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.”

Monday, November 9, 2015

RECALL: Blue Buffalo recalls Kitty Yums cat treats

Product may contain low levels of propylene glycol

Blue Buffalo Co. Ltd. is voluntarily recalling a limited production of Blue Kitty Yums Chicken Recipe Cat Treats that may contain low levels of propylene glycol, which is not permitted by the FDA for use in cat food.
Cats reacting to high doses of propylene glycol may exhibit signs of depression and may have a loss of coordination, muscle twitching, and excessive urination and thirst. If your cat has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
The affected product was distributed nationwide in the US and Canada through pet specialty stores and e-commerce.
The product is packaged in a 2 oz., plastic stand-up pouch. Only these specific code dates of this product are involved:
  • Blue Kitty Yums Tasty Chicken Recipe, UPC: 859610007820 - Best If Used By: April 24, 2016.
  • Blue Kitty Yums Tasty Chicken Recipe, UPC: 859610007820 - Best If Used By: July 24, 2016.
No other Blue pet foods or treats are involved in this recall.
The FDA tested product in response to a single consumer complaint and found propylene glycol in one bag of cat treats in the affected lot. To date we have had no other reports of incidents related to our cat treats. Out of an abundance of caution, the company is voluntarily recalling all product manufactured in the same lot as the subject bag.
Consumers who have purchased the product being recalled may return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact Blue Buffalo at +1.888.667.1508 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT Monday through Friday or by email at for more information.

Nominations open for Hill’s veterinary award

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and Hill's Pet Nutrition have launched the search for the 2016 Next Generation Award winner. The Award recognizes a recently qualified veterinarian who has contributed significantly to the betterment of companion animals, the veterinary profession and society at large. Now in its second year, the Next Generation Award will be presented at the WSAVA annual World Congress on September 27-30, 2016, in Cartagena, Colombia.
Candidates for the WSAVA/Hill's Next Generation Award can come from any country and must meet the following criteria:
  • Graduated within the past 10 years
  • Active in continuing education
  • Have a strong record in community service
  • Working to bridge the gap between their generation and others’
The WSAVA's 96 member and affiliate associations represent more than 158,000 individual veterinarians from around the globe. They work together to advance the health and welfare of companion animals.
The first recipient of the WSAVA/Hill's Next Generation Award in 2015 was Dr. Pantakarn Onnak, from Chonburi, Thailand. Onnak carries out a great deal of voluntary work, including running a program to neuter stray dogs and cats abandoned in Buddhist temples in Thailand, and educating young people about preventative health in companion animals and the importance of neutering.
"I have worked as a volunteer for 10 years and do it because I want to make people and animals’ lives better,” Onnak said. “I was honored to receive the Next Generation Award at the 2015 WSAVA World Congress in Bangkok, and it has inspired me to continue my work helping communities and animals in Thailand.
"I believe the Next Generation Award is important to our profession because it can be difficult to encourage younger vets to volunteer, as they have so many other challenges in their lives when they first qualify. If we lead by example, we are able to promote the role of the veterinarian within our community, and we may inspire our colleagues to get involved."
Hill’s funded Onnak’s attendance to the 2015 WSAVA World Conference so she could accept her award. She also received a donation toward her voluntary work, an engraved plaque and a WSAVA certificate.
Dr. Jolle Kirpensteijn, chief professional relations officer at Hill's Pet Nutrition, said: "We believe it is particularly important to engage with millennial veterinarians – those in the early stage of their professional careers, as well as future vets still in training. They are the future of our profession and, through making this unique award and the message it gives, we aim to inspire them to contribute to the betterment of companion animals, the veterinary profession and their communities around the world."
Dr. Siraya Chunekamrai, honorary secretary of the WSAVA, said: "The WSAVA Awards are our way of celebrating outstanding work by our global colleagues as they continue to advance the care of companion animals. We are grateful to Hill's for its continuing support of the WSAVA and look forward to reviewing this year's entries for the Next Generation Award."
Candidates can nominate themselves by sending an email to by Jan. 1, 2016.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Pet food labels a hot topic in the industry

In October 2014, Blue Buffalo faced a situation of accidental mislabeling due to an issue with one of its ingredient suppliers. A Texas plant owned by Wilbur-Ellis mislabeled some ingredients sent to the company’s customers, including Blue Buffalo. Wilbur-Ellis products labeled “100% chicken meal” may have instead contained poultry by-product meal, and Blue Buffalo took to the Internet in an open letter to its customers once it found out.
Pet food labeling (and mislabeling) is still, and likely will remain, a hot topic.
A survey by Purina conducted in September 2015 showed that nearly half of dog owners surveyed agree choosing the right food for their dog is the most difficult part of pet ownership. A recent blog on by Debbie Phillips-Donaldson pointed out that “that is a lot of confused, overwhelmed dog owners, even if you don’t extrapolate the 900 participating in the online survey to the 46.3 million dog-owning households in the US.”
The blog mentions that a good starting point to helping pet owners choose the right food for their pet might be to improve pet food labels, better explaining exactly what’s in the food and how it might benefit pets. This this year, the Pet Food Institute (PFI) convened a task force to explore that concept.
Whether it’s concerns that labels may not be correct or labels that can help pet owners make better purchasing decisions, pet food labeling will remain important in today’s market.

Laroy Group acquires Europet Bernina

Continuing on its path of international expansion, Wondelgem, Belgium-based pet supplies specialist Laroy Group reached an acquisition agreement with Dutch group Europet Bernina International (EBI) on October 21, 2015. Els Laroy, Laroy Group CEO, signed the takeover documents at the EBI headquarters in Gemert, the Netherlands, accompanied by the management of both firms.
Europet Bernina, the supplier and developer of pet brands like Aqua Della, Heartfelt, EBI and D&D, with branches in the Netherlands, Germany and France, has been a steady source of innovation, creativity and reliability in the industry for many years.
Because of this agreement, the international supplier of pet products Laroy Group now employs 225 people and has a turnover of EUR65 million (US$71 million) in 62 countries across the globe. Laroy Group aims to be a very competitive and reliable partner for all pet supplies. In the important home markets Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg, and beyond. This acquisition significantly strengthens its position in The Netherlands, France and especially Germany.
The main proprietary brands of the new Laroy Group are:
  • Duvo+: Accessories and snacks for dogs, cats, birds, small animals, fish and reptiles
  • Europet Bernina – EBI: Specialty scratching posts, plastics and accessories for cats, dogs and small animals
  • Witte Molen: Manufacturer of bird- and small animal food
  • Heartfelt: Stylish cat and dog furniture
  • Aqua Della: High-end decoration items for sweet- and salt water aquariums
  • Cédé: Specialist in egg food for birds
  • D&D | Dream & Dare: Lifestyle accessories with unique design for dogs and cats
  • Coockoo: Trendy toys for dogs and cats

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Fewer dogs, more cats kept as pets in Japan

The number of dogs kept as pets in Japan has fallen 13% over five years, from almost 12 million in 2010 to just over 10 million in 2014. During the same period, the country’s human population has fallen too, but only by 0.8%. The number of cats kept as pets in Japan, however, rose nearly 4% to almost 10 million.
The survey, conducted by the Japan Pet Food Association, suggests that Japan’s housing options and quickly changing lifestyles are to blame for the decline in the number of dogs. Twenty-five percent of the survey’s respondents said they lived in a building where dogs were prohibited.
A study by the Nielsen Co. in June said Japan accounts for 6.6% of global pet food sales. Japan made up US$5.24 billion of overall retain sales in the Asia-Pacific pet care market in 2014.
In Japan, pet food made up the vast majority (72.3%) of the country’s 2014 pet care retail sales, bringing in US$3.79 billion, according to Euromonitor. Of that, US$2.05 billion (39.1% of all pet care sales) was dog food and US$1.56 billion (29.8%) was cat food. Pet products brought in another US$1.46 billion (27.9%).
Japan, in spite of claiming the largest Asia-Pacific pet care numbers, has seen stagnant and even negative pet food growth since 2009 as a mature market. Three of the four top Japan-based companies, as compiled in Petfood Industry’s Top Companies Database, each bring in more than US$100 million in revenue annually.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Pet Food Institute commends senators on biotech hearing

The Pet Food Institute (PFI) issued the following statement commending U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, ranking member of the committee:
“The Pet Food Institute would like to thank Senator Pat Roberts and Senator Debbie Stabenow for their leadership in scheduling a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry about agricultural biotechnology. In light of the disparate state and local laws governing the cultivation and labeling of food produced using biotechnology, it is time to conduct a fair, science-based nationwide assessment of the various policies pertaining to this important technological approach. PFI believes that biotechnology is a critical tool in the effort to meet the daunting challenging of producing sufficient food for a growing global population in a manner that is environmentally sustainable. Inconsistent approaches to food labeling from state to state with respect to biotechnology creates market confusion that could disrupt development of future genetically engineered food crops and would raise the cost of food for consumers and animals. We look forward to further constructive dialog to ensure that U.S. laws and policies governing biotechnology are based on science and common sense.”

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Early bird registration open for Petfood Forum 2016

Early bird registration has opened for the 24th Petfood Forum and Petfood Innovation Workshop, set to take place April 18-20, 2016, in Kansas City, Missouri, USA -- in the heart of the animal health corridor. Register now and save $220 on every full conference pass to the industry’s leading pet food manufacturing conference and exhibition.
Top 5 things to do at Petfood Forum:
  • Network and socialize with clients and industry leaders at the evening receptions, meals and coffee breaks, and the new closing night Kansas City BBQ Bash.
  • Conduct business with more than 200 leading suppliers.
  • Learn the latest research and innovative information on the global pet food market from leading, recognized industry experts.
  • Connect with 70+ locally based headquarters of animal health and pet food companies in the animal health corridor.
  • Meet prospective employees at the expanded student program with dozens of the best and brightest students studying animal nutrition, packaging and process technology programs from the leading universities in the country.
The next Petfood Innovation Workshop main theme will be announced in the near future. This unique workshop will again feature hands-on learning and activities focused on a new topic. The 2015 event sold out well in advance, so be sure and register now to save your spot, and save money. Capacity will be limited to the first 200 registrants to ensure the quality of the hands-on experience.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Pets at Home to exclusively offer Wellness products

Pet lovers nationwide are celebrating the arrival of Wellness, the independent, family-owned US brand of natural pet food, which is now available exclusively with Pets at Home.
All recipes in the Wellness range are based on the philosophy that nutrition is at the foundation of a pet’s well-being; and with more than nine million dogs and nine million cats owned and cared for across the country, the UK is a nation of pet lovers who want the best for their furry friends.
A Pets at Home study found that 42% of pet parents tell their pet they love them at least twice a day; and with our pets being seen more as family members, it is no wonder that we want to give them the best, including what they eat.
Wellness offers wholesome, healthy nutrition for dogs and cats and contains no wheat, corn, soy, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. The recipes use delicious, real foods such as deboned meats, healthy fruits and vegetables and easily digestible carbohydrates to provide the perfect balance of protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in the healthiest way. Every ingredient in Wellness’ natural food recipes is carefully chosen for its nutritional benefits providing just what our four-legged friends need for happier, healthier, longer lives.
Pets at Home will offer three Wellness ranges – CORE, Complete Health and Simple – which come in a variety of flavors in wet or dry versions and are complete and balanced for everyday health. The dog range is now available and the cat range will launch in November.
  • Wellness CORE (for dogs and cats): grain-free, higher protein recipes which feature fresh meat as the first ingredient. These protein-focused dishes include quality chicken, turkey or whitefish which help promote lean body mass while also satisfying your pet with a tasty meal.
  • Wellness CORE Chunky Centers (for dogs): savory pâté filled with hearty meat cuts including turkey, duck, lamb and tuna. These grain-free dishes are full of superfoods such as spinach, sweet potatoes and kale, ensuring each bite is packed with wholesome nutrition.
  • Wellness CORE Divine Duos (for cats): grain-free, savory pâté topped with protein-rich cuts in gravy. Dishes include hearty cuts of beef, chicken liver, tuna and salmon – balanced with nutrient-rich broccoli and carrots.
  • Wellness Complete Health (for cats): an optimal balance of natural whole foods to fulfill the unique health needs of your cat. Complete Health cat recipes help maintain a healthy body mass, overall health and vitality, optimal nutrient absorption, healthy skin and coat, and digestive health. Wellness Healthy Indulgence Morsels are complete and balanced recipes of tender morsels served in a savory gravy.
  • Wellness Small Breed Complete Health (for dogs): designed specifically for the needs of small-breed dogs with fresh meat as the first ingredient, optimal levels of protein to support higher energy needs, hip and joint support and skin and coat support. Wellness Petite Entrées are tasty casseroles featuring poultry and meats with healthy veggies. Petite Entrée recipes can be fed along with Small Breed Complete Health or exclusively as a complete and balanced meal.
  • Wellness Simple (for dogs): the first of its kind in the UK, this natural limited-ingredient dry-food diet has been created for adult dogs with food sensitivities, allergies or ingredient intolerances. These hypo-allergenic diets keep it simple with a single source of protein (lamb or salmon) and easily digestible carbohydrates, without extra fillers or additives, including no wheat, gluten, corn, soya, dairy, eggs, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
Camelle Kent, chief commercial officer at WellPet, commented: “Pet parents have a growing interest in natural food diets for their pets and we’re excited to give them even more options to choose from. It is our mission to put well-being at the core of everything we create, and to provide thoughtful nutrition choices that unite quality, taste and health. As a result, we have helped thousands of pets over the years to live healthy, happy lives. We are delighted to partner with Pets at Home and offer the Wellness range both in store and online.”
David Wainwright, head of buying at Pets at Home said: “We are extremely excited to unveil the Wellness brand exclusively in our stores nationwide. We know how important it is that our customers are able to get the best food for their pets which is why we are proud to be stocking Wellness exclusively.”