Friday, February 27, 2015

Hugs Pet Products teaming up with Paula Deen

    TV personality Paula Deen and Hugs Pet Products are partnering to launch a petfood and product line.
    Hugs, based in Montreal, Missouri, is known for its Chillz line of pet cooling products like dog mats and toys, and also sells products including bowls, apparel, birdhouses, dog cots and houses, pet health products and leashes.
    Hugs’ Paula Deen line will include petfood, treats and toys.
    "Pet products and pet food is something I wanted to do for a while because everyone who knows me knows I just adore animals,” Deen said. "I want to share my love for animals with my fans and fellow pet lovers by creating special products and treats for their pets to enjoy.”
    Deen will be at the Hugs Pet Products booth (3351) at the Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida, USA, on Thursday, March 5, from 1 to 4 p.m.

PetSmart, Petco account for 20% of all US pet product sales

    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.
    "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."
    Aside from superior customer service and a knowledgeable staff, an important differentiator for pet specialty retailers to separate them from lower-priced mass retailers is their focus on natural products, and an increase in all-natural private label brands. In Packaged Facts' April/May 2014 Pet Owner Survey, 39% of pet owners agreed that the natural products sold in the pet specialty channel are better than those sold at mass, up from 28% in a February/March 2013 survey.
    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. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Topeka to provide incentives to Big Heart for plant expansion

    The Joint Economic Development Organization of Topeka, Kansas, USA, voted unanimously on February 11 to approve “Project Blue Sky,” which will offer incentives of up to US$166,760 to Big Heart Pet Brands to expand its petfood production plant in the city.
    The expansion of the plant, which manufactures Meow Mix, Gravy Train, Milk-Bone Brushing Chews and 9Lives brands, is expected to cost as much as US$42.3 million, according to a report.
    The expansion would add a 70,000-square-foot packaging plant. Big Heart says expansion and renovation would enable it to retain 20 jobs it otherwise would likely lose, and to hire eight to 12 new employees.
    The incentive measure allows Big Heart to receive an incentive based on the amount it invests into the facility, with the maximum incentive being US$84,760 for an investment of US$42.3 million or more. The measure also allows Big Heart to receive incentives of up to US$82,000 for retaining and adding positions.
    This month, the J.M. Smucker Company (Smucker's) announced that it would acquire Big Heart Pet Brands for US$5.8 billion, including US$2.6 billion of net debt. The purchase marks Smucker's entrance into the petfood and snacks category and expands its overall presence in consumer packaged goods. The acquisition will provide Smucker's greater scale and strategic balance to its current portfolio while positioning it for continued growth, according to the company. Under the terms of the agreement, Smucker's will acquire all of the outstanding equity of Big Heart Pet Brands.

Bühler Aeroglide commended for apprenticeship program

    US Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez met with students at Bühler Aeroglide’s four-year, on-the-job training program in Cary, North Carolina, USA, which introduces students to important aspects of manufacturing such as welding and fabrication, and the basics of automation and design.
    The students acquire workplace experience and a paycheck, while simultaneously attending Wake Technical Community College in pursuit of a degree.
    Bühler Aeroglide manufactures dryers, ovens, roasters, toasters and hot air expansion systems for the food, feed and industrial product markets.
    “The ‘earn-while-you-learn’ apprenticeship model is a win-win for businesses and workers alike,” Perez said. “Businesses gain a pipeline of skilled employees in order to grow and workers gain training for jobs that pay well and offer a secure pathway to the middle class. The innovative partnerships developed here in North Carolina should be a model for communities across the country.”
    After four years, Bühler Aeroglide students graduate with an associate degree in mechanical engineering and credentials recognized by the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the US Department of Labor. They are also guaranteed a job upon graduation.
    “Today’s visit by US Secretary Perez and NC Commerce Secretary Skvarla validates the importance of apprenticeships, and we want students to know this is a viable option after high school,” said Hansjoerg Ill, President and CEO at Bühler Aeroglide. “Apprenticeships create a unique opportunity to empower young people and help them gain valuable work experience combined with a college education.”
    As co-founder of the North Carolina Triangle Apprenticeship Program (NCTAP), Bühler Aeroglide worked with six Triangle companies in 2014 to establish the apprentice standard.
    “We are pleased to have had a key role in developing this new apprenticeship standard in North Carolina and we thank colleagues and supporters who helped make it possible,” said Lukas Schoenwetter, director of human resources at Bühler Aeroglide. “As someone who entered an apprenticeship program in Switzerland at a younger age myself, it’s very important to me to see this program realized in the US. An education combined with access to the shop floor will help high school graduates build successful careers in manufacturing. These apprentices, in turn, will go on to be highly skilled employees and will be vital to the development of new ideas, new technologies, and new products that help grow the economy.”

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Barkworthies to unveil extensive new branding

    Barkworthies plans to unveil extensive branding efforts, including updates to its logo, advertising, packaging and website, on March 1.
    “Barkworthies is an innovative brand with all-natural, healthy products that are deliciously appealing to canines,” says Bill Chilian, marketing vice president at Barkworthies. “Our rebranding updates are meant to reflect these qualities and help our products be more appealing to shoppers on-shelf and online. Overall, the rebranding better communicates the selling points of the brand and our individual products in a consistent, organized way that’s easy to understand.”
    The company’s new tagline is, “Naturally Healthy, Naturally Happy.”
    Barkworthies said it rebranded based on feedback from trade, and to improve consistency across all channels for better products recognition, and to grow the emotional connection customers have with the brand, by reflecting the bond between pet parents and their pet.
    In its new packaging, the company’s retailers and consumers can expect to find more product information in an easier-to-understand format, color-coded protein call-outs, unified packaging presentation, and improved merchandising and the opportunity to create a billboard effect when merchandised together.
    Also with its new branding, Barkworthies is incorporating animal rescue by featuring rescue dogs in its new packaging and trade ads. A full campaign involving ongoing financial support and product donations to animal rescues will be launched later this year.
    The new website will feature updated retailer partner listings, more intuitive navigation, more in-depth product information, and refined filtering capabilities.

PetSmart announces preliminary fourth quarter results

    PetSmart Inc. announced an increase of 2.6% in store sales for the fourth quarter of 2014, with average ticket increasing 2% and comparable transactions increasing 0.6%
    Based on preliminary results, PetSmart says it expects to meet or exceed previously issued guidance for the quarter of between $1.34 and $1.38 per share on a non-GAAP adjusted diluted earnings per share basis.
    As announced on December 14, 2014, the company entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by a consortium led by BC Partners Inc. at a price of $83 per share in cash. The special meeting of shareholders to consider and vote on the transaction will be held March 6, 2015.
    The company announced it will release its results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2014 before market open on Wednesday, March 4, 2015.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

FDA issues update on jerky pet treat investigation

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an update February 19 on its ongoing investigation into pet illnesses and deaths in animals that ate jerky pet treats.
    As of September 30, 2014, FDA received approximately 5,000 complaints of illness associated with consumption of chicken, duck or sweet potato jerky treats, most of which involve products imported from China. The reports involve more than 5,800 dogs, 25 cats, three people, and include more than 1,000 canine deaths.
    These numbers include approximately 270 complaints received since FDA’s last update in May 2014. This is a significant decrease from the previous period (October 2013 to May 2014), in which FDA had received 1,800 complaints.
    Because of the sharp reduction in complaints, FDA is tentatively planning to shift from a biannual routine reporting cycle to issuing annual updates. This shift in reporting cycles does not mean that FDA is reducing its effort to investigate the cause of these illnesses; the agency continues to devote significant resources to its investigation, and will post non-routine updates if notable events occur.
    Although it is impossible to determine in every case whether the events reported were in fact caused by eating jerky pet treats, FDA continues to believe that there is an association between some of the reports and consumption of jerky pet treats.
    The agency continues to caution pet owners that jerky pet treats are not required for a balanced diet, and encourage them to consult with their veterinarians, both prior to feeding treats and if they notice symptoms in their pets.
    FDA continues to devote significant resources to this investigation and to work with its Vet-LIRN partners to gather and analyze new information as it becomes available. If your pet has experienced signs of illness that you suspect is related to jerky pet treats, please report it to FDA. While FDA does not necessarily respond to every individual complaint submitted, each report is valuable and becomes part of the body of knowledge that helps to inform our investigation.

Petco unveils new initiative centered on pet nutrition

    Petco has announced a new initiative, centered on the importance of proper nutrition for pets. A creative campaign, "What We Feed Them Matters," rolls out nationwide this week. The multichannel initiative emphasizes to pet parents that great health starts with great nutrition.
    Safety and health benefits of food and treats continue to be top concerns for pet owners, and recent survey findings indicate that approximately 100 million dogs and cats in U.S. are overweight or obese. Feeding pets high-quality food can ultimately lead to a longer, better life, greater vitality, better skin and coat, a healthy weight and good digestion.
    "We want to encourage pet parents to think about the impact food and nutrition have on their pet's health," said Brad Weston, Petco chief merchandising officer. "At Petco, we handpick the best brands to make it easy for pet parents to navigate the complex world of nutrition and find the right food for their pet."
    For nearly 50 years, Petco has been a source for high-quality premium pet products and services in local neighborhoods across the U.S., with knowledgeable Petco partners on hand to help. Petco handpicks the best brands to help pets thrive with a broad range of food and treat options that support complete pet health.
    "The new creative builds on the success of the 'The Power of Together' campaign, our brand transformation initiative launched last year," said Danielle Mohn, Petco vice president of marketing. "We're celebrating the importance of the human-animal connection and educating pet parents that what we feed them really does matter."
    Created by Vitro, in partnership with Petco's internal creative team, the creative is a purpose-driven initiative to inspire pet parents to think differently about pet nutrition and to drive awareness of Petco's handpicked selection.
    The initiative will be featured in-store and online, with nutrition education front and center. In-store, consumers can discuss their pet's specific needs with a Petco nutrition adviser and learn about feeding trends and options as part of Petco's nutrition demo program. In addition, there are a variety of digital resources that can be found online, including information on how to read a petfood label and how to transition your pet to a new food, as well as details on the latest feeding options available to pet parents.

Animal feed safety programs combine for streamlined auditing

    The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) and the National Renderers Association (NRA) have announced a partnership of two animal feed safety certification programs -- AFIA's FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food  and NRA's Rendering Code of Practice (COP) -- resulting in an updated and more user-friendly auditing process.
    The announcement was made after updates to both programs to better align with industry standards, including the soon-to-be-published regulations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
    "Updating FSC36 to align with FDA's updates is vital to our members' facility operations' compliance," said AFIA President and CEO Joel G. Newman. "AFIA is proud to partner with the NRA to align their COP with FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food so that together we are preparing our members for tomorrow's challenges."
    "The rendering industry takes its stewardship role very seriously," said NRA President and CEO Nancy Foster. "This joint venture is one more step to emphasize transparency, accountability and commitment to animal food safety by NRA members."
    The decision to pair the programs allows AFIA and NRA to require only one audit from the facilities seeking FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food certification and NRA's COP certification. As before, the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) will administer the FSC36 Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program on behalf of AFIA. Renderers seeking FSC36 certification via SQFI will be automatically certified in both programs after a successful audit. Rendering facilities interested in obtaining only the renderer's COP certification may bypass SQFI and request a COP audit directly from Validus, a third-party certifying body.
    "We are excited about the opportunity to partner with NRA to support their animal food safety certification," said Henry Turlington, AFIA director, quality and manufacturing regulatory affairs. "The updates to the FSC36 are important changes to help drive continuous improvement in quality and food safety programs for our members as well as support compliance with the new FSMA compliance."
    FSC36 is considered a firm foundation for AFIA's other certification programs such as FSC32 Manufacture of Pet Food (Global Food Safety Initiative benchmarked) and FSC34 Manufacturer of Animal Feeds (GFSI benchmarked for animal feed manufacturing), which have more stringent certification requirements. The Rendering COP was originally developed in 2005 by the Animal Protein Producers Industry (APPI) organization, which has merged with NRA.
    "Many renderers see value in one-stop, dual certification to meet customer expectations for feed safety and prepare for regulatory compliance with FSMA," said Dr. David Meeker, NRA senior vice president of scientific services. "To facilitate this, NRA's companion guidance for FSC36 includes differences between feed manufacturing and rendering so each audit will be appropriate for the type of facility."

Monday, February 23, 2015

Central Garden & Pet sees 6% increase in first quarter sales

    Central Garden & Pet Company reported first quarter net sales of $307.3 million, an increase of 6%, compared with $290.5 million in the first quarter of the prior year.
    "We are beginning to see signs of progress from our efforts to improve our business and better utilize our resources," said John Ranelli, president and CEO of Central Garden & Pet. "As a result of these efforts, our operations are becoming more efficient and we are executing better."
    First quarter net sales for the pet segment increased $14.7 million, or 8%, from the same period a year ago to $199.3 million, due in large part to higher sales of other manufacturers' products as well as higher flea and tick and professional revenues. Sales of other manufacturers' products increased primarily due to higher dog food and treat sales. Professional revenues benefited from a shift in timing of sales. The pet segment's branded product sales were $146.7 million in the first quarter of 2015 and sales of other manufacturers' products were $52.6 million.
    The pet segment's operating income was $20.6 million compared with $14.4 million in the first quarter of 2014. The $6.2 million increase in operating income was largely due to increased sales and improved gross margins. The Pet segment's operating margin increased 250 basis points, benefitting predominately from higher gross margins across most of the pet categories. The professional and flea and tick businesses were the largest contributors to the operating margin increase, reflecting a shift in mix toward higher-margin products. The pet nutrition and aquatics businesses experienced lower profitability during the quarter.
    Overall, the company’s gross margin of 28.6% increased 120 basis points compared to the prior year as a result of strength in the pet segment. The company's first quarter operating income was $1.1 million, compared with an operating loss of $8.4 million in the first quarter of 2014, an improvement of $9.5 million. Operating margin of 0.4% rose 320 basis points from the prior year period. Increased profitability in the pet and garden segments contributed to the operating income and operating margin improvement. The net loss for the quarter was $5.7 million, or $0.12 per fully diluted share, compared to a net loss of $12.7 million, or $0.26 per fully diluted share in the year-ago period.

Partner in Pet Food sees record sales in 2014

    European petfood producer Partner in Pet Food (PPF) reported a 5% rise in annual sales for 2014.
    PPF said its sales totaled EUR235 million (US$266.3 million), across the 36 markets in which it operates, making 2014 a record sales year for the company. Its total product volume was 416,806 tonnes, enough to feed approximately 2 million cats and 1.7 million dogs for one year.
    PPF’s record year in 2014 was driven predominantly through new products and innovation, a good return on the big investments the company has made in its research and development and production capabilities in recent years. This, combined with the successful integration of Agro-Trust, has enabled PPF to drive significant increases in sales of its premium alucup and pouch products. In 2014, pouch sales increased 42% and alucup increased by 38%. Overall, innovations accounted for 10% of sales in 2014.
    “Our excellent performance in 2014 is testament to the strengths of PPF in product quality, innovation and customer service,” said Attila Balogh, CEO of PPF, said.
    PPF also has continued to expand by entering new markets and increasing sales of branded products. Sales of PPF’s branded products increased by double digits in 12 markets, led by strong performances in Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania.
    In Western Europe, the company increased sales in Germany and France by 30%, and delivered on last year’s forecast that it would triple its U.K. sales.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Purina educates pet owners in China on petfood, health, safety

    Nestle Purina petfood has been in the China market since 2003. Gloria Xu, marketing manager for Purina in China, says China’s pet population is the second largest in the world, behind the US. However, she said, commercial petfood coverage is the lowest in the world.
    Retail sales of petfood in China increased more than 31% by value from 2012 to 2013, reaching $4.3 billion, according to Mintel, a research firm.
    Xu, in an interview with Ad Age, said only 5% of dogs and 6% of cats are eating commercial petfood, because many dog owners cook for their dogs. She said some people mix commercial dog food with human food to feed to their dogs.
    In China, Xu said Purina uses social media and its web presence to educate the population about pet ownership and how to care for their animals. Purina Online Academy sends its subscribers information, for example, the importance of giving dogs more water in warm weather, and how to keep pets safe at Chinese New Year celebrations when fireworks are used.
    Purina’s Homeless but Not Worthless campaign works to prevent abandonment and encourage adoption. China’s large cities see a lot of stray dogs and cats, and this campaign hopes to change that.

BOGO Bowl helps pets in need with food, cash gifts

      When a BOGO Bowl customer buys a bag of BOGO Bowl petfood for their own pet, one bag is automatically gifted to an organization of the customer’s choice, with free shipping.
    Petfood company BOGO Bowl helps pets in need by providing shelters, rescues or similar organizations with petfood or other monetary gifts.
    When a BOGO Bowl customer buys a bag of BOGO Bowl petfood for their own pet, one bag is automatically gifted to an organization of the customer’s choice, with free shipping.
    A new offer for 2015 is BOGO Bucks, a cash gift for the organization if food isn’t what they need. After polling its more than 100 recipient partners on how BOGO Bowl could exceed their expectations and more efficiently help them achieve their missions, it was discovered that some organizations had enough food, but were struggling in other areas: vet bills, volunteers couldn’t afford gas for critical rescue missions, many needed to hire administrative help.
    “I believe we’re the first to not only offer the option of gifting one bag for every bag purchased, but if an organization needs cash for administrative, vet or other fees over petfood, we send them a check,” said Sara Henderson, founder of BOGO Bowl.
    By using BOGO Bucks, organizations can spend money on anything their organization needs. Once a BOGO Bowl customer buys a bag of food for their own pet, they choose a recipient organization from a list of existing BOGO Bowl partners, or the customer can add a new legitimate organization of their choosing. BOGO Bowl will then contact that organization to determine if they’d like a quarterly petfood match or a quarterly cash gift.
    “We do our best to work with every partner individually,” Henderson said.  “We want the program to work for them.  In turn, we ask that they give away our samples at their events, invite their fans and followers to join BOGO Bowl on social media and do everything they can to encourage supporters of their organization to support us.  It’s an easy equation - the more people who purchase BOGO Bowl for their everyday petfood needs, the more organizations and pets in need we can help.”

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Himalayan Corp. acquires leanlix

    Dog chew manufacturer Himalayan Corp. has acquired leanlix, a low-calorie reward and training tool for dogs.
    “We are ecstatic to find such a unique product from a fellow Washington-based company that has so many similar goals,” said Laura Baugh-Finley, marketing director, Himalayan Corp., based in the Seattle suburb of Mukilteo. “The ingenuity and growth in the leanlix brand has seen in only a few short years is quite impressive. We want to help build on that success.”
    The acquisition became official January 20, 2015. The purchase price was not disclosed. leanlix is available in the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, and the UK.
    leanlix was created in 2012 by Seattle entrepreneur Sharon Da Dalto as a fun, healthy reward treat that can be licked by dogs. The original formulation of leanlix was crafted by a pet chemist to address pet obesity. Studies show more than 54% of dogs are overweight and many are obese. While most dog treats have about 30 calories per serving, gluten-free leanlix has 1 calorie and 0 fat per serving (5 licks). leanlix has healthy ingredients such as probiotics for digestion, as well as antioxidants such as chamomile, freeze-dried strawberry and raspberry.
    Da Dalto will continue to champion the brand that she created in a new role at Himalayan.
    “We’re really excited about the possibilities that this marriage brings to leanlix,” said Da Dalto. “Himalayan’s reach and expertise will bring real value, such as, strong distribution avenues, consistency of product, well-established advertising channels, and increased exposure in the market.”

China petfood manufacturers want fair treatment of products in US

    After Petco and other US petfood retailers began to remove Chinese products from their stores, China’s petfood exporters have called for objective and fair treatment of its products.
    In January, Petco said it had removed all Chinese-made dog and cat treats from its website and stores because of concerns over pet illnesses. In May, Petco and PetSmart said they want to ban the treats.
    In response, the Pet Food Articles Inspection and Quarantine Branch of China Entry and Exit Inspection and Quarantine Association said that "there is no direct evidence of a correlation between the pet snacks manufactured in China and the disease and death of pets in USA."
    "De-shelving with no reason will result in trade losses of the importers/exporters of the two countries and cause a misunderstanding by US consumers about pet snacks manufactured in China," the association said in a statement provided to China Daily.
    The association said most Chinese enterprises do OEM for US brands, and raw, auxiliary materials and production technology are in accordance with the requests of US importers. The group says many Chinese petfood companies have been affected by the move.
    "We wish the US retailers to treat pet snacks manufactured in China objectively and fairly, and US consumers not be misguided by groundless suspicions," it added.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Report studies pet care market in Southeast Asia

    Future Market Insights (FMI) delivers insights into emerging regions in its latest report titled, “Southeast Asia Pet Care – Market Analysis and Opportunity Assessment, 2014-2020.”
    The report states that the Southeast Asia pet care market is mainly driven by the burgeoning trends of pet humanization and increasing adoption of private-label brands in countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.
    FMI analyst P.S. Neha sheds light on why the SEA pet care market will become one of the major markets in the region in the near future: “Growth of the pet care market across Southeast Asia is driven by increasing adoption and humanization of pets. Pet owners are now more inclined towards more nutritious, healthy and organic foods for their pets.”
    By type, the overall Southeast Asia pet care market is segmented into dog food, cat food, pet products and others. Dog food is the major segment in this region, accounting for a 51.6% share of the market in 2014; however, this is expected to decrease by 30 BPS by 2020.
    This report also covers the pet care market by category and by channel. On the basis of channel, the market is segmented into supermarket, pet shop, veterinary clinic and others. The supermarket segment is the leading distribution channel in the Southeast Asia pet care market. However, veterinary clinics are anticipated to exhibit the fastest CAGR at 7.1%, followed by supermarket at a 6.8% CAGR during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to a shift in consumer buying habits and an increasing inclination of pet owners to purchase health and wellness products from reliable sources such as veterinary clinics.
    Furthermore, by category, the market includes economy-priced, mid-priced and premium-priced products.
    Improving consumer lifestyles and increasing disposable income in Southeast Asian countries has resulted in a growing acceptance for pets, not only among the high-income group, but also the middle-income group. In 2014, Thailand was the dominant country in the overall Southeast Asia pet care market with a 43.62% share, followed by Malaysia and Indonesia, accounting for 21.74% and 15.47% respectively.
    The pet care market in the Philippines is expected to register a significant CAGR of 8.4%. This is expected to be followed by Vietnam at a CAGR of 8.0% during the forecast period.
    Innovation remains the key to gaining a competitive edge in the SEA pet care market, especially in the petfood category. Companies such as Nestlé Purina, Zoetis, Mars Inc. and Merck & Co., account for more than 50% of the overall market share and constantly focus on mergers and acquisitions to expand their geographical presence and customer base.

Colin Powell to open Alltech’s REBELation Week

    Colin Powell will share his insights on leadership with the international attendees at the official opening session of Alltech’s REBELation Week in Lexington, Kentucky, USA, on May 18, 2015.
    A four-star general who served four U.S. presidents in various roles, including national security adviser, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the United States’ 65th secretary of state, Powell is a strategist, diplomat and leader.
    “General Powell has been on the ground in some of the most unstable corners of our international community, and he has worked there to build trust and develop alliances that have laid the foundation for transformation. A man with the ‘force multiplier of perpetual optimism,’ a man who sees potential, possibility and opportunity rather than crisis, I can’t imagine anyone more ideal for the opening of our REBELation Week, which is dedicated to inspiration, innovation and world-changing ideas,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech.
    The son of Jamaican immigrants, Powell grew up in South Bronx, New York, earned a bachelor’s degree in geology and then dedicated 35 years of service to the U.S. Army. After serving as President Ronald Reagan’s national security adviser, Powell became the youngest officer, first Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) graduate and first African-American to be the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton. Under President George W. Bush, he was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to hold the position of secretary of state.
    The highly respected general has been the recipient of numerous U.S. military awards and decorations, as well as civil awards, including two Presidential Medals of Freedom. He has also been recognized with awards, including a French Legion of Honor and an honorary knighthood (Great Britain), from more than 24 countries.
    Several boards and organizations continue to benefit from his leadership, including the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York; America’s Promise Alliance for children; Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm; Bloom Energy, an alternative energy company utilizing fuel cell technology;, the world’s largest provider of Cloud-based customer relationship management software; the Council on Foreign Relations; the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial; the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; and the Smithsonian Institute’s African American Museum of History and Culture.
    He is the author of two best-selling books. “My American Journey” has been published in more than a dozen languages, and “It Worked for Me” was an instant New York Times best-seller. He and his wife, Alma Vivian Johnson, have three children and four grandchildren.
    Registration for Alltech’s REBELation Week is open now for a discounted rate until March 7 at 11:59 p.m. EST. One-day access passes are available, as are special partner rates. Delegates who are members of ARPAS and AAVSB can also earn CEUs. All REBELation Week activities are open to the public, although advanced registration is required.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Registration open for Alltech Young Scientist program

    Alltech has officially opened 2015-16 registration for the largest global university-level competition that rewards scientific innovation and experimental research in agri-science.
    This year marks one decade for the Alltech Young Scientist program, which saw more than 8,800 students register for the 2014-15 term.
    “In the last 10 years, we have seen students from across the globe exploring topics such as Salmonella detection in meat and poultry to CO2-enriched wheat grain protein,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech. “These bright young minds are revolutionizing the way our industry approaches challenges, and Alltech is proud to promote these young leaders in their scientific pursuits.”
    Regional winners will receive cash prizes and eight finalists will be invited to compete for top honors during Alltech’s annual international innovation conference in May 2016 in Lexington, Kentucky, USA. The graduate grand prize is $10,000 and the undergraduate grand prize is $5,000.
    Students may submit scientific papers on topics such as animal science, crop science, food science, environmental science, food production economics, and aquaculture. Papers will be judged by a panel of industry professionals. Registration and paper submission is available online until Dec. 31, 2015.
    In addition to direct student registration, the program now offers research organizations and university departments the opportunity to become Alltech Young Scientist affiliate partners. As an affiliate partner, the local competition winners are fast-tracked to the Alltech Young Scientist regional competitions and receive a range of academic and career-orientated benefits.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition helps feed shelter animals

    US-based Hill's Pet Nutrition has two charitable programs that partner with animal shelters to provide quality petfood to animals in need.
    Established in 2002, Hill's Food, Shelter and Love program has donated more than US$275 million worth of Science Diet brand foods to more than 1,000 shelters nationwide. The aim of the program is to boost the health of shelter animals so they are more adoptable. Since its creation, the program and has helped more than 7 million pets find new homes. Food, Shelter and Love is active in all 50 US states and helps feed more than 100,000 homeless pets in more than 800 shelters daily.
    Hill's Disaster Relief Network is an intervention that provides petfood to communities affected by natural disasters. In the wake of disasters, petfood owners often have trouble obtaining food for their animals. The Disaster Relief Network distributes emergency petfood through a nationwide network of 100 shelter partners. To date, Hill's has contributed to relief efforts in the aftermaths of Hurricanes Sandy, Isaac and Katrina; tornadoes in Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri; and fires in Colorado Springs, Arizona and Idaho.

Monday, February 16, 2015

US Petfood market shows steady expansion

    Richard Ten Eyck, AAFCO president, provides an industry update at AFIA conference.
    The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) hosted its eighth annual Petfood Conference January 27, 2015, as part of the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, Georgia. The event highlighted the latest industry initiatives, food safety, consumer trends and sustainability.
    "More than 250 people registered for the conference, which shows the immense interest surrounding the ever-developing petfood industry," said Leah Wilkinson, AFIA director of ingredients, petfood and state affairs. "The conference provides an excellent outlet for every aspect of the petfood industry to hear from experts and discuss challenges and breakthroughs within their field."
    The  conference featured a presentation by Svetlana Uduslivaia of Euromonitor International, who focused on US and global trends. She noted a positive increase in cat and dog food sales globally at a constant 3% in 2014. She said to expect emerging markets on the horizon in Brazil and Russia as 46% of Brazilian households own at least one dog and 20% own at least one cat. In Russia, 28% of households own at least one dog and 37% of households own at least one cat. Anticipated pet population growth would result in an increase in petfood consumption.
    Daniel McChesney of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s Center for Veterinary Medicine provided an overview of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the FDA Amendments Act of 2007 and Salmonella. McChesney said manufacturers have made enormous strides to reduce the prevalence of Salmonella in dry commercial dog and cat food,down to 1.7% in samples taken during the 2010-12 timeframe, down from 13% in 2002-06. He added that, due to the decrease is Salmonella occurrence, dry petfood will not be part of the assignment for the current fiscal year sampling plan.
    Speakers also presented on a number of other topics. LeAnn Chuboff of the Safe Quality Food Institute gave an update on the Petfood Facility Certification Program, while Marianne Smith Edge of the International Food Information Council gave a presentation on consumers and technology. David Meeker of the National Renderers Association and Charles Starkey of American Proteins gave a joint presentation on innovations in animal proteins.
    Attendees received updates from representatives from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the FDA and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). "Petfood issues and questions from consumers take up roughly 50% of staff and volunteer time for AAFCO," said Richard Ten Eyck, AAFCO president.
    The AFIA event was part of IPPE, which attracted an estimated 30,000 poultry, meat and feed industry leader attendees from all over the world. IPPE had 1,288 exhibitors with more than 490,000 net square feet of exhibit space.

AFIA food safety seminar clarifies FSMA regulations

    Henry Turlington, AFIA director of quality and manufacturing regulatory affairs, talks compliance at the Food Safety Modernization Act—Building a Foundation for Compliance seminar.
    The American Feed industry Association (AFIA) hosted a full-day seminar on the US Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) at the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, Georgia, Jan. 28. Part of a three-phase training program, AFIA's Phase I Food Safety Modernization Act–Building a Foundation for Compliance seminar is designed to educate and update feed and petfood manufacturers and ingredient suppliers on the various components of the new US law. Nearly 120 expo attendees attended the seminar.
    "The implementation of the proposed FSMA rules has been a huge undertaking for the feed and petfood industry, and it is important for industry professionals to understand how to comply with the different requirements," said Henry Turlington, AFIA director of quality and manufacturing regulatory affairs.
    The seminar was part of a line-up of 25 educational programs at IPPE. The show attracted an estimated 30,000 poultry, meat and feed industry leader attendees from all over the world. IPPE had 1,288 exhibitors with more than 490,000 net square feet of exhibit space.
    Turlington opened the AFIA seminar with an overview of newly proposed FSMA rules and what the regulatory changes mean to the feed industry. He discussed AFIA's recommendations for complying with the new law and how the organization will assist its members during the implementation process.
    The seminar provided information on how to build a solid foundation with current good manufacturing practices, key components of a supplier verification program, what is required for an animal food safety plan and why having a plan is beneficial to a facility. Turlington stressed the importance of implementing both a recall plan and training program for preventative measures.
    Phase II of the FSMA trainings are slated to take place in 2015. They will educate feed and petfood industry professionals on the next steps in the implementation process.

Friday, February 13, 2015

RECALL: Pet International Beef Trachea Pet Treat recalled

    Treats, sold in Colorado, could be contaminated with Salmonella

    Pet International of Miami, Florida, USA, is recalling 1,500 units of 6-inch Beef Trachea Pet Treat because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.
    The 6” Beef Trachea Pet Treat was distributed to retail stores in Conifer and Lakewood, Colorado, USA.
    If you have this product, use gloves and put in a double bag and throw it away as soon as possible. Do not touch the product in any way, and if you do, wash your hands immediately with an antibacterial soap.
    The potentially affected product will pertain to a particular lot number, and are specific to a particular size of the pouch it’s sold in. Anyone having these products should verify the following:
    • Brand: Buster’s Natural Pet Supply
    • Lot Code: 8501450
    • Size: 6-inch Beef Trachea/ 12 Pack Plastic Pouch
    • UPC Code: 8501450
    No illnesses have been reported to date. We are still warning consumers that if any of the above information is on the package you have, do not feed it to any animals at all. It may be hazardous and should be disposed of immediately.
    The recall was as the result of a routine sampling program by the Colorado Department of Agriculture and analyzed by FDA, obtained from Buster’s Natural Pet Supply in Conifer, Colorado, USA. and found to be positive for Salmonella. The product sampled had a Buster’s Label on it, but was manufactured by Pet International. Buster’s Natural Pet Supply recalled the entire product from the two stores that the distributor sells it. The Pet International Inc. continues their investigation as to what caused the problem.
    Consumers who have purchased 6-inch Beef Trachea with Buster’s Natural Pet Supply Label on it and are wishing to be refunded because of the recall, can take the product back to where bought it from, with receipt. A special form will be provided to be filled out as well. Both the form and the receipt are needed for the refund.
    Consumers with any questions about the recall product may contact the company at by phone at +1.305.591.3338 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST or via e-mail at
    Salmonella can affect animals (i.e. dogs) 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.
    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.
    Dogs with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets (i.e. dogs) 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 dog has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

Tuffy’s recalls Nutrisca dog food over Salmonella concerns

    Nutrisca Chicken and Chick Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food could be contaminated

    Tuffy's Pet Foods Inc. of Perham, Minnesota, USA, is voluntarily recalling specific lots of 4-pound bags of Nutrisca Chicken and Chick Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Tuffy's manufactured the product for Nutrisca.
    The recalled product was distributed in the 4-pound bags nationwide to distributors, brokers, retail stores and internet retailers. The recalled product is limited to Nutrisca Chicken and Chick Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food in 4-pound bag sizes, bearing UPC Code "8 84244 12495 7" (found on lower back of the bag). Products included in the recall are identified by the below first 5 digits of the Lot Code (found on upper back of the bag) and "Best by Dates" (found on upper back of the bag). No other bag sizes or other Nutrisca dog food, cat food, biscuits/treats, supplements or other products, are affected by this announcement.
    First five digits of Lot Codes:
    • 4G29P
    • 4G31P
    • 4H01P
    • 4H04P
    • 4H05P
    • 4H06P
    Best By Dates:
    • Jul 28 16
    • Jul 30 16
    • Jul 31 16
    • Aug 03 16
    • Aug 04 16
    • Aug 05 16
    The recall was initiated after a routine sampling program by the Ohio Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of Salmonella in one 4-pound bag of product. The company is coordinating this voluntary recall with the FDA, and is issuing the recall action out of an abundance of caution.
    Consumers who purchased the 4-pound bags of the dry dog food product subject to the voluntary recall (as identified above) should stop using the product, discard it in a safe manner (example, a securely covered trash receptacle), and contact Nutrisca at +1.888.559.8833 for further information.
    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. 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 providers. 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.  No Salmonella-related illnesses in people or animals have been reported to date in association with these products.

How do Americans plan to treat their pets this Valentine’s Day?

    Old Mother Hubbard survey finds 42% of Americans will buy their dogs a special treat

    Old Mother Hubbard has conducted a survey of 600 US pet owners to see how they planned to spend Valentine’s Day with their pets.
    The survey found that 57% of pet parents said it was a deal breaker if their significant other or potential significant other didn’t like pets. Forty-two percent of Americans will buy their dogs a special treat this Valentine’s Day and another 11% will prepare a special meal for their furry friend.
    Other survey findings include:
    • 26% of all pet parents say that their pet gets jealous when they show affection to their significant other
    • 54% of American pet owners tell their pets “I Love You” on a daily basis
    • 1 in 10 American pet parents have used a photo of their pet in an online dating profile
    To celebrate Valentine’s Day with their pets:
    • 21% will invest in new toys  
    • 18% will show their pooch some extra attention  
    • 6% will invest in some chic new clothing
    • 4% will take their pets to the groomer

Naturally Splendid moves forward with HempOmega petfood development

    Naturally Splendid Enterprises has signed a research and product development service agreement with the Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development's Food Science and Technology Centre in Brooks, Alberta, Canada. The research will focus on using the company's HempOmega plant-based supplement to fortify commercial petfood.
    The center will develop optimized petfood formulations and processing capabilities followed up with nutritional and performance testing at an approved lab. "Moving forward with this important investigation of the processing capabilities of HempOmega is a critical step in our product development phase," said Bryan Carson, vice president of operations for Naturally Splendid. "The Food Science and Technology Center is the ideal facility to help us develop this new product line, as they have scientists who specialize in the formulation and production of both dog and cat foods. We are very excited to have access to this experienced team of experts."
    Funding for this project will come in part from the National Research Council of Canada.

Silliker offers promotion on petfood process validation studies

    Silliker is offering a 10% off promotion on Pet Food Process Validation Studies contracted before June 1, 2015, with the company's Food Science Center team.
    Process validation studies vary in complexity, according to Silliker. The most complex studies allow for the most long-term flexibility since they create the ability to predict lethality for a range of processing temperatures, while the most simple validate current processing parameters. The Silliker Food Science Center can design and conduct process validation studies to meet business needs customized for a specific product, critical control points and business goals.
    Options include:
    • Literature review to summarize published findings that may pertain to process and product
    • Design and execution of D- and Z-value studies which give the most long-term flexibility for processing
    • In-plant validation studies including selection of an appropriate surrogate organism for product and processing temperature range
    To take advantage of the 10% discount offer, contact Silliker

Thursday, February 12, 2015

petMD: Nutritional value is pet owners' top petfood concern

    petMD conducted a survey to determine what factors people consider most when choosing a petfood, and the survey revealed that a majority of pet owners are highly concerned about the nutritional value of their pet's food. When asked what factor is the most important in selecting a petfood, only 4% of respondents said price. And while 10% said their primary consideration is palatability, nearly 80% said they choose their pet's food based on how nutritious or healthy they believe it will be for their pet.
    Sixty percent of pet food buyers claim to read ingredient labels, but most are unfamiliar with the official terms used in ingredient lists, according to the study. Experts recommend that consumers look to the following sources to gather information about the best food for their pets:
    • veterinary recommendations
    • brand reputations
    • regulatory statements
    • foods manufactured "by" a brand, rather than "for" a brand
    • toll-free consumer lines

2015 Guangzhou Pet & Aqua Expo to be held

    The Guangzhou Pet & Aqua Expo will be held June 26–28, 2015, in the China Import and Export fair complex Pazhou in Guangzhou.
    According to expo organizers, the 2014 show attracted approximately 200 exhibitors and featured 500 different pet products and services. More than 13,000 visitors came to the 2014 show.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Industry opinion: 'Big Food' increasingly eyeing petfood market

    The acquisition of Big Heart Pet Brands by J.M. Smucker (Smucker's) is the latest in an increasing trend of 'Big Food' expanding into the petfood market, according to Washington Post National Business Reporter Drew Harwell.
    As petfood sales in the US continue to grow, and the specialty petfood segment in particular remains profitable, human food companies such as Smucker's and Mars are increasingly interested in entering the waters. Smucker's is purchasing Big Heart Pet Brands for US$5.8 billion, and in 2014 Mars acquired petfood lines Iams and Eukanuba. The overarching goal, say analysts, is to secure a strong market share across all prices, brands and blends in the petfood industry. According to Harwell, additional benefits include the inherent market diversification and money savings as human-food ingredients are repurposed for petfood products.
    Big Heart is America's biggest seller of pet snacks, with about US$2.3 billion in net sales over the past year, said the company. Smucker's expects petfood will contribute more to its bottom line than Jif, Pillsbury, Crisco and its namesake jams and jellies, combined. "We recognize that pets are cherished members of the family," said chief executive Richard Smucker. "With approximately two-thirds of US households having at least one family pet, we will now be able to serve the mealtime and snacking needs of the whole family."

Hill’s Pet Nutrition announced as founding sponsor of VetFolio

    Hill's Pet Nutrition has become the exclusive animal nutrition founding sponsor of VetFolio, an online continuing education platform for veterinary professionals offered by the American Animal Hospital Association and the North American Veterinary Community.
    As part of this commitment, Hill's is sponsoring select nutrition courses, articles and related content. Hill's will also sponsor a new VetFolio program for veterinary students, veterinary technician students and recent graduates. This program will include online resource centers and educational modules.
    "Veterinary healthcare team members, students and recent graduates are busy people," said Ellen Lowery of Hill's Pet Nutrition's US professional and veterinary affairs department. "We're happy to support this platform because VetFolio provides access to quality CE opportunities and resources on their schedule." 

Cloud Star, Tiki brands merge to form Whitebridge Pet Brands

    Cloud Star is merging with the Tiki pet brands of Petropics Gourmet Whole Foods to form Whitebridge Pet Brands. The new company will be led by CEO Olivier Amice of Cloud Star.
    “Since our inception, our company has pioneered the new gourmet whole-food category,” said Christine Hackett, co-founder of Petropics. “Tiki has seen phenomenal growth thanks to the support of independent pet specialty retailers and distributors. We know that Tiki’s best days are still ahead, and we feel a merger with the Cloud Star team is the best way for the Tiki brands to reach their full potential.”
    Whitebridge's portfolio will include Tiki Cat, Tiki Dog, Cloud Star, Buddy Biscuits and Wag More Bark Less. Each brand will keep its own identity, purpose and channel strategy. The founders of Cloud Star and Petropics will continue to advise Whitebridge and will remain shareholders.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

RECALL: J.J. Fuds petfood recall expanded on potential Listeria, Salmonella concerns

    Indiana-based J.J. Fuds is expanding their petfood recall to include all lots and products of J.J. Fuds Chicken Tender Chunks, Beef Tender Chunks and Duckling Tender Chunks petfood because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes and/or Salmonella.
    The recalled products were distributed regionally in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois to wholesale and retail customers. The product can be identified by the batch ID code (manufactured date) and UPC code printed on the back of the individual plastic bag or on the master case label. These products are a frozen raw poultry or beef product and have a shelf life of one year if kept frozen.
    The recalled products are as follows:
    J. J. Fuds Premium Natural Blends; Chicken Tender Chunks
    5 lb. bags, Product UPC Number: 654592-345935 Manufacture/Lot Code Date: All
    10 lb. bags, Product UPC Number: 654592-345805 Manufacture/Lot Code Date: All
    J. J. Fuds Premium Natural Blends: Beef Tender Chunks
    5 lb. bags, Product UPC Number: 654592-345942 Manufacture/Lot Code Date: All
    10 lb. bags, Product UPC Number: 654592-345757 Manufacture/Lot Code Date: All
    J. J. Fuds Premium Natural Blends: Duckling Tender Chunks,
    5 lb. bags, Product UPC Number: 654592-345928 Manufacture/Lot Code Date: All
    10 lb. bags, Product UPC Number: 654592-345737 Manufacture/Lot Code Date: All
    The recall was a result of a routine sampling program by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development resulting in a positive test for Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella. The company has not received any reports to date of dogs experiencing nausea and diarrhea that may be associated with these specific products. The company has received no reports to date of human illness as a result of these products.
    J.J. Fuds will immediately start working with distributors and retailers to properly dispose of any affected product left on freezer shelves. The company will also be working with distributors and retailers to recall this product from pet owners to ensure the proper disposal of any affected product that has been purchased.

Blue Buffalo reaches 1 million pet adoptions in campaign

    In participation with the Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays pet adoption campaign, the Monmouth County, New Jersey-based SPCA introduced the Ferrier Family to its newest member—a cat named Watermark. Blue Buffalo announced that Watermark's adoption officially marked one million pets adopted in the company's holiday adoption drive.
    In celebration of the Home 4 the Holidays campaign reaching its goal of 1 million pets adopted, Blue Buffalo is hosting an event to honor the adopting family and the shelter. The Ferrier family will receive a one-year supply of Blue Buffalo product for their new cat and the Monmouth County SPCA will be gifted with 2,500 pounds of food. Event attendees will hear remarks from the family and the Monmouth County SPCA, and receive a tour of the adoption facility.
    "We couldn't be more proud of the work that the Monmouth County SPCA is doing in the region to provide a safe haven for homeless, abused and abandoned pets," said David Petrie, vice president at Blue Buffalo. "The Ferriers' adoption of Watermark is a testament to the tremendous efforts being made at the shelter to prepare animals for adoption."
    Blue Buffalo partnered with the Helen Woodward Animal Center for the Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays campaign, founded in 1999. Each year, the three-month adoption drive aims to save the lives of orphan pets and raise awareness about the importance of pet adoption during the holiday season. Blue Buffalo and the Helen Woodward Animal Center's partnership created a coalition of more than 4,000 international pet adoption agencies, facilities and rescue groups. The campaign has saved more than 10 million pets since its inception.

China International Pet Show counts 36,000 visitors

    The 18th China International Pet Show (CIPS) in Beijing attracted 946 exhibitors from 20 countries and about 36,000 trade visitors from 70 countries, according to NürnbergMesse, the show's co-organizer together with China Great Wall International Exhibition Company. The show was held Nov. 17-20, 2014. About 26% of visitors came from Europe, and another 21% traveled from other places outside Asia.
    "The stable economic situation in China is creating a good basis for the country's pet supply industry and is making it an attractive market for companies worldwide," said Katharina Neumann, project coordinator at NürnbergMesse. "For international exhibitors in particular, the CIPS opens doors to the Asian market and is very popular."
    More than half of the exhibitors presented products and services from the pet segment, while another third came from the aquarium field. Organizers have already received 400 exhibitor registrations for the 2015 event, which will be held Nov. 4-7, 2015, at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Employees rate Nestle Purina PetCare among best places to work

    Nestle Purina PetCare ranked third among large companies on's 2015 Best Places to Work, an annual list compiled from reviews submitted by employees from companies across the US. 
    "I have been with the company for 38 years and I still enjoy coming to work every day," wrote one Nestle Purina PetCare employee.
    Glassdoor is an online community for job searching and career development. In the reviews, employees were asked to rate overall job satisfaction, work-life balance, compensation, benefits and career advancement opportunities.

Petland deemed top-ranked franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine

    Petland rose 29 spots to rank 442 overall in Entrepreneur Magazine's 36th annual Franchise 500. According to, there are more than 3,000 active franchisors in North America.
    "It is an honor to once again be recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the top 500 franchise concepts in the United States," said Petland President and CEO Joe Watson. "This recognition is a testament to the relevance of the Petland brand and our proprietary operating model."
    In conducting its annual rating of franchises in the world, Entrepreneur considers numerous factors, including financial strength, stability, growth rate and size of the franchise system. Other rating factors include number of years in business, length of time franchising, start-up costs, litigation, percentage of terminations and whether the company provides financing. An independent CPA firm audits financial data. Every company with verifiable data receives a cumulative score. The franchises with the highest cumulative scores become the Franchise 500.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Healthy Dogma launches Kickstarter for petfood product

    Healthy Dogma, a company that produces healthy petfood and treats, has launched a 30-day Kickstarter campaign to introduce a new instant version of its petfood: a dehydrated mix of human-grade chicken, fruits and vegetables sourced in the US.
    PetMix chicken dinner only requires the addition of water to provide a homemade meal for dogs, according to the company. Ingredients include chicken, whole egg, apples, carrots, flax, kelp, chicken liver, bananas, blueberries, broccoli, parsley, ginger, celery, lettuce, watercress, spinach, coconut oil and probiotics.
    As of January 26, 2015, the campaign had raised US$2,255 of its US$10,000 goal.

GfK: 10 million US households high-value pet retail targets

    GfK analysis has identified over 10 million US households that represent the greatest potential value for pet retailers and manufacturers. Using GfK’s Pet Owner Navigator, manufacturers and sellers in the pet retail marketplace can target their most important potential customers more efficiently in specific geographies—through promotion dollars, shelf-stocking decisions, in-store promotions and other marketing efforts, according to the company.
    Pet Owner Navigator divides consumers nationwide into six groups based on their pet attitudes, buying habits and location of residence. The highest-value segment, Privileged Pet, represents 9% of US households, is well educated and has a high likelihood of earning more than US$100,000 annually. Members of this group tend to live in urban and inner suburban areas and prefer to purchase petfood at pet specialty stores; they appreciate the expertise of the store owners and are generally not concerned that the prices may be a bit higher, says the report.
    Other groups tracked by Pet Owner Navigator are:
    • Waffling Woofers (27% of US households) – not loyal to a particular pet channel
    • Bargain Buddies (17%) – driven primarily by price concerns when it comes to pet purchases
    • Cyber Sidekicks (11%) – would rather shop for pet products online
    • Vets R Us (4%) – visit their veterinarians often and strongly prefer to buy their pet supplies there
    • Antipetism (32%) – not likely to own a pet or be buying pet products
    GfK’s Retail and Technology team developed Pet Owner Navigator by segmenting extensive data on US consumers. Using this analysis, manufacturers or retailers can allocate marketing funds against the right geographies and stores; distributors can support retailers with the right marketing programs; and marketing and sales professionals can distribute marketing dollars more wisely, says GfK.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

AIB International releases free FSMA guide

    AIB International is offering its updated "What You Need to Know About FSMA" guide as a free download from its Facebook page through February 8, 2015. The guide reflects recent changes to the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act in the US.
    "Navigating the regulatory language of the Food Safety Modernization Act is a daunting task," said Lance Reeve, director of food safety services innovation for AIB International. "Our guide condenses the information and makes it easier for readers to understand the basis of FSMA's sections, key dates and industry responsibilities."
    The offering is part of the kick-off for AIB International's new FSMA Readiness Assessment, an in-person assessment of existing plant programs that provides suggestions for bringing them into compliance. AIB International also offers webinars, seminars and consulting services to help facilities adhere to FSMA regulations.

Pet dental treats vital to teeth, gum health

    Pets need better dental care, according to a study conducted by Brakke Consulting Inc. and Ipsos Agriculture and Animal Health. In the study, which included national surveys of both veterinarians and pet owners, veterinarians indicated that the majority of the pets they see have dental problems. But the vast majority of pet owners consider their pets’ dental status as “normal” and less than 30% recognized any potential problems.
    Pet owners’ primary defense against teeth and gum problems in their pets are dental treats and chews. The majority (80% of dog owners and 50% of cat owners) purchased dental chews or treats in the past year. A small minority have purchased other products such as rinses, sealers and pet food with dental claims. Veterinarians said they have been trying to put more emphasis on pet dental care, and half of those said dental revenue has been up in the past two years compared to the previous period.
    This might help bridge the gap, as communication may be a significant part of the problem, according to the research. While more than 90% of veterinarians said they "always" check the oral health status of their patients, only 25% said they actually provide a written report to their clients. Less than half of pet owners recall discussing their pets' oral health during the most recent examination.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Zuke's partners with US Dog Agility Association

    Zuke's All Natural, Healthy Dog and Cat Treats has partnered with the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA) for 2015.
    Zuke's will be attending as many as six USDAA Regional Championships in 2015, as well as USDAA's marquee event, the Cynosport World Games Oct. 21–25, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. During each USDAA sanctioned event, Zuke's will be handing out free samples to anyone who stops by their booth at one of the shows.
    "Partnering with Zuke's is a great fit for USDAA," said President Kenneth Tatsch. "Our competitors and their dogs are highly trained athletes who work hard to stay in top physical condition. Rewarding the dogs for a job well done with a natural, healthy and nutritious treat makes perfect sense."
    Zuke's first USDAA event, the Wild West Regional, was a great success, according to Stacey Praizner, events and sponsorship manager at Zuke's. "Zuke's has always had health and wellness for pets as a priority, and we are looking forward to being a part of future USDAA events."
    USDAA is the US's largest independent canine sports authority, according to the group. USDAA maintains the highest standards of competition and offers the best events for dog agility competitors, spectators and sponsors. Events strive to promote the sport of dog agility as a recreational, family sport that fosters responsible pet ownership.

Arden Grange wins 'best dry cat food' award

    Sussex, UK-based superpremium petfood company Arden Grange has received the "Best Dry Cat Food" award from the Your Dog and Your Cat Magazine awards 2014/2015, for the company's adult fresh chicken and potato recipe.
    The awards are voted for by the readers of the magazine. Several other Arden Grange feline recipes were also "highly commended" in other award categories: sensitive ocean white fish and potato (in the "Best Specialist Cat Food" category) and tasty liver treat for cats (in both the "Best Cat Treat" and "Product I Can’t Live Without" categories). The company also received accolades on the canine side: adult sensitive was highly commended in the "Best Specialist Dog Food" category, adult chicken and rice is highly commended in the "Best Dry Dog Food" category and Arden Grange crunchy bites was highly commended in the "Best Dog Treat" category.
    “With so many brands for pet owners to choose from, this is praise indeed," said Wendy Stephens, Arden Grange co-founder. "I would like to thank our faithful customers and readers of the magazines for voting for Arden Grange—we are so grateful.” 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

RECALL: Big Bark All Natural Beef Jerky Treats recalled for Salmonella

      The company has recalled about 200 bags of the jerky treats. The recalled product was manufactured and distributed between September 20, 2014, and January 2, 2015, without any lot codes.
    Big Bark All Natural Beef Jerky Treats for Dogs, made by Grill-Phoria L.L.C. of Loveland, Colorado, USA, has tested positive for Salmonella after routine testing by the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
    The company has recalled about 200 bags of the jerky treats. The recalled product was manufactured and distributed between September 20, 2014, and January 2, 2015, without any lot codes.
    No illnesses have been associated with the recalled treats.
    Grill-Phoria said it has stopped production and distribution of the treats while it investigates what caused the positive test results.
    Consumers who have purchased the recalled treats are urged to return the product to the store from which it was purchased and request a full refund.
    Big Bark All Natural Beef Jerky Treats for Dogs were distributed in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Oklahoma through Nor-Sky Pet Supply L.L.C. through independent pet stores. The product is under the Big Bark label and is in a stand-up pouch that is 3.5 oz. in weight and labeled as All Natural Beef Jerky Treat.
    Pets affected by Salmonella may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets will have decreased appetite and abdominal pain.

Corman Bag, Sacchettificio Nazionale G. Corazza form partnership

    Massachusetts-based Corman Bag Company has announced a collaboration with Sacchettificio Nazionale G. Corazza s.p.a. (Corazza Sacks), a European manufacturer of laminated plastic and paper petfood bags. The partnership makes Corazza's products available in the US.
    Corazza can manufacture a full range of specialty bags with multilayer films, metalized PET, foil or PVDC. Features include bags with side handles, zippers, open and closed sliders, and many more options.

Petfood entrepreneur invests informer UK plant site

    Roger Skinner, of dog food manufacturers Roger Skinner Ltd. in Stradbroke, England, UK, has purchased the 12-acre former site of Tenza Technologies in Saxmundham with plans to regenerate the area. Tenza went into administration in November 2014 and more than 70 people lost their jobs.
    "What I have tried to do is to try and make sure we get people back to work," said Skinner. He initially purchased two industrial units from Tenza in 2006, where he operates Salter Pet Nutrition and Skinner Salter Partnership. On November 21, 2014, he completed the purchase of the Carlton Park site housing Tenza, but the company went into administration at the same time and he lost his tenants. Skinner said he plans to bring employment back to the buildings that housed Tenza, and so far has attracted two companies—Frimpeks, a Turkish firm, and Ryco, of Ireland—providing around 15 jobs, which are due to take up occupation by February. He hopes to find other tenants to occupy other parts of the site and says he has interest from various other parties.
    Skinner said he hopes to become an incubator for new business. “There are more and more houses being built, but no jobs,” he said. “The idea is I can create a business park for start-ups. At the end of the day, it’s about creating employment.”

Monday, February 2, 2015

Global Pet Foods collecting donations for animal shelters

    Canada-based Global Pet Foods, Natural Balance and Wilson will be collecting donations at Global Pet Foods locations from Jan. 31 through Feb. 14, 2015 as part of the annual "Show Your Heart" campaign. All proceeds will be donated to local pet shelters and groups. Global Pet Foods will match the first dollar of every in-store donation, and donations can also be made online at
    “Small donations add up and make a big difference to smaller community-based groups who can use the funds to cover expenses for veterinary care, buy food or just keep the lights on,” said Jim Walker, president of Global Pet Foods. 

Spectrum Brands Holdings buys Salix Animal Health

    Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. has acquired Salix Animal Health LLC , the producer of Healthy-Hide and Digest-eeze rawhide dog treats with annual revenues of about US$100 million. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction.
    "Salix will ... diversify our pet segment's position in rawhide dog treats, which is a fast-growing pet sub-category with estimated annual global retail sales of US$2 billion," said Dave Lumley, chief executive officer of Spectrum Brands. The company's global pet business includes IAMS and Eukanuba petfood, Tetra fish food, and Nature's Miracle clean-up products.
    Salix's manufacturing plants in Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico and Colombia produce branded and private label rawhide chews made from beef hides, pork, chicken, beef and other proteins. They are sold to mass merchandisers, grocery stores, pet specialty stores and warehouse clubs.
    "Salix is an excellent opportunity for us in a number of ways, including the ability to expand our strong Dingo dog treats business with complementary product offerings, enhance our intellectual property and innovation with the Digest-eeze enzyme technology, and provide an improved vertically integrated sourcing model in the Americas," said David Maura, chairman of the board of Spectrum Brands Holdings.