Petfood Industry - January 2018 - 24
24 | www.PetfoodIndustry.com
➥3 PET FOOD TRENDS THAT CONTINUE TO REDEFINE THE INDUSTRY
The 'clean' movement: pet food
labeling and ingredients
"Clean label" is a trend in the human food and pet
food segments, though what exactly the trend implies
continues to change as it brings more attention to
"'Clean label' has no singular definition," said
Patrick Luchsinger, marketing manager, nutrition
and pet food for Ingredion Inc. "It can mean different
things to different consumers - overall it can mean
'pure', 'simple', 'non-GMO' and 'unadulterated' as
consumers want to know exactly what is in their food.
They want the same for their four-pawed companions,
What will the pet food industry
look like in 20 years?
and I expect the pet food segment to be influenced by
the 'clean label' trend in the human food segment."
Packaged Facts trends analysis bears this idea
out. "The consumer demand for 'clean label' that's
storming the food industry will continue to cross over
into pet food and treats, as consumers increasingly see
pet food as food that's for pets, rather than as a takenon-faith packaged product," said David Sprinkle,
research director for Packaged Facts.
And while ingredients are the most straightforward way to present a "clean label" to customers,
the desires behind the trend are more complex than
a simple need for simplicity (and its links, however
philosophical, to the idea of "clean"). According to
the Kerry Health and Nutrition Institute, "clean" not
only implies an easy-to-understand ingredient label
in consumer minds, but also embodies the ideas of
transparency, accountability and sustainability. So,
it's no surprise that these ideas come up as other
trends the pet food industry expects to see in 2018.
Transparent and accountable:
Customers keeping an eagle eye on
pet food practices
"Ingredient sourcing, transparent labeling and,
most importantly, ingredient quality are primary
consumer concerns necessary for pet food," said Juan
Gomez, global director with Alltech. And as if that all
wasn't enough to focus on, customers are also paying
attention to pet food manufacturers themselves.
"Social, environmental and ethical responsibility:
These are key aspects that consumers expect from
businesses and brands," said Gomez. "It is a message
to corporations that consumers not only want safe
and nutritious foods, they also want environmentally
friendly and sustainable products."
The transparency trend isn't new, but it is getting
more complicated to navigate, and presents real
challenges to the pet food industry. "Although not a
new trend but certainly more visible now, I see that
an increasing number of companies in our industry
struggle with transparency," said Marcel Blok, owner
of Change Stranamics BV. "On the one hand, they
know and understand that consumers want and
expect more openness. On the other hand, this
openness is not seen by manufacturers to be in their
interest. All in all, it's a tough balancing act that does
not necessarily enhance credibility."
To customers, transparent also means approachable, according to Mitin Rathod, global segment
strategy and marketing lead for Sensient Technologies
Corp., adding yet another layer to the trend. "Fueled
by aging pet parents and health-conscious millennials,
who both now form a significant growth pool in the
pet industry globally, 'approachable' health claims and
'transparent' brand positioning are the two important
trends that are here to stay," he said.
The Pet Food Institute (PFI) has seen the transparency trend grow, and believes the pet food industry
Should focus on opportunities as well as challenges.
"While trends in specific diet types, ingredients or
nutritional philosophy will continue to emerge, PFI
sees an overarching and perennial expectation for
transparency that will continue to play a significant