According to “Trends and Drivers Impacting the Pet Food Industry,” this trend to “humanize” our pets has been going on for some time, and can require changes in processing--more slowly to preserve textural integrity, at lower temperatures to preserve nutritional value, with more exotic ingredients, with a continued shift of packaging towards pouches to prevent the deterioration of nutrients through oxidation.
This change will result in an increase demand for fillers, FFS, and other pouch compatible primary packaging equipment.
The pet food market is broken up into four main food groups:
- Dry Food (Kibble)
- Wet Food (Pate’, Minced and Shredded, Gravies and Chunks, Morsels and Cubed)
- Treats and Snacks (Biscuits, Soft Chews, Jerky, Chews and Bones)
- Nutraceuticals (Vitamins and Minerals, Dietary, Enzymes, Probiotics)
A premium category exists for each of the food groups, offering grain-free, non-GMO, Organic and Essential Nutrients, often in flexible pouches to deliver freshness. Certainly, heavy-weight bulk bags and canned foods (for both dogs and cats) are still popular formats.
On the nutraceutical front, there is a lot of excitement for CBD products. According to the report, CBD still has not found its way into mainstream pet food suppliers’ menu offerings due to hesitation over regulations that would penalize CPGs. CBD products would require dedicated production and packaging lines, which presents an opportunity for OEMs to capitalize on the growth in equipment demand whenever CBD adoption becomes mainstream.
Consumers are interested in CBD for pet health, particularly for relief of joint pain. The internet offers many sites featuring pet health CBD supplements. Much like the human trend to take command of our own health (and avoid expensive healthcare bills and taking pills), a prime motivation for pet owners exploring CBD is to lower vet bills and avoid pharmaceutical prescriptions as much as possible.
North America is expected to hold its lock on 39 percent of the global pet food market through 2024. Africa, with only five percent of the current market, will see compound annual growth rate in sales of 14 percent, and could overtake Europe, which will only grow at four percent.
Covid 19 Update: Pet food manufacturers and retailers are on the list of essential industries expected to remain at work during the crisis. A recent Packaging World poll revealed 63% of our readers are reporting for work at the plant or office, while 27% are working from home.
Pet food producers using locally sourced ingredients may have an advantage over manufacturers who rely on ingredients from overseas, as the virus stretches supply chain integrity.
This reporter’s local family vet reports a brisk business with existing customers, as well as many new families acquiring their first pets. Forced to stay at home, families see a perfect opportunity for training and bonding with a new pet during the crisis, providing some of the much-needed joy that pets can bring.
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