Thursday, December 31, 2015

Carnivore Meat Co. receives FSSC 22000

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

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Prins wins Best Product of the Year award

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

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Simmons Feed Ingredients breaks ground on Arkansas facility

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

Monday, December 28, 2015

Blue Buffalo settles class action lawsuit over ingredients

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

Friday, December 25, 2015

Cargill acquires feed formulation software company

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

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Geelen Counterflow signs on to Paris Pledge For Action

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

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Packaging purchases driven by service attributes

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

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

AFIA makes headway in regulatory compliance

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

Monday, December 21, 2015

Petfood Forum 2016 announces speakers and topics

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

Friday, December 18, 2015

Purina: Nearly half of millennials are cat owners

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

Thursday, December 17, 2015

RECALL:Nutro dog treats recalled for potential mold

Apple Chewy dog treats were sold at PetSmart 

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

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Central Garden & Pet earnings better than expected

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

Previous quarter

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

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

RECALL: Bravo recalls Chicken Blend diet for dogs and cats

Additional items recalled out of abundance of caution

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

Monday, December 14, 2015

1,150 companies registered so far for Interzoo

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

Friday, December 11, 2015

ProAmpac to acquire Coating Excellence International

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

Thursday, December 10, 2015

New report examines trends in pet product packaging

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

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

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

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

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Global pet food packaging market to grow 8% to 2020

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

Market overview of pet food packaging

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

Competitive landscape and key vendors

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

Key questions answered in the report

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

Monday, December 7, 2015

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

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

Friday, December 4, 2015

Nestle discovers slave labor used in its supply chains

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

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Patriot 5 Star looking for most patriotic dog in America

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

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Petco to be acquired in US$4.6 billion deal

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

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

RECALL: Blue Buffalo recalls Cub Size Wilderness Wild Chews Bones

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

Wellness Natural, HSUS team up on Giving Tuesday

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

Cargill’s Empyreal product receives safety certification

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