PET Food Processing - June 2018 - 8

OFF THE LEASH

Flexibility
is fetching
Apparently in the good old days around 2011, pet food processors could sit back and wait to see which human food
trends were crossing over into the pet food arena. That process, according to research by Mars Petcare, took five to seven
years on average, and processors could spend that time evaluating how eagerly those pet food trends were being received
by pet owners and which trends they, as processors, would
address. An example provided by Eric Huston, marketing
director, natural dry dog business, Mars Pet Nutrition North
America, Franklin, Tennessee, at the 2018 Global Pet Expo is
the grain-free trend.
In 2011, grain-free products accounted for 0.1% of sales in
mass markets. In 2017, 20% of sales in the mass market were
grain-free. So, grain-free became a half-billion-dollar sub-category in just six years. What Huston shared at the conference
is that Mars Petcare is now seeing this journey from human
food trend to mass market pet food trend happening in 1¬Ĺ to
two years. That doesn't give companies much time to prepare
or much time to evaluate which trend is getting a strong, sustainable foothold or if it is more of a passing fad.
Staying relevant in an industry that is changing so rapidly
is a daunting challenge. Many of the processors I've spoken
with or had the pleasure of visiting identify flexibility as the
driving factor in equipment purchasing decisions. Yes, processors are adding capabilities to address new trends, but flexibility to respond as those trends come and then sometimes
go is more the focus. Flexibility to cover the spectrum of
batch sizes, package sizes, processing capabilities and ingredients is the goal; the more flexible the better.
As trends emerge more rapidly and speed to market may
dictate success or failure, it's getting increasingly challenging to evaluate what's coming and respond. The confidence
to adapt seems to come not from what trend is quickly approaching but from the strength
in
longstanding
relationships.
Relationships with customers, distributors, co-manufacturers or suppliers
are invariably identified as the reason
a company could confidently increase
capacity or capabilities. Companies
with confidence in these collaborations
make swift decisions and are agile enough to respond. For pet
food processors, relationships built over time seem to be the
secret to being quick and nimble in the face of rapid change.
Jennifer Semple, Editor | jsemple@sosland.com

8

PET FOOD PROCESSING | June 2018 | www.petfoodprocessing.net

PET food
PROCESSING

EDITORIAL
Pet Food Processing Editor
Baking & Snack Editor
MEAT+POULTRY Editor
Contributing Editors:

Jennifer Semple
Joanie Spencer
Joel Crews
Nico Roesler
Kimberlie Clyma
Donna Berry
Lynn Petrak

PUBLISHING STAFF
Publisher
Publisher MEAT+POULTRY
Publisher Baking & Snack
Publisher World Grain
Publisher Food Business News and
Milling & Baking News
Associate Publisher
Associate Publisher
Associate Publisher
Associate Publisher
Sales Manager World Grain
Sales Associate
Director of Audience Development
Audience Development Manager
Audience Development Specialist
Director of Digital Media
Digital Advertising Manager
Advertising Manager
Advertising Assistant Manager
Advertising Coordinator
Design Services Manager
Design Services Assistant Manager
Production Specialist
Senior Design Consultant
Graphic Designer
Promotions Manager
Promotions Media Designer
Sales Coordinator

Steve Berne
Dave Crost
Paul Lattan
Dan Flavin
Mike Gude
David DePaul
Matt O'Shea
Bruce Webster
Troy Ashby
Adam Ungashick
James Boddicker
Michael Barbee
Kay Hudspeth
Molly Brown
Jon Hall
Carrie Fluegge
Nora Wages
Erica Reyes
Brittany Crisp
Sadowna Conarroe
Ryan Alcantara
Marj Potts
Becky White
Brian Peterman
Jim White
Abby Chronister
Whitney Hartman

CORPORATE
Chairman and CEO
President
Chief Financial and
Administrative Officer
Director of Operations

Charles S. Sosland
L. Joshua Sosland
Staci Greco
Meyer Sosland

Corporate Headquarters
4801 Main St., Suite 650, Kansas City, MO 64112
Phone: (816) 756-1000; Fax: (816) 756-0494
E-mail: PetFoodProcessing@sosland.com
Internet: www.petfoodprocessing.net

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

http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_06_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_03_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_12_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_09_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_06_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_03_01
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