In recent years, consumer expectation within the pet food arena reflects a desire for humanized products offering potential health benefits. Today’s discerning and environmentally-aware consumer is seeking the use of functional ingredients—some of which are also seen in human nutrition—along with a commitment to safety and sustainability.
While consumer demand is an important driver, fundamental approaches to pet food innovation are based on the understanding of nutrient requirements, aspects of feeding management throughout stages of life, nutrient dynamics among breeds, and nutrient support during periods of health disorders. The free Report, “Product Development – Bringing Science to the Table," explores the connection between consumer influence, the introduction of novel technologies and ingredients, and the next generation of nutritional engineering. Author Roger Clemens, DrPH, CFS, CNS, FIFT, FACN, FIAFST, chief scientific officer at Horn, contends the systems-based approach will benefit pets worldwide.
The pet supplements and nutraceutical treats category includes an array of high-growth segments with alternative administration formats—such as chewable tablets or soft chews, gels, pastes, liquids, powders, sprays and pet food toppers—as well as full-fledged “functional food" treats; natural and organic products; senior and other health-, age-, stage-specific products; and unique and possibly proprietary ingredients that should appeal to the changing demographics and most discriminating pet owner. Some of the more popular and possibly holistic ingredients in the emerging natural and organic environments with veterinary endorsements include glucosamine, fish oil, probiotics, multivitamins, lysine, milk thistle, S-adenosyl methionine, digestive enzymes, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and glutathione with and without whey protein.
Surveys indicate older consumers tend to adopt older companion animals—a union representing the most rapidly growing population segment globally, as well as an opportunity for developing targeted goods. Innovative consumable pet products include those that help maintain gut health, bone and joint health, immune health, and energy and nutrient utilization. For more information on these product-development trends, download the free report from SupplySide Animal Nutrition Insights.