Top 10 Most Read Pet Food Stories of 2021

KANSAS CITY, MO. — The general consensus among pet industry experts and market researchers is that pet ownership and purchase behaviors have been forever altered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite a dynamic and challenging supply chain environment, retail disruptions amid the acceleration of e-commerce and omnichannel options, tight labor markets and myriad other hurdles, the industry continues to grow. Emerging products and formats that support a continued move towards humanization and premiumization are fueling the market. Sales of dog and cat food alone are expected to reach $37.1 billion in 2021, up 6.4% from 2020, according to Packaged Facts.

Throughout 2021, Pet food processing covered over 100 new product launches, a significant number of investments and private equity acquisitions, news and innovations from pet startups and seasoned companies, transformative product trends, journeys and sustainability achievements, updates on the changing retail landscape, and everything in between. .

Here are our 10 most read articles of 2021:

‘Crumbling Infrastructure’ and Other Supply Chain Issues Affecting US Pet Food Makers

In June, the Pet Food Institute (PFI) submitted public comments to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) detailing supply chain constraints faced by pet food and treat manufacturers, including including those exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The association highlighted several transportation and supply chain infrastructure issues, price inflation of key ingredients, extended delivery times for equipment and how the interconnected nature of industry relationships pet food with other U.S. markets caused supply shortages and other disruptions in 2020 that continued into 2021.


Martha Stewart launches CBD dog treats

The lucrative pet treats market presents an attractive opportunity for human food brands looking to expand their portfolios to include feline and canine companions. Another notable trend shaping the pet treats market is the incorporation of hemp and CBD ingredients to provide functional benefits.

Between the lines of these two trends emerged Martha Stewart’s collection of CBD-infused dog treats, adding to her empire of lifestyle and pet products. Stewart has teamed up with Bob Menardi, DVM, Director of Veterinary Technical and Educational Services at Canopy animal scienceto develop products.


Blue Buffalo launches wet cat food portfolio to replace Healthy Gourmet line

In March, Blue Buffalo announced the official release of its latest wet cat food portfolio, BLUE Tastefuls™. The new line will replace the treat brand’s premium pet food and Healthy Gourmet products, becoming Blue Buffalo’s new wet cat food offering. BLUE Tastefuls is currently available in three formats: BLUE Tastefuls Pâtés, Flocked Entrees and Tender Pieces.

The company cited a growing market for value-added pet food products, including those that focus on general health and well-being, daily hydration and mealtime variety, such as his reasoning behind refreshing wet cat food.


Update: ‘No causal link’ established between UK cat food recall and pancytopenia cases

In June, the Royal Veterinary College (RCV) began investigating a rise in the number of cats showing symptoms of pancytopenia, a blood cell deficiency, which was initially linked to a producer of hypoallergenic cat food in the UK . In September, the UK Food Standards Agency released an update to the survey. Extensive tests of the hypoallergenic cat food producer in question revealed that there was “no causal link between pancytopenia and the recalled cat food products”. The investigation is ongoing.


92% of Large Breed Dog Owners Don’t Know When to Stop Puppy Food, Purina Reports

In a survey published at the end of August, Nestle Purina PetCare highlighted discrepancies and misunderstandings among pet owners when it comes to buying and feeding puppy formula, showing that many pet owners are unaware that the maturity of dogs varies by puppy size. the race.

According to Purina, pand owners are more likely to determine an appropriate diet based on their dog’s size (46%), but don’t consider breed differences and their effects on size and development. This represents an opportunity for manufacturers to help pet owners better understand age-appropriate formulations through product marketing and education.


Target launches pet nutrition brand, Kindfull

In mid-August, Target launched its new private label pet food portfolio in stores and online. The leading general merchandise retailer now sells more than 50 dry and wet dog and cat food diets, pet treats and meal garnish products.

The line reflects several industry-wide trends, including the use of farm-raised beef and wild-caught fish, recyclable packaging for many products in the line, and offering high-end nutritional products at affordable prices.


Tyson’s pet treat business sold to General Mills for $1.2 billion

In May, General Mills announced its intention to acquire the pet products business of Tyson Foods, Inc., including his Thumbs up, Best Chews and True Chews brands – for $1.2 billion. The deal also included the sale of Tyson’s manufacturing facility in Independence, Iowa. The two companies completed the acquisition in July, and General Mills said in its second-quarter earnings call that former Tyson pet treat brands had already started to pay off in terms of sales.


Bobby Flay is launching a brand of cat food inspired by his own feline companion, Nacho

In April, Bobby Flay and his Maine Coon cat companion, Nacho, launched their cat food portfolio focused on providing great-tasting, high-quality foods for modern felines.

The new line, Made by Nacho, is the result of two years of development, testing and recipe tasting. The products were inspired by culinary and feline experts. Bobby Flay, an American celebrity chef, worked with Katja Lang, DVM and Veterinary Consultant at Made by Nacho, to design a complete and balanced line of tasty and nutritious cat diets.


Mars Petcare UK to launch first 100% insect-based cat food

At the beginning of April, Mars Petcare announced the upcoming launch of its first 100% insect-based cat food formulas exclusively in the UK. The brand, Lovebugdoes not contain any traditional protein sources such as beef or poultry ingredients.

This breakthrough cat nutrition solution is trending with the rise of insect protein processors and pet food and treat companies embracing the protein alternative to more sustainably feed the population. growing number of pets around the world.


Kinderhook acquires Primal Pet Foods and combines its pet portfolio to create Primal Pet Group

In August, Primal Pet Food, a Fairfield, Calif.-based producer of pet foods, treats and supplements, announced that it has been acquired by private investment firm Kinderhook Industries, LLC. Kinderhook currently owns Prairie Dog Pet Products, Himalayan and Holistic Hound, and plans to combine the four brands under the new name, Primal Pet Group.

Honorable Mention

Walmart launches private label ‘super premium’ pet food

In early May, Walmart announced the launch of several veterinarian-formulated pet food products under its private label Pure Balance. The new products, PRO+, include four formulas for cats and five formulas for dogs.

Emerging Trends in Pet Food Labeling Lawsuits

Over the past 10 years, the number of individual claims and class action lawsuits based on allegations of mislabeling has steadily increased. The types of lawsuits vary widely, from those based on certain words used on labels such as “natural” and “real”, to the declared origin of ingredients, and even disputes over images used on food labels. . This article discusses the types of lawsuits that are occurring more frequently, as well as trends that seem to be developing in the way courts deal with these lawsuits.

Online retailers dominate the emerging pet e-commerce market

Online sales of pet products now account for 30% of the total market, according to market research firm Packaged Facts, a number that notably increased by just 8% in 2015, accelerated by changing consumer preferences. pet owners and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

A few companies stand out in this rapidly growing retail category, including purely online platforms as well as brick-and-mortar stores that have added strong online ordering capabilities in recent years. However, purely online retailers continue to dominate this space.

State of the Industry 2021

Our annual state of the industry reports have been widely read and shared in the pet food processing industry since the inauguration of Pet food processing in 2018. To date, our first 2018 State of the Industry Report is our #4 most read article ever. Read our latest State of the Industry report by clicking the button below.

Find our top 10 articles of 2020 here and stay up to date with the latest news from the pet food and treats industry on our homepage.

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