PET Food Processing - March 2018 - 84


"In general, pet food is moving closer
and closer to the same ingredients
and value as human food."
Greg Jacob, Allpax

Refrigerated pet food sales have topped $92 million, according to GfK, a segment that includes
bagged foods, chubs and food rolls. Wet pet food,
packaged in sausage-shaped chubs and rolls on automatic clipping and sealing equipment from companies like Chicago-based, Poly-clip System are gaining in popularity and driving the availability of fresh,
frozen, pasteurized and sterilized products on the
market. The affordability of automatic clipping and
sealing packaging equipment makes it possible for
pet food processors of all sizes to bring a new product
onto the market. According to market research firm
Nielsen, consumers are open to different pet food
forms, including fruit and vegetable chews, nutrition
powders and soups and stews.

Cool chubs and broth trends

Freshpet is a category
innovator in fresh pet
food, with a variety
of chilled natural pet
foods packaged in
various forms.


Freshpet Inc., Secaucus, New Jersey, is a category innovator in fresh pet food, with a variety of chilled natural
pet foods packaged in various forms, from chubs to resealable bags to lidded containers. As part of its line of
refrigerated meals, baked recipes and "Deli Fresh" items
sold in retail stores and pet stores around the country,
Freshpet has created distinct recipes like slice-and-serve
rolls of grain-free salmon and ocean whitefish with spinach, cranberries and blueberries for dogs. Recently, the


company introduced Select Cat Cups, with cat meals
packaged in resealable containers.
Another brand with a focus on fresh is Farmers
Market, a natural pet food line from Australia-based
Real Pet Food Co. The Farmers Market brand includes offerings like a roasted chicken and vegetable
stew pouch (sold in a stand-up, easy-to-open windowed pouch) and chub packs of fresh meals, such
as gourmet chicken with brown rice and vegetables.
Following the ready-meal trend in the human marketplace, Farmers Market also has developed fresh meal
solutions for pets with eight, conveniently packaged,
4-oz. pouches per carton.
Those companies that provide packaging solutions
for fresh pet foods say the segment is one to watch.
"This is a small but fast-growing segment of the pet
food market that we have participated in with its own
unique needs for packaging," Gobris says. "Flexible
lidding for cups with our EZ Peel technology, as well
as chub film for fresh pet food serve-and-slice rolls
are some of the solutions that we have provided into
this segment."
Beyond fresh, there are other new product types
making a mark in the pet food sector, including broth.
Nature's Logic, Lincoln, Nebraska, has added natural
bone broth powders in chicken, beef, turkey and pork
flavors, available in 6-oz., 12-oz. and 2-lb. containers.
The Primal brand recently unveiled a new bone
broth, which fits the mindset of how today's consumers are thinking about pet foods. "It's like a stock
that rehydrates our freeze-dried food. Rehydration is
critical for dogs and cats, because canines and felines
don't get hydration from water - they get it from the
meat they consume - their prey. And this is a natural
way to do that," Koss explains. "Again, there is a whole
movement in the human world on bone broth and
this is a parallel trend we're running."
Today's wet dog foods also fall in line with consumer demand for packaging and products that meet
their lifestyles. For example, the Blue Buffalo Co.,
Wilton, Connecticut, has added a "Trail Trays" line to
its BLUE Wilderness line featuring single servings in
varieties like Duck Grill, Chicken Grill, Turkey Grill
and Beef Grill.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PET Food Processing - March 2018