PET Food Processing - March 2018 - 83


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Packaging innovations for pet food and treats reflect
high expectations among pet 'parents.'
By Lynn Petrak |


For today's pet owners, the idea of just setting out a
nondescript bowl of kibble or canned food for their
dog or cat or shopping for pet food without much of
a look at the package is becoming a rarity. If the human food marketplace is driven by trends like health,
nutrition, transparency, convenience and frequent
snacking, so, too, is the pet food arena, evident in everything from paleo-centric diets to boldly designed,
innovative packaging.
Those in both the pet food processing and packaging businesses say human food and pet food trends
are tracking together in a number of ways, in what is
increasingly a "consumer's consumer" marketplace.
"Interest in human nutrition and health has a parallel interest in this category, which has spiked," reports Matt Koss, founder and president of Primal Pet
Foods, Fairfield, California.
Greg Jacob, general manager at Cincinnati-based
Allpax, a product brand of ProMach, agrees. "In general, pet food is moving closer and closer to the same
ingredients and value as human food. Freshness is becoming important, and you're seeing things like vitamins and real chicken breast," he remarks.
On the packaging side, Jacob sees overlapping
human-pet drivers. "Most of the packaging now is
geared toward convenience, with smaller serving sizes

and bowls becoming more popular, along with easyto-open containers," he says.
Lori Gobris, market manager for Bemis Co., Inc.,
Neenah, Wisconsin, notes that the trust factor is key
for relationships between pet brands and pet owners.
"All of the same qualities that consumers are looking
for in their own food packaging, from product protection to on-shelf appeal, definitely translate into the
food they feed their pets," she notes.
While the millennial generation has proven to set
trends in the general market, demand for fresh/raw
pet food and for a wider range of pet treats is broader.
"The interest in high-quality pet food spans every demographic and every population group. I'd say there
is a broad swath of consumers who have been feeding
traditional pet food for a long time and are deciding
it's time to make a change," Koss observes.
Market research underscores the growing diversity
of the pet food market. Pet food sales topped the $26
billion mark in 2017, according to market research
firm Packaged Facts. In its most recent report on "Pet
Food in the U.S.," the firm highlights other trends,
including pet food geared toward preventative health
care, functional pet foods, "ancestral" ingredients and
pet foods like raw and dehydrated items that can be
used in combination with other homemade foods.

Bone broth is
commonly used to
rehydrate freeze-dried
pet food. This parallels
a growing popularity
of bone broth in the
human food market.
Primal Pet Foods | March 2018 | PET FOOD PROCESSING


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