PET Food Processing - March 2018 - 86


Wet pet food packaged in chubs is
gaining in popularity
for fresh, frozen, pasteurized and sterilized

Just rewards
Pet treats also reflect the trends toward natural, transparent and convenient products. Accordingly, packaging formats for treats and snacks have become more
visually graphic and convenience-oriented.
"The pet treat segment brings its own set of requirements that can differ from either dry or wet pet food,"
points out Gobris, citing some examples. "Treats are
typically in smaller stand-up pouches with recloseable
features. Clear windows that allow consumers to see the
treats are very common. Packaging functionality often
needs to include barrier properties and higher puncture
resistance as the form of the treat itself, like bones or
jerky, can provide more of a challenge to protect package integrity. The premium nature of treats that appeals
to pet owners' desire to indulge their pet is often shown
on treat packages through the use of premium inks and
coatings to appeal to the eye and the touch."
Jacob, for his part, points to the variety in treat for-

mats. "It used to be a box of bones, and now, there is
a tremendous variety of treats for pets. Popular features for treats include easy opening and overcaps," he
says. The package type for pet treats often depends on
the pH level: if a product falls into a certain range, it
needs to be in a retorted package, he adds.
As they work with different products and formats, packaging suppliers are increasingly building flexibility into
their materials and machines. At Allpax, Jacob notes the
company is building dual mode systems. "A pet food company may be doing cans today, but may move into pouches
later," he says of the flexible equipment that allows for
changeover and "future proofing."
High-speed packaging equipment is also in demand. "Processors are looking for higher speeds and
flexibility, because it's a very dynamic marketplace.
Processors are trying to position themselves to react
quickly to marketplace demands," Jacob remarks.
"Raw formulas represent only 2% of the entire pet food
category, so if you think of it as bringing people over the
line, the pool of potential growth is massive," points out
Koss. Across innovations in product, packaging and manufacturing equipment, it's no longer business as usual in pet
food processing. PFP

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