global warming is an urgent threat to the world we leave to our children and because the feed and food industry that we are active in can and must play an important role in solving this problem, as confirmed by the signing of this pledge by companies such as Mars, Nestlé, Unilever, Kellog, Arla, Danone, Coca Cola, DSM, BASF, Tesco, Carrefour, etc.”
“We must change course urgently. Our new energy-plus-office is an example of what is now possible. A much bigger challenge is to develop technology that helps our customers to reduce their ecological footprint. Every dryer we supply to the feed and food industry consumes on average the same amount of energy as 300-500 households. Most of the energy currently is from natural gas. We can have a major impact on the carbon footprint of the feed and food industry and we are determined to take that responsibility seriously.”

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Packaging purchases driven by service attributes

Service attributes, not product characteristics, are driving purchases of packaging containers, materials, equipment and supplies, according to research conducted by Priority Metrics Group (PMG).
The company has conducted more than 40 proprietary research projects on behalf of packaging (materials, containers, equipment, supplies) suppliers over the past two decades. After interviewing more than 4,000 purchasers, PMG has been able to identify a consistent pattern.  The objective has been not only to identify how buyers of packaging rank performance, but also to determine which of the categories are of higher importance.
“Some companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars perfecting their product offering. But unless that innovation is dramatic and disruptive, what determines whether or not the sale will be made or the business retained, are service attributes,” said John Barrett, president, PMG. “A better mouse trap – if it does not bring added revenue or enhanced profit – will collect dust.”
Packaging buyers identify the most important of those such as responsiveness, communication, customer service and accessibility. Product attributes—including product quality, product performance, product line, equipment and systems, even innovation—are of lesser importance.
“It may come as a surprise to many in the packaging community that business is won, and enduring competitive advantage achieved, by building and maintaining strong personal relationships between the buyer and vendor,” said John Barrett, president, Priority Marketing Group.
These relationships occur at multiple levels – senior management (business relationship), mid-management (communication, accessibility) and operational (responsiveness, customer service).
“Product quality and performance are more easily duplicated – by using the same equipment to produce the packaging components or buying from the same raw material suppliers. Service performance is much more difficult to replicate and consequently can lead to sustainable advantage,” Barrett explains.
Product improvement and innovation should be centered on delivering lower cost to customers. Price is something most suppliers do not want to use as a lever. However, helping customers to lower their total cost also can be a powerful way to establish and grow a long-term, profitable relationship.
PMP’s proprietary unique research approach yields results which not only tells companies where their customers rank them in a broad spectrum of attributes, but also compares the data against competition and prioritizes it in order of importance.
“A company may receive a high score in innovation, for example, but if the customer doesn’t identify innovation as an important characteristic then the score becomes less relevant. It’s important to identify which attributes are most relevant to the customer and put processes in place to make sure they either remain or improve to levels that will sustain the business,” Barrett concludes.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

AFIA makes headway in regulatory compliance

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) hosted its Regulatory Training Seminar – a biennial event – in Arlington, Virginia, USA, on December 9-10, 2015. The training pinpointed regulatory hot topics affecting the U.S. feed industry including genetically modified labeling challenges, biosecurity and trade, as well as numerous training exercises.
Prior to RTS, AFIA hosted a one-day Food Safety Modernization Act Phase III training themed, “The Future is Now.”
AFIA’s legislative and regulatory staff members covered a variety of topics at the FSMA training including AFIA’s reaction to the animal food final rule and how to complete an animal food safety plan, current good manufacturing practices and what records are necessary for FSMA compliance. Dan McChesney, Ph.D., of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine, provided an overview of the animal food rule, touching on the Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) and third-party rules.
“Don’t look at the (FSMA) rules and say what do I have to do, but look at the rules and say what am I doing and see if there are gaps. You may be further along than you think,” McChesney said at the conclusion of his presentation.
The RTS training that followed also discussed numerous FSMA implementation aspects, exploring FSVPs and accreditation bodies, preparation for FDA inspection and the documentation process.
Keynote speaker Andrew Walmsley of the American Farm Bureau Federation discussed food policy issues currently up for debate in Washington, D.C., including genetically modified organisms. Walmsley continued to explain, “We have been genetically modifying food since we stopped being hunter-gatherers.”
Attendees also heard from various AFIA staff members and Bob Hahn and John Dillard from AFIA’s outside legal counsel, Olsson, Frank and Weeda; Dave Edwards, Ph.D., FDA-CVM; Rebecca Fecitt, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service; April Hodges, Ph.D., FDA-CVM; Kristi Krafka, Kemin Industries; Angela Mills, Southern States Cooperative; Eric Mittenthal, North American Meat Institute; Ron Moser, Ph.D., JBS United; Eric Nelson, FDA-CVM; Dr. Jack Shere, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; Kay Johnson Smith, Animal Agriculture Alliance; and Will Stone, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.
AFIA will host another identical FSMA Phase III training at the International Production & Processing Expo on Jan. 27, 2016, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Petfood Forum 2016 announces speakers and topics

Pet food industry experts will present the latest research on pet nutrition, pet food ingredients, safety, processing, product development and the market at Petfood Forum 2016, April 18-20 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. The schedule of speakers and topics is now available at
Following the opening keynote on April 19 by Victoria Stillwell, star of It’s Me or the Dog on Animal Planet and judge on CBS’s Greatest American Dog, Maria Lange of GfK will deliver a pet food market update, “Making sense of pet food specialty trends in 2016.” That afternoon, concurrent sessions begin, with four tracks: nutrition (including the new AAFCO dog and cat nutrient profiles, plus sustainability of pet foods), ingredients (such as sorghum, novel proteins, phytonutrients), market and product development (including natural and freeze-dried pet food, and insights from a pet food R&D executive) and safety and processing (FSMA animal feed preventive controls rule, new methods for extrusion-baked pet foods and other topics).
Jackie McClaskey, secretary of agriculture for Kansas, will be among the general session speakers on April 20, followed by more concurrent sessions. The program concludes with a discussion session on finding the pet food industry’s future work force, featuring a panel of industry executives.
During the day on April 18, Petfood Innovation Workshop will take place, focusing on meat and novel proteins. Early bird registration savings for both Workshop and Petfood Forum 2016 are available through February 1, also at

Friday, December 18, 2015

Purina: Nearly half of millennials are cat owners

Forget the stereotype of the pet-loving lady with a houseful of cats. Turns out many of today’s most passionate cat owners are millennials – nearly half of whom surveyed have a cat at home.
To better understand the relationship between young Americans and cats, Purina surveyed millennials in the United States (age range 18-34) in October 2015 and found:
  • 88% consider themselves similar to their cat, and nearly the same number say they’re “in sync” with their cat.
  • 57% consider their feline friends as important as the friends in their lives, and 2 in 5 say that owning a cat means they have a new best friend.
  • 86% consider their cats to be a loyal companion, and nearly 1 in 2 say they tell their cat secrets no one else knows.
“People like cats because they are great pets – they provide comfort to their owners and with appropriate socialization they can be warm and friendly,” said Purina behaviorist Sandra Lyn. “In addition, they don’t need to be taken on walks or for bathroom breaks and they’re generally happy doing their own thing, though they do like attention and cuddling. These personality traits could be a factor as to why cats are growing in popularity among millennials – cats are a great fit for their busy lifestyles.”
Further fueling millennial enthusiasm for cat ownership is social media. Nearly 60% of millennials watch cat videos online. And – reflecting this generation’s love of sharing – half have spread cat memes online, and nearly 2 in 5 talk about their cat(s) often on social media.
Though cats seem particularly well-suited for today’s lifestyles, many of the reasons millennials love them have remained constant for millennia:
“Living alone after college, getting a cat was one of the first things on my to-do list,” said Hayley Lynes, 23, of Chicago. “I wanted the comfort of a pet but also knew I didn’t have the lifestyle to take care of a dog. I have heard so many stereotypes that cats are ‘mean’ and ‘loners,’ but my experience with my cat, Tilly, can’t be further from that – she loves to cuddle!”

Thursday, December 17, 2015

RECALL:Nutro dog treats recalled for potential mold

Apple Chewy dog treats were sold at PetSmart 

Mars Petcare has issued a voluntary recall of its Nutro Apple Chewy dog treats due to potential mold.
The product, Nutro Chewy Treats Apple 4 oz., was sold at PetSmart with the SKU 5229600, product UPC 7910511344, and lot codes beginning with ‘4 50’, ‘5 02’, ‘5 03’, OR ‘5 05’ (regardless of best by date).
Consumers are urged to stop feeding this product to their pets and bring any remaining Nutro 4 oz. Apple Chewy Treats affected by this recall to their nearest PetSmart for a full refund.
If you have questions about this voluntary recall, contact Nutro Customer Service at +1.800.833.5330.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Central Garden & Pet earnings better than expected

Central Garden & Pet Co. reported better-than-expected earnings for the fifth successive quarter, thanks to its pet division.
The company reported fourth quarter earnings of 1 cent per share – the first time the company reported positive earnings in the last quarter since 2009. A year ago, the company reported a loss of 12 cents per share.
Net sales were up 3.2% year over year to US$386.4 million. Gross profit was up 0.4% to $108 million.
Net sales in the company’s pet segment were up 8.5% year over year to US$235.6 million. The segment’s operating income was up thanks to improved margins in the dog and cat categories, higher professional business volume and sales, and reduced marketing expenses in the flea and tick business.

Previous quarter

In August, Central Garden & Pet reported its third quarter sales increased to US$459.4 million compared with US$438.0 million for the third quarter of 2014. Adjusted sales for the third quarter of 2014 were US$445.0 million.
Third quarter sales for the pet segment increased US$11.0 million, or 4.8 percent, from the same period a year ago to US$238.1 million, due in large part to higher professional revenues and higher sales of other manufacturers' products.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

RECALL: Bravo recalls Chicken Blend diet for dogs and cats

Additional items recalled out of abundance of caution

Bravo Pet Foods of Manchester, Connecticut, USA, is recalling a select lot of Bravo Chicken Blend diet for dogs and cats with a best used by date of 11/13/16 due to concerns of the possible presence of Salmonella. Out of an abundance of caution, Bravo is also recalling three additional items that did not test positive for Salmonella, but were manufactured on the same day.
These products were sold to distributors, retail stores, Internet retailers, and directly to consumers in the US.
The following product is being voluntarily recalled because of the possible presence of Salmonella:
  • Bravo Blend Chicken diet for dogs & cats – chub, Item # 21-102, 2 lb.(32oz.) chub, best used by date of 11-13-16, UPC 829546211028
The recall was initiated after routine testing of a 2 lb. chub of Bravo Chicken Blend diet for dogs and cats (Item #21-102) by the Colorado State Department of Agriculture, collected at a single retailer, revealed the presence of Salmonella. Two hundred and one cases of this product were sold to distributors, retail stores, and directly to consumers in the U.S. between 11/21/14 and 1/15/15.
Out of an abundance of caution, Bravo is also recalling three additional items that did not test positive for Salmonella, but were manufactured on the same day: 250 cases of Bravo Blend Chicken diet for dogs & cats – 5 lb. chubs only, 8 cases of Bravo Blend Turkey diet for dogs & cats – 8 oz. patties only and 60 cases of Bravo Balance Turkey diet for dogs – 4 oz. patties only.
These products DID NOT test positive for Salmonella, but are also being voluntarily recalled out of an abundance of caution.
  • Bravo Blend Chicken diet for dogs & cats – chub, Item # 21-105, 5 lb. (90 oz.) chub, best used by date of 11-13-16, UPC 829546211059  
  • Bravo Blend Turkey diet for dogs & cats – patties, Item # 31-508, 5 lb. bag of 8 oz. patties, best used by date of 11-13-16, UPC 8829546315085
  • Bravo Balance Turkey diet for dogs – patties, Item # 31-401, 3 lb. bag of 4 oz. patties, best used by date of 11-13-16, UPC 829546314019 
No additional products are affected by this recall. The company has received no reports to date of illness in either people or animals associated with these products.
All products tested negative by a third-party independent laboratory prior to release for distribution and sale to consumers.
The recalled product should not be sold or fed to pets. Pet owners who have the affected product at home should dispose of this product in a safe manner (example: a securely covered trash receptacle).
Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.
Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their health care providers. Always use proper caution when handling raw foods.
To submit a claim, pet owners should return to the store where they bought the product.
To get a refund at the store where you bought the product, customers should return to the store where they purchased the product and submit the Bravo Recall Claim Form available on the Bravo website,, for a full refund or store credit. See Bravo Product Claim Form for details.
More information on the Bravo recall can also be found at, or call toll free (866) 922-9222 Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (EST).

Monday, December 14, 2015

1,150 companies registered so far for Interzoo

Six months before the launch of Interzoo 2016, about 1,150 companies have registered for the pet industry fair, which will be held in Nuremberg, Germany, from May 26-29, 2016. The companies will present pet foods and accessories, grooming aids, garden and equestrian articles along with services.
“Even at this stage, there are clear indications that Interzoo 2016 will once again be the world exhibition for the pet industry, where all the sector players come together. Of the previously registered companies, over 80% come from abroad and around 25% are participating for the first time,” said Hans-Jochen Büngener, chairman of the Interzoo Exhibition Committee.
The trade fair organizer, the Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft Zoologischer Fachbetriebe GmbH (WZF, Commercial Association of Specialist Zoological Companies), is very satisfied with the worldwide response of the exhibitors.
“Based on the current level of enquiries, we can be confident that at Interzoo 2016, once again more exhibitors will be presenting themselves than at the last event in space of around 115,000 square meters,” said WZF Managing Director Herbert Bollhöfer.
In Europe, the WZF is registering larger applications for stand spaces, in particular from Italy, Poland, Spain, Turkey and the Czech Republic. Overseas, it is particularly exhibitors from Asia and America who are contributing to this trend. Numerous countries such as Brazil, China, Great Britain, Canada, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and the US will once again present themselves in large country pavilions, including for the first time Ireland, the Czech Republic and Italy.

Friday, December 11, 2015

ProAmpac to acquire Coating Excellence International

Wellspring Capital Management’s portfolio company ProAmpac has entered into an agreement to acquire Coating Excellence International (CEI), a flexible packaging and technical products company based in Wrightstown, Wisconsin, USA. CEI specializes in wide web extrusion coating and laminating of film, foil, paper, board and nonwovens and will enhance ProAmpac’s already robust extrusion lamination capabilities.
ProAmpac, recently formed by Wellspring through the recent merger of Prolamina Corp. and Ampac Packaging L.L.C., is a leading global flexible packaging company operating primarily under the Prolamina, Ampac and Tulsack brands. Together, the brands offer multiple innovative solutions in flexible packaging for the food, pet care and medical markets, along with secure packaging for the transport of cash and valuables, and retail shopping bags.
John Morningstar, a managing partner of Wellspring who leads the firm’s activities in the packaging sector, said: “We are very pleased by the successful combination of Prolamina and Ampac, The leading flexible packaging company we created, ProAmpac, is ideally positioned for success and we are delighted to support the acquisition of CEI and other attractive growth initiatives the company will pursue in the future.”
Greg Tucker, CEO of ProAmpac said: “CEI is a great company known for innovation, service and quality. These are also the core principles of ProAmpac’s business, making the acquisition of CEI a natural step in ProAmpac’s overall growth strategy.  We are pleased that the addition of CEI will strengthen our ability to deliver valuable products and services for our customers.” 
“CEI’s highly engaged team, manufacturing expertise and market diversity will add to ProAmpac’s extrusion competencies and existing customer base. This acquisition will create value and opportunity for partners of both organizations,” said Rita Cox, president and CEO of CEI.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

New report examines trends in pet product packaging

A new report from Packaged Facts, “Pet Product Packaging Innovation: Consumer Perspectives” examines trends in pet product packaging, with a particular focus on convenience-oriented, “premiumized” product types, including current and projected trends in new pet product packaging developments. The report focuses on packaging for dog and cat food and treats, and on packaging trends and innovations with clear consumer benefits, such as:
  • Convenience and portability 
  • Package ergonomics 
  • Product safety (e.g., intelligent labels/packaging sensors) 
  • Maintaining product freshness 
  • Transparency in product descriptions and clean labels 
  • Sustainability and recycling 
While the report primarily focuses on dog and cat food packaging — this segment makes up almost two-thirds of the U.S. pet product market — trends in non-food product packaging and packaging for foods for pets other than cats and dogs are also studied and discussed.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

#tbt: Grain free a new niche in pet food market

In an article in Petfood Industry in 2007, Tim Phillips, DVM, identified grain free as a new niche in the pet food market.
Along with fresh chilled, raw, organic, human-quality ingredients, natural, exotic ingredients, superpremium, ultrapremium, home-cooked meals fortified with supplements, meat-centric and protein-focused diets, grain free was called a growing niche. There are also niche diets for skin health, gut health, dental health, urinary tract health, weight management, puppy trainability, large breed puppies, performance, seniors, and pets with allergies.
Recent data from GfK shows that grain-free dog and cat food now accounts for one-third (34%) of all pet food sales, and 48% of the “natural” category.
Overall, grain-free SKUs brought in $2.6 billion in the past year (October 2014 to September 2015), a growth rate of 25%. Dog items accounted for $2.1 billion of those sales, with grain-free dog treats spiking a remarkable 43% year over year. And grain-free items now represent 46% of all sales in the Dog Wet category.
In some ways, grain-free’s success is a matter of sheer quantity; 45% of all pet food items introduced in the past year were grain-free – 1,557 new products, compared to 1,355 during the previous 12 months.
Another reason for grain-free’s elevated revenue is the category’s hefty price per pound – $3.01, on average; that is 26% higher than the overall pet food figure of $2.39 per pound.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Global pet food packaging market to grow 8% to 2020

The new market research report, “Global Pet Food Packaging Market 2016-2020,” from WiseGuy Reports, presents a comprehensive segmentation of the global pet food packaging market by product type (bags, metal cans, pouches, and folding cartons). It outlines the market shares for key regions such as APAC, Europe, North America, and ROW. The key vendors analyzed in this research report are Amcor, Bemis, Mondi, and Sonoco.

Market overview of pet food packaging

Technavio’s analyst predicts the global pet food packaging market to grow at a CAGR of around 8% between 2015 and 2020. The introduction of new pet food products is driving the growth of this market. During 2009 to 2013, the market witnessed phenomenal sales of organic pet food products, fueling the demand for packaging of these products. Product labeling has become an important aspect for pet food manufacturers, as consumers refer labels to select the safest and nutritious food products. For instance, Iams Savory Sauce, a dog food topping equivalent to ketchup, is packaged in a pet jar with a flip-top dispensing closure, attracting consumers.
The demand for single-serve and small-sized packs from pet food suppliers is also expected to contribute to the market growth during the forecast period. Single-serve packaging products are easy to open and store, allowing pet owners to serve a single portion of food, reduce food waste, and provide a variety of foods for their pets. The introduction of single-serve packaging provides enormous opportunities for pet food packaging manufacturers to gain larger market shares.
Bags accounted for around 41% of the market share during 2015. Bags are the most popular choice for packaging as they are lightweight, low cost, and are available in various designs. The increased demand for sustainable, eco-friendly packaging has led vendors to introduce recyclable options in this segment.
North America dominated the pet food packaging market during 2015 with a market share of around 38%. The rise in marketing and promotional activities by manufacturers has been driving the market growth of this region. This research report anticipates the region to retain its market leadership until the end of 2020.

Competitive landscape and key vendors

The global pet food packaging market is highly fragmented due to the presence of numerous multinational, regional and local vendors. Vendors in this market have a high scope for innovation due to the growing demand for high-quality packaged food products. The report predicts international vendors to grow inorganically during the forecast period by acquiring regional or local players. The key players in the market are expected to diversify their geographical presence with a focus on APAC and ROW during the forecast period.

Key questions answered in the report

  • What will the market size and the growth rate be in 2020?
  • What are the key factors driving the global pet food packaging market?
  • What are the key market trends impacting the growth of the pet food packaging market?
  • What are the challenges to market growth?
  • Who are the key vendors in this market space?
  • What are the market opportunities and threats faced by the vendors in the global pet food packaging market?
  • Trending factors influencing the market shares of APAC, Europe, North America, and ROW?
  • What are the key outcomes of the five forces analysis of the pet food packaging market?

Monday, December 7, 2015

#tbt: A look back at Petco’s activity in 2015

A report from February 2015 said PetSmart and Petco account for 20% of all pet product sales in the US, according to market research publisher Packaged Facts. The two pet retail stores had combined sales of about US$11 billion based on Packaged Facts' estimates, with sales of natural pet products an important factor in the strong performances.
Petco has been in the news lately, as a deal was reached this week for Petco Holdings Inc. to be acquired by CVC Capital Partners Ltd. and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) in a US$4.6 billion deal.
The deal came after Petco rival PetSmart in September began exploring the possibility of acquiring Petco. But, in October, merger talks between the two companies stalled because of disagreements over antitrust risks.
In August 2015, Petco filed for an initial public offering of stock that could have valued it at US$5 billion to US$6 billion, including debt. And, in early October, the company said it would go public again after nine years of private ownership. But, later, Petco’s private equity owners decided to sell the company instead of following through on the IPO.
As for the success of Petco and PetSmart, 'Although PetSmart is public and Petco privately held, the two companies share a number of similarities. This ranges from their pet parent pitch, to their focus on national brands and private labels alike, to their emphasis on higher-margin products and services, to their leading e-commerce websites,' says David Sprinkle, Packaged Facts research director. 'For both chains, factoring strongly among those higher-margin products are natural products.'
For PetSmart and Petco, natural products are a major thrust, with Petco fielding its 'store-within-store' It's All Natural departments, and PetSmart — which in December 2014 agreed to be acquired for more than $8 billion by a group led by BC Partners Inc. — calling itself 'the most trusted source for natural pet solutions.' Both chains feature a wide array of natural brands, with category leaders including Nutro, Blue Buffalo, WellPet, Natural Balance, Merrick and Natura.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Nestle discovers slave labor used in its supply chains

Nestle S.A. says that, after a yearlong internal investigation, it has found that migrant workers in Thailand are sold or lured under false pretenses and forced to catch and process fish that ends up in its supply chains.
A July article in the New York Times chronicled the lives of several men forced into labor on fishing boats in the South China Sea, off the coast of Thailand. These boats catch fish that are later shipped to the US and other places to be used in pet food and livestock feed.
Some of the fish caught on these boats is sent to a cannery called the Songkla Canning Public Company, which is a subsidiary of Thai Union Frozen Products, Thailand’s largest seafood company. According to US customs documents, more than 28 million pounds of seafood-based cat and dog food in the past year for brands sold in the US, including Iams, Meow Mix and Fancy Feast.
Thai Union Frozen Products says it “will not tolerate any human trafficking or any human rights violation of any kind,” and that it regularly audits its canneries and boats in port to ensure against forced and child labor.
Nestle said at the time that it is working hard to ensure that forced labor is not used to produce its pet food. The company worked with non-governmental organization Verite to “to identify where and why forced labor and human rights abuses may be taking place” in Thailand and southeast Asia.
Nestle later was sued by consumers of Fancy Feast who would not have bought the product if they knew the fish was allegedly harvested using slave labor.
In September, more than 2,000 enslaved fishermen were reported rescued in 2015 as a result of an Associated Press investigation into forced labor on fishing boats in Asia. At that time, at least one multimillion-dollar Thai-Indonesian fishing business had been shut down, at least nine people arrested, and two fishing boats been seized.
The men saved from the forced labor came from Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos and have been identified or repatriated. Hundreds more have been quietly returned home, so the companies running the fishing businesses can avoid human trafficking allegations.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Patriot 5 Star looking for most patriotic dog in America

The innovators of All-American Pet Nutrition at Simplicity Pet Care are debuting their newest brand, Patriot 5 Star – a first-of-its-kind brand dedicated to philanthropy, the advancement of America and the canines protecting America. Patriot 5 Star’s Long Lasting Dental Chews are now available in mint and cinnamon flavors, and with the launch of the dental chews is a contest called #PatrioticPup: The Search for the Most Patriotic Dog in America.
Patriot 5 Star’s Long Lasting Dental Chews are designed to naturally clean a dog’s teeth and gums, while also freshening breath and preventing tartar buildup. The grain-free formula is made with the highest quality, 100% American-sourced ingredients. The products are made in the US, and a percentage of all sales support US charities.
“Simplicity Pet Care’s mission is to provide every pet across the country with access to amazing products that not only taste great, but are also great for them,” said Simplicity founder and CEO Elliott Haverlack. “We wanted to make the safest, most nutritional products available, and that’s what we’re doing with Patriot. We use the highest quality ingredients there are, and sell them at the most affordable price, period.”
Coinciding with the brand’s debut, Patriot 5 Star is launching the #PatrioticPup Competition: The Search for the Most Patriotic Dog in America.
As a continuation of Patriot’s “Pay it Forward” platform, this unique competition is designed to let consumers help decide which charities Patriot donates to throughout the year. In 2016, the company will focus on charities supporting American pets, veterans and active military.
Pet owners can enter their dogs’ photos and information via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the chance to win money for their favorite charity as well as prizes of American made treats and toys for their dog. Each month, Patriot 5 Star will award a $1,000 donation to the charitable organization of the winning pet parent’s choice along with a basket of goodies for the month’s winning patriotic pup. At the end of the year, one of the 12 four-legged finalists will be named “The Most Patriotic Pup in America,” and awarded $100,000 for a charity of their choice.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Petco to be acquired in US$4.6 billion deal

A deal has been reached for Petco Holdings Inc. to be acquired by CVC Capital Partners Ltd. and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) in a US$4.6 billion deal, sources say.
In October 2015, merger talks between rivals PetSmart Inc. and Petco stalled because of disagreements over antitrust risks. And, last week, two groups of private equity-led bidders were reported to be gearing up to bid more than US$4 billion each for Petco. The other private equity group was with KKR & Co. and Hellman & Friedman.
In August 2015, Petco filed for an initial public offering of stock that could have valued it at US$5 billion to US$6 billion, including debt. And, in early October, the company said it would go public again after nine years of private ownership. But, later, Petco’s private equity owners decided to sell the company instead of following through on the IPO.
In late 2014, PetSmart Inc. was bought by a private equity consortium led by BC Partners Ltd. for US$8.7 billion.
According to sources, CVC and CPPIB have secured more than US$3 billion in debt financing for the acquisition. Barclays, Citigroup, Royal Bank of Canada, Credit Suisse, Nomura and Macquarie have provided committed debt financing to CVC and CPPIB, the companies have said.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

RECALL: Blue Buffalo recalls Cub Size Wilderness Wild Chews Bones

Product has potential to be contaminated with Salmonella
Blue Buffalo Co. is voluntarily recalling one production lot of Cub Size Wilderness Wild Chews Bones. This is being done in an abundance of caution, as the product has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
The product was distributed starting November 19, 2015, in PetSmart stores located in the following 9 states: California, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. The recalled product comes individually shrink-wrapped in plastic with the UPC number 840243110087 printed on a sticker affixed to the product, and an expiration date of November 4, 2017, printed as “exp 110417” on the shrink-wrap. Consumers should look at the UPC Code and expiration date on the product package to determine if it is subject to the voluntary recall.
Routine testing at the manufacturing site revealed the presence of Salmonella in the product. No illnesses have been reported to date and no other Blue Buffalo products are affected.
Salmonella can affect animals eating the product and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.
Pets with Salmonella infections may have decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Other clinical signs may include lethargy, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare provider.
Consumers who have purchased the product subject to this recall are urged to dispose of the product or return it to the place of purchase for full refund.
Consumers with questions may contact Blue Buffalo at +1.888.641.9736 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT Monday through Friday, or by email at for more information.

Wellness Natural, HSUS team up on Giving Tuesday

On Giving Tuesday, December 1, 2015, charities, families, businesses, community centers and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.
This year, The Humane Society of the United States’ #GivingTuesday campaign aims to raise US$100,000. The money will help fund its Pets for Life program’s essential animal care services in December. Those services include spay/neuter surgeries, veterinary care, and supplies that are unavailable and oftentimes unaffordable in under-served areas of the country. With every US$1 donated, Wellness Natural Pet Food will provide one bowl of food to help feed pets in the program.
Donors will help make pets happy and healthy by giving them the care that they need, especially during the busy and cold holiday season.

Cargill’s Empyreal product receives safety certification

Cargill recently received certification in the manufacturing process of its Empyreal animal food ingredient product. The Food Safety System Certification (FSSC) 22000 validates Cargill’s robust food safety management system for its Empyreal production process in Blair, Nebraska, and Dayton, Ohio, that meets the safety and quality requirements of major branded feed companies worldwide.
In order to receive the certification, Cargill’s facilities went through rigorous review in which a number of key areas were audited: management responsibility, planning and realization of safe products, pre-requisite programs, emergency response/preparedness planning, traceability, validation, verification and improvement.
FSSC 22000 is a food safety management system that provides a framework for effectively managing an organization's food safety responsibilities. FSSC 22000 is fully recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative and provides a global approach to drive continual improvement in food safety management and provide confidence across the supply chain.
Empyreal processing is the first in the United States to receive the FSSC 22000 certification by Lloyd’s Registry Quality Assurance. In addition to this certification, Empyreal production facilities are Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Voluntary Protection Programs (OSHA VPP) - and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 22000-certified.
"Achieving the Food Safety System Certification (FSSC) 22000 is extremely demanding as it closely examines every process and procedure which impacts the manufacturing of the Empyreal product line,” said Eric Bell, Cargill assistant vice president. "The FSSC 22000 certification validates our commitment to being a leader in innovative, high quality, safe animal food ingredients which our customers can depend on to help them provide safe high quality products that meet the certification standards their customers expect from them.”

Monday, November 30, 2015

GfK: Grain-free pet food has potential to outgrow natural

“Natural” pet food may get all the headlines, but grain-free is the engine powering the natural juggernaut. New data from GfK’s point-of-sale pet panel, which represents more than 11,000 pet specialty stores, shows that grain-free dog and cat food now accounts for one-third (34%) of all pet food sales, and 48% of the “natural” category.
Overall, grain-free SKUs brought in $2.6 billion in the past year (October 2014 to September 2015), a growth rate of 25%. Dog items accounted for $2.1 billion of those sales, with grain-free dog treats spiking a remarkable 43% year over year. And grain-free items now represent 46% of all sales in the Dog Wet category.
In some ways, grain-free’s success is a matter of sheer quantity; 45% of all pet food items introduced in the past year were grain-free – 1,557 new products, compared to 1,355 during the previous 12 months.
Another reason for grain-free’s elevated revenue is the category’s hefty price per pound – $3.01, on average; that is 26% higher than the overall pet food figure of $2.39 per pound.
“Grain-free has the potential to outgrow the natural category, because it also reaches into non-natural food and treats,” said Maria Lange, business group director of GfK’s POS Tracking (Pet) team. “Without grain-free, the natural category would be declining in growth – and we think grain-free’s potential is far from spent. Cat SKUs, in particular, represent an untapped opportunity for new grain-free sales gains.”
GfK’s POS pet panel in the US helps both retailers and manufacturers make smarter decisions. Pet specialty stores can gain free insights into the marketplace simply by sharing their sales data with GfK; and manufacturers can obtain unmatched reports on nationwide trends, as well as the performance of their own products and of competitors.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Dogs get scratch and sniff book for holidays

‘Is That My Dinner?’ taps into dogs’ keen sense of smell

Red Tettemer O'Connell + Partners (RTO+P) has released a playful holiday scratch and sniff book just for dogs, called “Is That My Dinner?” for the healthy, human-­grade pet food company, The Honest Kitchen.
To showcase The Honest Kitchen’s product and to communicate the benefits of feeding pets healthy grade food, “Is That My Dinner?” taps into the one thing we all know our dogs love – smelling. In partnership with illustrator Annie Davidson, who co-­designed and executed the artwork, “Is That My Dinner?” is a story about a hopeful puppy, scratching and sniffing his way through a holiday party in search of a proper holiday meal. Throughout the book, the readers/smellers are taken through a selection of scratch and sniff scents including pumpkin and peppermint.
“We thought it would be super fun to really think outside of the box and create a slightly retro holiday campaign that would showcase our recipes in a unique way,” said The Honest Kitchen CEO Lucy Postins. “We wanted to highlight the difference between our human grade whole foods for pets and conventional kibble and cans, which most dogs and cats eat. RTO+P has done an incredible job devising the idea of a scratch and sniff book, and we’re excited to show it off as we get closer and closer to extra treat season.”
A perfect stocking stuffer for the holidays, each copy of “Is That My Dinner?” will be available nationwide at retail stores and will contain samples of The Honest Kitchen’s “Embark” and “Love” products as part of the bundle. RTO+P has also created a new website, featuring coupons redeemable in stores and will handle the social media on Facebook and Twitter.
“The Honest Kitchen has been a perfect partner throughout this creative process, even helping out with getting our smells right,” said Steve Red, president and chief creative officer at RTO+P. “That’s what we love about THK – they’re not afraid to take risks and like us, they really, really love dogs.”

Thursday, November 26, 2015

FDA releases final foreign supplier rule

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released its final rule for Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) for Food for Humans and Animals. This rule is part of FDA’s implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Most importers will be required to comply with FDA’s FSVP rule in May 2017 (18 months after publication).
FDA defines an FSVP as a program that verifies “that (importers’) foreign suppliers are producing food in a manner that provides the same level of public health protection as the preventive controls or produce safety regulations, as appropriate, and to ensure that the supplier’s food is not adulterated and is not misbranded with respect to allergen labeling.” The FSVP rule covers importers of food and beverages, which FDA defines as “the US owner or consignee of a food offered for import into the United States.” If there is no US owner or consignee, the exporter’s US agent is the importer.
Importers must create an FSVP for each food imported from each foreign supplier. If they import the same food from two different suppliers, that will require two FSVPs. One element of an FSVP is a hazard analysis. Importers must determine potential biological, chemical, and physical hazards posed by each food they import.
Importers must also evaluate the performance of each of their foreign suppliers and use that evaluation to approve suppliers. This includes evaluating each supplier’s history of compliance with FDA food safety regulations, “including whether the foreign supplier is the subject of an FDA warning letter or import alert.” Importers should only import from approved foreign suppliers.
For approved foreign suppliers, importers must determine appropriate supplier verification activities, conduct those activities, and conduct corrective actions. Examples of verification activities may include annual on-site audits of a supplier’s facility, sampling and testing, and review of a supplier’s food safety records. Importers should choose verification activities that appropriately fit the risks of each supplier.
Importers may designate a third party to conduct a hazard analysis, a supplier risk evaluation, or to perform verification activities on their behalf. Registrar Corp’s food safety specialists can develop or review a food safety plan that identifies potential hazards associated with a food or supplier and a plan to control those hazards. Registrar Corp also offers an FDA Compliance Monitor, which food facilities may use to monitor their foreign suppliers for FDA inspections, warning letters, import alerts and import refusals. The monitor is updated consistently, allowing importers to take prompt corrective action.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Kaleb’s Organics treats earn Non-GMO Project Verification

Kaleb’s Organics’ all-natural, organic, made-in-the-USA dog treats have earned the Non-GMO Project Verification. Obtaining this verification emphasizes the brands promise to create the highest quality treats for animal companions. The Non-GMO Project offers North America’s only independent verification for products made according to rigorous best practices for GMO (genetically modified organisms) avoidance.
GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated through genetic engineering, which critics say creates unstable combinations of genes that do not occur naturally and can contribute to allergies. Contrary to industry claims, GMOs have never been properly tested for human or pet safety, according to opponents of GMOs.
Kaleb’s Organics full line of dog treats are Non-GMO Project verified, meaning that these items have met the consensus-based standard that includes GMO risk assessment, traceability, segregation and testing at critical control points to verify that ingredients are not genetically modified.
“Consumers are becoming more health conscious in their pets’ diets, and want to know what’s in their food. Research shows there are many concerns regarding GMOs and we feel it’s important to avoid these ingredients at all costs,” said Deborah Viney of Kaleb's Organics. “Kaleb’s Organics is committed to providing safe, healthy and high-quality dog treats. We’re so proud to have met the Non-GMO Project’s thorough guidelines and have obtained their verification stamp of approval.”

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Two bidders expected to make offers to buy Petco

Two groups of private equity-led bidders are expected to each bid more than US$4 billion for Petco Holdings, according to reports.
One of the groups is with KKR & Co. and Hellman & Friedman, and the other is with CVC Capital Partners and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Reports say Apollo Global Management by itself is also among the bidders. Binding offers are due November 25, 2015.
In August 2015, Petco filed for an initial public offering of stock that could value it at US$5 billion to US$6 billion, including debt. And, in early October, the company said it would go public again after nine years of private ownership. But now, Petco’s private equity owners are expected to sell the company instead of following through on the IPO.
In late 2014, Petco rival PetSmart Inc. was bought by a private equity consortium led by BC Partners Ltd. for US$8.7 billion.
In September 2015, PetSmart said it was exploring the possibility of acquiring Petco. But, in October 2015, merger talks between the two companies were reported to have stalled because of disagreements over antitrust risks. The two companies also explored a merger possibility in 2014, but PetSmart ruled out a deal with Petco in favor of the buyout by BC Partners.

#tbt: Paleo Diet enters pet food realm

In 2010, Hounds & Gatos, which calls itself “the original Paleolithic pet food company,” was formed.
The company’s founder and CEO Will Post told Petfood Industry in 2013: 'Our society is ill and overweight. I believe we need to go back to our ancestral roots where we were created to eat meats, fruits and vegetables. Hollywood has really bragged about their Paleo Diets so why not our pets?' Post's mission is to feed pets quality ingredients, reverting back to what (the company claims) dogs and cats would eat in the wild, such as chicken, salmon, rabbit, lamb, venison, turkey, tripe, beef, trout and pork.
This month, PetSmart recognized the popularity of the Paleo Diet by launching a specialty shop section dedicated to the pinnacle natural pet lifestyle brand, Only Natural Pet, a Paleo-inspired brand that is well-suited for dogs and cats and their ancestral wolf and wildcats roots.
According to proponents of a Paleo-inspired diet for dogs, the digestion of dogs and cats today is on par with their wild counterparts, where meat-eating is the foundation for good nutrition and health with the optimal food composition following the “prey model” of 50% protein, 40% fat and 10% carbohydrates.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Nestle Purina to present National Dog Show once again

Nestle Purina will keep its sponsorship of the National Dog Show, which airs on NBC on Thanksgiving in the time frame between the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and the NFL broadcast. The National Dog Show, hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, is viewed by more than 20 million people, making the company’s multimillion-dollar commitment worthwhile.
Purina claims the majority of the championship-winning dogs are fed Purina ProPlan.
In the lead-up to Thanksgiving, Purina has launched a social media campaign where dog owners can tell the world why they are thankful for their dog.
For every original post submitted on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram through November 29 that includes @Purina and the hashtag, #dogthanking, Purina will donate one dollar to the AKC Canine Health Foundation – up to $75,000 – to help further pet health research. Submitted videos, photos and posts may be shown during the National Dog Show.
Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir kicked off the campaign by thanking his dog Tema: “Tema is my little prince, and always there wagging his tail when I get home. He brings so much joy to my life, and I am so thankful for his companionship,” Weir said of his Japanese Chin. He and fellow Olympian, Tara Lipinski, will be on special assignment to lend their distinctive presence for the first time to The National Dog Show Presented by Purina.
“Watching the National Dog Show is a treasured Thanksgiving Day tradition for Tema and me, and I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to be a part of it this year,” Weir said. “Purina and I share the belief that when pets and people are together, life is truly better, and we think a great way to demonstrate this during the Thanksgiving season is to share why we’re all thankful for our furry friends.”
TV personality John O’Hurley and expert analyst David Frei, the voice of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on USA network, will host the show as more than 180 breeds vie for “Best in Show” honors in the tradition-rich Kennel Club of Philadelphia competition.

Cargill opens largest animal feed plant in the world

Cargill marked a significant milestone in Korea with the official opening of its Agri Purina’s feed mill plant in Pyeongtaek, reaffirming its investment in the country and signaling its continued commitment to sustainable growth of Korea’s feed and livestock industry.
Cargill’s feed mill in Pyeongtaek brings world-class productivity and efficiency to the market by providing customers with the best nutrition solutions and feed safety. This will help customers improve animal performance and grow their business.
The Pyeongtaek feed mill plant incorporates Cargill’s uncompromising approach to feed safety, ingredient quality and product integrity. The company aims to provide customers with safe, trusted feed that maximizes the performance of their operations, which in turn helps to improve food safety across Korea’s supply chain.
The nearly 52,610-square-meter facility produces poultry, ruminant, swine and pet food products for animal producers marketed under the Purina & Nutrena brands. With a capacity of 870,000 tons, this facility is Cargill’s largest animal feed plant in the world. In addition to state-of-art technology, the new feed mill strives to achieve the highest standards of food safety to serve Korea’s animal nutrition industry.
Dr. Lee Bo Kyeun, Korea country representative and president of Cargill Agri Purina Korea, said: “Our customers expect us to keep innovating and adding value to their products, and this investment focuses on delivering for their success. The new feed mill will enable us to better serve our customers with advanced technology and high quality, safe animal feed. We work with governments, communities and partners to help build a sustainable feed industry with a long-term future.”

Friday, November 20, 2015

Kansas State, Petfood Forum train future generation

US consumers spend US$23 billion on pet food each year. Kansas garners US$7 billion of the national total, and an integrated program and industry engagement approach at Kansas State University is aiming to bring much more of it to the state and region.
The university has supported the pet food industry for a number of years, but more recently these efforts have been bundled and leveraged by Greg Aldrich, research associate professor of grain science and industry. Aldrich joined Kansas State University in 2012 to establish a pet food science program to support the growing industry.
"There's a demand for trained food scientists, animal scientists and feed scientists who understand manufacturing food for companion animals," Aldrich said.
But Aldrich knew the pet food industry was hungry for innovation as well as workers, and he realized that the necessary engineering, raw materials and transportation were available in a 200-mile radius around Manhattan. He and his students were eager to demonstrate a new pet treat product, so when Petfood Forum, the industry's major international meeting, moved to Kansas City for a three-year stint starting in spring 2015, Aldrich knew it was time to make a push. In collaboration with Kansas State University, Petfood Forum offered a hands-on pet treat innovation workshop at K-State Olathe during the April 2015 conference.
Interest was so high that Petfood Forum invited the university to collaborate in creating the Petfood Innovation Workshop and the K-State Pet Food Experience in late October. Nearly 200 attendees gathered in Manhattan, 19 of whom were high-ranking company officials such as presidents, founders or chief executives. Participants came from 22 states and seven countries to hear eight Kansas State University faculty presentations, view 28 student research posters, hear keynote speakers from the Kansas Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce, and participate in hands-on workshops to make pet treats.

Preparing to work in the industry

Rebecca Robinson, director of economic development at the Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization, said the workshop was a success.
"At one of the stations, we were making the gummy treat that Aldrich and his students invented," Robinson said. "That demonstration increased the exposure of the technology and gained a lot of interest in the technology, but it also piqued industry participants' interest in K-State's capability to innovate."
Aldrich said the meeting brought together researchers, students, industry contacts, innovators and public officials to a town hall-style meeting to discuss how the industry can grow in Kansas. Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey was among the speakers. She said working with Kansas State University to develop the industry is a priority for the agency.
Richard Potter, director of corporate engagement for the university, said the collaboration with the Kansas Department of Agriculture is promising.
"This is a great example of value-added agriculture where K-State and the state of Kansas truly excel," Potter said. "We have opportunity to be the hub for the growing, global pet food industry."
Potter said the growth of the industry also presents an opportunity to promote Kansas State University's multidisciplinary research strengths.
"The industry encompasses nutrition, sensory analysis, veterinary medicine, animal science, grain science, engineering, marketing, economics, chemistry, biology," he said. "There's room in the sandbox for virtually every college on campus."
Trent Armbrust, director of business development and strategic initiatives with the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, has worked with Aldrich, Potter and Robinson from the beginning.
"It's exciting because it brings the private sector and university together," Armbrust said. "When these industry representatives were here, they were also seeing Manhattan, and we were able to tell them about the assets we have here. They were very impressed with the university and the town."
Aldrich said Kansas State University has the chance to become a leader in the field. His sights are set on an innovation center that would include leading-edge equipment and processing as well as advanced animal and analytical laboratory research.
"K-State can be the epicenter of pet food technology," he said. "I don't believe this kind of regional collaboration of academic, industry, and civic partners exists anywhere else in the country."

Non-rawhide dog chew wins Pet Food Category

DreamBone’s non-rawhide, healthy, and highly digestible dog chew has won the Pet Food Category in the Grocer New Product Awards 2015. The Grocer leads the market as the UK’s only paid-for online service and weekly magazine with coverage of the whole fast-moving consumer goods sector.
Each year, The Grocer New Products Awards celebrate and reward outstanding innovation in the UK FMCG sector in both non-food and food categories. A group of expert judges test a huge array of new products entered, across 34 different categories.
Tested by a panel of dog owners, this “novel and healthy” chew resulted in plenty of happy pooches. Ninety-six percent of testers rated their dog’s enjoyment of it as good or excellent, with many commenting that it kept their dog entertained and had a great taste and texture dogs seemed to find easier to chew. Made with vegetables, grains and chicken, the chew does not contain rawhide.
DreamBone was shortlisted through two stages before making it to the final. The 2015 Pet Food Finalists included: Purina Gourmet Mon Petit – Fish, DreamBone, Pooch & Mutt, Calm & Relaxed, Grain-Free Dog Food, Vets Kitchen Adult Sensitive Grain-Free Pork & Potato.
“We are honored DreamBone has won the Grocer New Product Awards this year,” said Dreambone Vice President of Marketing Maggie Marchese. “It’s a wonderful feeling to hear the incredible feedback from the panel of testers. We’re thrilled to know both pet owners and canines in the UK are embracing the many benefits of our innovative, non-rawhide chew brand.”
DreamBone is the next generation dog chew that has all the benefits of a rawhide chew without the rawhide. Although rawhide chews are one of the most common types of chews for dogs, many veterinarians and pet owners have health and safety concerns with these types of chews. DreamBone dog chews, on the other hand, are made with wholesome vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots and peas, in the place of rawhide, and chicken.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Victoria Stilwell to keynote Petfood Forum 2016

Victoria Stilwell, star of It’s Me or the Dog on Animal Planet and judge on CBS’s Greatest American Dog, will deliver the opening keynote for Petfood Forum 2016, April 19 at the Kansas City Convention Center. The internationally known dog trainer, also CEO of the Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training global network of positive reinforcement dog trainers, will provide a multimedia experience and behind-the-scenes look at her travels and work with some of the world’s most unruly and dangerous dogs.
Stilwell reaches audiences in over 100 countries with her philosophy of positive training methods. She is the editor-in-chief of, which features leading veterinary behaviorists, dog trainers and behavioral scientists, and author of three books: It's Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet, Fat Dog Slim: How to Have a Healthy, Happy Pet (both bestsellers) and Train Your Dog Positively. Besides starring in her TV shows, she produces a Positively Podcast series, available globally, and several shows for her own YouTube channel. She is a regular columnist for several magazines and has been featured in numerous journals, magazines and newspapers.
Stilwell is committed to helping the cause of animal rescue and rehabilitation and is heavily involved with organizations around the world to increase awareness of puppy mills, dogfighting, animal abuse, pet overpopulation, dog bite prevention and other animal-related causes. A co-founder of the national Dog Bite Prevention conference series, Stilwell also serves the American Humane Association in several roles and is on the advisory boards of Red Rover, Dog TV, Dognition and Canine Assistants.
A regular guest on talk shows, news broadcasts and radio programs throughout the US, Europe and Asia, Stilwell was named 2009’s Dog Trainer of the Year at the Purina ProPlan Dog awards and was the recipient of the 2011 Excellence in Journalism and Outstanding Contributions to the Pet Industry Award. She is a member of the US Association of Pet Dog Trainers and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.
Petfood Forum 2016 will take place April 18-20 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. Early bird registration is currently available at

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Petfood Forum Asia 2016 speakers and topics announced

Petfood Forum Asia 2016, scheduled for March 30 in Bangkok, Thailand, will feature eight experts presenting the latest research and insights on pet food safety, ingredients and production, pet nutrition and the pet food market. The opening session will be delivered by Frank Yiannis, vice president of food safety for Walmart, who will explain why pet food companies need to develop and maintain a food safety culture.
In other sessions, Mariko Takemura, an analyst from Euronitor International will provide an update on the global and Asian pet food markets, while Kadri Koppel, PhD, assistant professor for Kansas State University’s Department of Human Nutrition will share research on what Thai dog owners look for in the appearance of dry dog food, compared with consumers in other parts of the world.
Sessions on pet nutrition include the relevance of changes in gut microbes for pet health, by Emma Bermingham, PhD, senior scientist with AgResearch Ltd., and optimum vitamin nutrition for dogs and cats, by Jeff Alix, global pet nutrition marketing manager for DSM Nutritional Products. Andrew Mallison, general director of IFFO Ltd., will address fish-based pet food ingredients; Kathleen May, development and technical project manager for Diana Pet Food, will cover the link between palatability and pet food safety (shelf-life stability); and Galen Rokey, director of process technology for Wenger Manufacturing’s companion animal division, will explain how to automate critical pet food production tasks.
Petfood Forum Asia 2016 will again be co-located with Victam/FIAAP/GRAPAS Asia at the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre. Early bird registration for the conference is now available at

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Patent issued for Mulligan Stew formula

Cell Response Formulation has received a US patent for the formula used in its brand of dog food, Mulligan Stew.
A patent issued for the way a food works is extremely rare in the pet industry. The patented formula allows the unique blend of ingredients to work in harmony with the dog’s body to increase antioxidant production. Increases in antioxidants have proven to be beneficial in cleansing toxins, improving overall health, and increased longevity.
To appeal to even the most unique and sensitive of appetites, Mulligan Stew offers 6 protein choices. The wide varieties of proteins are great for rotating meal options to keep the pet excited for each and every meal. The protein, in combination with the specialized blend of ingredients is key to the increased antioxidant production in the dog’s body. The benefits from feeding the formula may include improved energy, stronger immune system and a softer coat, just to name a few.

Monday, November 16, 2015

H.J. Baker sells Old Mill Pet Products

Building on a period of focused market and brand development, global agriculture firm H.J. Baker has sold its pet treat company, Old Mill Pet Products, to Multipet International. The sale closed Friday, October 30, 2015, and the full transition is expected to be completed by Friday, November 6, 2015.
“We were pleased to partner with Multipet for the sale of Old Mill Pet Products as they are well positioned to build on the commercial success we started,” said H.J. Baker CEO Christopher Smith. “Multipet is a well-respected firm in the industry and we are confident that the transition for Old Mill Pet Products alongside their pet toys and other pet accessories will be smooth."
Old Mill Pet Products launched its first line of pet products under the nature’s bits brand in 2014. This line of high-end, 100% made-in-the-USA dog treats is grain- and gluten free. They are comprised of six oven-baked treats and six crunchy-baked treats.
H.J. Baker is committed to adding value to the products and services it provides as a global manufacturer and supplier in the animal health and nutrition, crop performance and sulfur industries. Family owned since 1850, H.J. Baker builds trusting relationships that last decades. It invests in ongoing research, product innovation and manufacturing excellence so that customers have the best opportunity to succeed. H.J. Baker supports environmentally sustainable practices and its dedicated employees are active in the communities where they live and work. H.J. Baker & Bro. Inc., is headquartered in Shelton, Connecticut, USA.

Friday, November 13, 2015

RECALL: Halo recalls Spot’s Stew Sensitive Cat Turkey kibble

Consumers should discontinue feeding this product due to reports of mold.

Halo, Purely for Pets has initiated a limited, voluntary recall of its Spot’s Stew Sensitive Cat Turkey kibble with a Best By date of 09/04/2016 due to reports of mold. No other Halo products are affected.
Consumers who have Spot’s Stew Sensitive Cat Turkey stamped “Best By 09/04/2016” should discontinue feeding, and return the remaining portion to any Halo retailer for a full refund or replacement.
While some pets can ingest mold without incident, others may experience digestive issues. Consumers should consult their veterinarian if their cat experiences digestive issues.
Halo is also instructing its retailers to remove Sensitive Cat Turkey products stamped “Best By 09/04/2016” from their shelves.
The affected product is Spot’s Stew Wholesome Turkey Recipe Sensitive Formula for Cats with UPC Codes 745158350231 and 745158340232 in 6 lb. and 3 lb. bags with a Best by Date of 09/04/2016.
For more information, contact Halo Customer Care at +1.800.426.4256 Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, or email or visit

Investments grants available to eligible pet companies

The PetQuip association has announced that eligible British firms will have the opportunity to receive cash grants to help them exhibit at Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida, USA, to be held March 16-18, 2016, after PetQuip secured British government funding for eligible UK exhibitors. The exhibiting companies can benefit from GBP2,000 (US$3,046) investment grants, which are subject to UKTI terms and conditions. Details of the grants and other information on the association’s support package are available from PetQuip.
After the success of the PetQuip-organized British group at the past five editions of Global Pet Expo, the association is expecting considerable demand and, as stand space is limited, interested companies are urged to apply early.
The director general of PetQuip, Amanda Sizer Barrett, highlighting the importance of the show, said: “The sheer size of the North American market for pet products makes Global Pet Expo a very attractive proposition for UK suppliers. This is highlighted in The American Pet Products Association (APPA) estimate that the total U.S. pet industry expenditure is more than $60 billion, and in the 2015-16 APPA National Pet Owners Survey that states that 65 percent of US households own a pet, equating to 79.7 million homes. The survey further estimates there are more than 85 million cats and more than 77 million dogs. In addition to the huge scale of the US market, another significant consideration for UK suppliers is that in 2015, 29 percent of visitors to Global Pet Expo were from outside the US, representing around 82 countries.”
UK exhibitors in the PetQuip-organized group will be located in a prime position within a British-branded and -themed pavilion area as part of the organizer’s international pavilion. The position is close to The Boutique and What’s New areas, which lead onto the very popular New Product Showcase. The location of the pavilion is expected to attract significant footfall in 2016.
PetQuip’s comprehensive support package for the British exhibiting companies will include advice and information about how to prepare for and how to maximize a company’s presence at the show; support from an industry information stand organized and manned by the experienced PetQuip team; press editorial and promotion on exhibitor’s products prior to, during and after the show; preview marketing material distributed to named buyers in advance of the show; and help with freight, travel and accommodation and other logistics.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Purina showcases relationship between pets, people

From a child development expert whose pet-centric curriculum is helping rehabilitate troubled adolescents to the founder of New York City’s first cat café, Purina’s third Better With Pets Summit showcased how the relationship between pets and people enhances overall emotional wellness.
The daylong summit, which was hosted by Emmy-nominated comedian and writer, Josh Gondelman, took place at the Brooklyn Expo Center in New York City on November 3, 2015, and featured three panel discussions that examined the emotional relationship between pets and people, including the reciprocal effects both have on one another. Keynote speeches were presented by Purina senior research nutritionist Arleigh Reynolds, who has researched the dog and human bond for many years in Alaska and supports of The Frank Attla Youth Program; and author and reality television personality Carole Radziwill, who shared how pet ownership has shaped her life experiences.
The first panel at the Better With Pets Summit examined how millennials are changing the relationship between pet owners and cats. Purina revealed results at the summit from a recent survey that showed that nearly half of the 1,000 millennials surveyed own a cat and that 88 percent of cat owners consider themselves similar to their pets. The second panel provided an in-depth look at pets’ environments and the impact it may have on their stress levels, and the third panel focused on the benefits of raising pets and kids together and how it brings unique benefits that extend beyond a typical human-animal bond.
“The Purina Better With Pets Summit has become a platform where the best and the brightest in the industry meet and discuss how pets and people are better together,” said Nina Leigh Krueger, chief marketing officer for Nestlé Purina PetCare. “This year, we not only explored emotional wellness across three expert panels, but attendees had access to one-of-a-kind interactive exhibits where they experienced first-hand ways to improve pet wellness.”
New to the Better With Pets Summit this year were five educational zones which featured interactive exhibits for attendees to engage, as well as see Purina’s vast expertise in the pet wellness space and connect with Purina experts. The exhibits featured educational touchscreen displays, a dedicated room showcasing healthy environments for cats, a play lab for agility dogs with wearable technology that monitored their activity as they played, and an area where attendees can see how nutrition impacts cognition and emotional wellness in pets.
“It’s incredible to see the kind of work people are doing to enhance and strengthen the bond between pets and their owners,” Radziwill said. “As someone who has experienced the benefits of pet ownership throughout my life, I’m happy to see that Purina is leading these conversations through the Better With Pets Summit to create a better world for our pets.”
The 10 panelists included Heather Lewis, an animal arts architect who is paving the way for pet wellness through pet-centric design and architecture; Jayne Vitale, a child development expert and director of the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum, a social and emotional learning (SEL) program designed to teach empathy as a skill to adolescents; Christina Ha, the founder of Meow Parlour, the first permanent cat cafe in New York City; and Dr. Tony Buffington, a cat stress expert who has spent the majority of his career examining stress in pets and the impact it can have on health.
Purina also announced at the summit that it will donate $50,000 to The Frank Attla Youth Program, which was developed to help at-risk youth in rural Alaska gain confidence and self-esteem by adding dogs into the school curriculum and giving them an opportunity to create a unique bond with dogs, and teaching students how to care for them. The donation is part of Purina’s broader support of more than 900 pet welfare organizations each year.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Merrick, Drew Brees team up for dogs’ Best Day Ever

Every dog deserves the Best Day Ever. From the ultimate game of fetch to an unending belly rub, dogs should be rewarded for their undeniable loyalty and unconditional love. That’s why Merrick Pet Care, a leader in all-natural pet food, wants to reward the Best Dog Ever with the Best Day Ever.
The company launched their Best Day Ever campaign in August with an end-of-summer splash day where they treated shelter dogs to the Best Pool Party Ever at Colorado’s Water World – plus the chance to be adopted – for their Best Day Ever.
“We believe not only that the best dog ever deserves the best food ever, but also that dogs should be able to enjoy the best day ever – everyday,” said Mark Sapir, vice president of marketing for Merrick Pet Care. “We’re continuously inspired by the stories we hear from our pet parents about the love they have for their dogs, and one of the most exciting things about our Best Day Ever campaign is that it celebrates the true stories of our best friends – our dogs. They make every day great for us and deserve nothing less than the ultimate reward for being the Best Dog Ever.”
With the Best Day Ever, Merrick Pet Care will continue to surprise pet parents nationwide with the campaign into 2016. In fact, now through December 3, 2015, Merrick is inviting pet parents across the country to share why their dog is the Best Dog Ever for a chance to win the Best Game of Fetch Ever with star football quarterback Drew Brees. Entrants can submit their photo and a brief narrative about why their dog deserves to win on Merrick’s Facebook page.
“Dogs give the best kind of love – unconditional – whether you have a good or a bad day,” said Brees. “All dogs deserve the Best Day Ever.”

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

PetSmart launches Paleo Diet specialty shop

With the growing popularity of the Paleo Diet among people, pet parents now can embrace this feeding approach for their pets too. PetSmart Inc. will launch a specialty shop section dedicated to the pinnacle natural pet lifestyle brand, Only Natural Pet, a Paleo-inspired brand that is well-suited for dogs and cats and their ancestral wolf and wildcats roots.
According to proponents of a Paleo-inspired diet for dogs, the digestion of dogs and cats today is on par with their wild counterparts, where meat-eating is the foundation for good nutrition and health with the optimal food composition following the “prey model” of 50% protein, 40% fat and 10% carbohydrates.
Only Natural Pet is a comprehensive, vet-formulated pet line made of honest ingredients including meats blended with whole fresh fruits and vegetables. The products are manufactured in small, artisanal facilities using small-batch production processes and human-quality ingredients such as cage-free chicken, fresh turkey, free-range lamb and beef, as well as low-glycemic carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and garbanzo beans and real fruits and vegetables like apples, cranberries, celery, pumpkin, broccoli, cabbage and more.
The brand is focused on a rigorous set of standards, which avoid artificial elements – flavorings, sweeteners, colors, chemicals, pesticides, preservatives, allergens and other ingredients to which pets can be sensitive such as grains, gluten, by-products and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Only Natural Pet uses a minimal processing method, resulting in dehydrated, freeze-dried and air-dried products, many of which are raw, providing the nutrition benefit of raw food for pets without the hassle of thawing and the health risks of bacteria.
“PetSmart is dedicated to providing our customers with innovative products to meet their desires for their personal pet lifestyles. We are thrilled to bring this pioneering Paleo-inspired natural pet lifestyle brand, Only Natural Pet, to our PetSmart customers,” said Michael Massey, president and CEO, PetSmart Inc. “We see so many human trends make their way into the pet world and Natural combined with Paleo is now among them. We are excited to serve as the exclusive national retailer to expand the reach of this brand as a powerful option for pet parents who want to build a natural foundation for health with their pets.”
The new 25-product collection will be available later this month in 133 PetSmart stores nationwide with a more comprehensive 120-item assortment available at Only Natural Pet’s general pricing ranges from $8 for a four-ounce package of venison and lamb Jerky Bites to $80 for a seven-pound bag of dehydrated dog food.
As a founding member of the Pet Industry Sustainability Coalition, Only Natural Pet is committed to sustainability and “green” business practices with 100-percent wind power, carbon-neutral shipping, sustainable packaging and a zero-waste facility. The brand was born in Boulder, Colorado, USA, which is well known for its natural, healthy lifestyle and as an entrepreneurial hotbed for natural product innovation in the human grocery and pet specialty industries.
According to Only Natural Pet founder Marty Grosjean, “The world wants to eat cleaner and that includes our pets. Paleo diets and whole foods are the norm for many people and the benefits of eating this way apply to pets too. Our Boulder team is thrilled to be partnering with PetSmart to broaden the accessibility of our premium natural pet brand. We look forward to sharing the natural health benefits of Only Natural Pet with more and more pet parents who are looking for a brand dedicated to a Paleo-inspired diet featuring natural, clean ingredients, sustainable business practices and human-quality products.”