PET Food Processing - March 2018 - 11




As more pet food and treat products mirror pet owners'
belief systems, where do pet preferences fit in?
By Jennifer Semple |


Pet food and pet treat processors face a daunting marketing challenge today: How to offer the high-quality ingredients and formulas in a variety of convenient packaging options that today's pet owners want while making
sure the product meets the nutritional needs and acceptance of the pet. Finding that balance is the key to success in this market.
Humanization of the pet is expanding into the humanization of pet food. Many humans connect and bond
with, and through, food. "As pet parents project human
feelings onto their pets, they adopt a more conscious responsibility for the pet's health and happiness, including
the pet's feeding enjoyment," says Debra Williams, category manager, AFB International, St. Charles, Missouri. Pets
live longer, healthier and happier lives now than they ever
have before, according to the 2016 "State of Pet Health"
report from Banfield Pet Hospital. With pet owners paying more attention to their furry family members, they
push the industry to offer better products for the animals
consuming the food.

According to the American Pet Products Association
(APPA) National Pet Owners Survey, 68% of US households own a pet. Dog owners spend an average of
$307 annually on dog food and treats and cat owners
spend $291 per year on cat food and treats. American
Nutrition, Inc. surveyed consumers in 2017 and participants said they would increase their dog food spending by 12.2% if presented with a compelling reason or
pressing need to do so. Market research firm Gfk estimates that the average price per pound of pet food or
pet treats has risen 39% from $1.84 in 2011 to $2.55
in 2015 and the total dog and cat population in North
America is 178 million.
"The trends are showing that not only are there more
dogs and cats in households than ever before, but that
consumer spending has continued to increase on pets as
well," shares Kamie Eckert, president, Royal Canin USA,
St. Charles, Missouri. "People are viewing their pets as
members of their households, and as such, treat them
like any other family member. They are willing to spend

Pet owners' belief
systems drive
trends in pet food
©happy_lark - | March 2018 | PET FOOD PROCESSING


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