Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 4

4 | www.PetfoodIndustry.com

SOMETHING TO CHEW ON
Debbie Phillips-Donaldson

Should consumer demands
always dictate pet food's path?
Pet food is a consumer good, and
increasingly, the most important word
in that category name has become
"consumer." To wit: "We're used to
thinking retailer first and not consumer
first, and we need to shift," said
Nathan Marafioti, group director of
Consumers are
e-commerce for Nestlé Purina North
in charge, but
America, during a Petfood Forum 2019
should pet food
panel discussion on changes in pet
companies always
food retailing and human food trends (https://bit.ly/2IFvfye).
follow their
Consumer demands are a major force in pet food product developdemands? iStockPhoto.
ment, too. Those demands often stem from humanization of pets, and
com | Halfpoint
some industry experts believe it can go too far (https://bit.ly/2WjIms1).
During another Petfood Forum discussion addressing science vs.
marketing, all the panelists agreed that, while human food trends have driven pet food
product development for some time, what's good for humans isn't always good for dogs
and cats. "I always start by telling my clients: remember, dogs and cats are not little people.
They are animals," said Serge Boutet, owner of SB Nutrinnov Consultants.
It all comes down to the need to better educate consumers about pet food and nutrition,
the panelists said. This picked up on a theme set by keynote speaker Katy Nelson, DVM,
host and executive producer of "The Pet Show with Dr. Katy" and associate veterinarian at
the Belle Haven Animal Medical Centre in Alexandria, Virginia, USA.
She challenged the industry to stop catering to pet food trends and consumer demands.
"We need to stop giving people what they think they want; start educating them and
telling them what their pets need," she said. "Do the research, please, and release it! Help
vets, too; they crave real, solid information, and so do pet owners. If they don't get it from
vets or pet food companies, they go to Dr. Google. Vets can be pet food companies' biggest
ally, but they need the research."
Nelson also took issue with the prevailing perception that most vets don't receive
much education or a strong background in pet nutrition. Perhaps she represents a new
vanguard of vets who believe strongly in it and are trying to educate themselves and share
that knowledge with their clients. If that is the case, this may indeed present a significant
opportunity for pet food companies to collaborate with vets on educating consumers. ■

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Debbie Phillips-Donaldson is editor-in-chief of Petfood Industry magazine.
Email her at dphillips@wattglobal.com.

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Petfood Industry - July 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Petfood Industry - July 2019

Petfood Industry - July 2019
Contents
Should consumer demands always dictate pet food’s path?
Speaking of…
News and Calendar
Lucky & Prince: Human-grade pet food at accessible prices
3 considerations of pet food facility safety
E-commerce: A growing pet product purchasing channel
5 free-from claims top sales in US pet food market
Guide to Petfood Forum China 2019
Pet chew net content declarations: Is count sufficient?
Titanium dioxide: A whitener with broad application
Taking a page from pet supplements
New Products
Marketplace
Advertiser’s Index
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - CT1
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - CT2
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - Petfood Industry - July 2019
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - Cover1a
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - Cover1b
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - Cover2
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 1
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - Contents
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 3
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - Should consumer demands always dictate pet food’s path?
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 5
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - Speaking of…
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 7
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - News and Calendar
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 9
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - Lucky & Prince: Human-grade pet food at accessible prices
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 11
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 12
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 13
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 3 considerations of pet food facility safety
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 15
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 16
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 17
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - E-commerce: A growing pet product purchasing channel
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 19
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 20
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 21
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 5 free-from claims top sales in US pet food market
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 23
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 24
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 25
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - Guide to Petfood Forum China 2019
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 27
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 28
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 29
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - Pet chew net content declarations: Is count sufficient?
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 31
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 32
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 33
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - Titanium dioxide: A whitener with broad application
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 35
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 36
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 37
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - Taking a page from pet supplements
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 39
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 40
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - New Products
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 42
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 43
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 44
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 45
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 46
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 47
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - Marketplace
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - 49
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - Advertiser’s Index
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - Cover3
Petfood Industry - July 2019 - Cover4
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