by John McMillan
I attended the Petfood Forum this month to connect with top global pet food manufacturers and suppliers and learn more about what’s trending in the market. Much like trends in the human food industry, the pet food space is experiencing the same seismic shifts driven by younger generations. Consumer demand for sustainability, responsibly sourced products and natural ingredients were trends that dominated this show.
Read on as I dive into these pet food trends and the impact they have on ingredient suppliers.
At the show, I saw that consumer interest in responsibly sourced products was carrying over into their pet food purchases. Pet owners want sustainable ingredients and environmentally friendly packaging. Additionally, consumers demand for transparency is driving automation and traceability in pet food manufacturing.
Ingredient suppliers should be transparent about their sourcing and commitment to sustainability. 90% of B2B purchasers start their buying journey with an online search, which means an ingredient company’s website needs to clearly communicate its sustainability story and transparency efforts.
Alternative protein sources
Insect protein is an ingredient that gained attention at this year’s Petfood Forum. It continues to grow in popularity and gain acceptance from North American consumers for use in pet food. There were several exhibitors at the event, including Enterra, showcasing insect protein solutions. Looking ahead, insects may play a key role in the pet food industry for providing necessary nutrients while minimizing environmental impact.
Now is the time for suppliers to embrace innovative ingredient sources and approach food manufacturers with solutions that line up with the growing exposure of alternative ingredients.
The focus on nutrition was everywhere, emphasizing the consumer demand for wanting the best food for their pets. Protein content, omega-3, prebiotics and postbiotics were all ingredients featured in pet food formulations. This opens the door to functional ingredient suppliers that typically do business within the human food industry to consider whether expanding into supplying for the pet food market could be a smart move for them.
If you’re interested in talking marketing strategy for your ingredients, I’d love to chat!