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WSAVA, Part 2: Animal feed recommendations are now guidelines

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wsava, part 2: animal feed recommendations are now guidelines

On April 26, 2021, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) issued a press release (albeit very quietly) informing veterinarians that their Global Nutrition Committee (GNC) was its Choosing a Pet Food “. It appears that the WSAVA has updated its document in accordance with my article “WSAVA Recommendations on Pet Food: Useful or Useless?”. although some problems still persist.

These much-needed updates are interesting when you consider that the WSAVA stated in its press release: “The work of the GNC is generously supported by the Purina Institute, Hill’s Pet Nutrition and Royal Canin.

“WSAVA represents more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide through its 115 member associations and is working to improve the standards of clinical care for pets,” said the press release.

Recommendations versus guidelines

Those of us familiar with the 2013 WSAVA tool will remember that the title had the word “Recommendations”. In the last update this word was replaced by “guidelines”.

To some this change may seem insignificant; however, it is essential as guidelines contain instructions, non-specific rules and advice to direct an action or behavior (in this case, the selection of pet food). Recommendations, on the other hand, are generally viewed as approvals, especially from a relevant person or entity like the WSAVA (i.e. feed only those food stamps). This can be seen in the fact that many veterinarians and consumers interpreted the previous version of the Pet Food Selection Recommendations to mean that “only companies X, Y and Z are recommended by the WSAVA”.

Now the guidelines are written in a format that asks, “Is this company doing these things?” That is far from a food recommendation, in fact. WSAVA even goes a step further by stating at the bottom of the page: “If the manufacturer cannot or does not want to provide this information, veterinarians and owners should be careful when feeding this brand.”

Does the pet food company employ a nutritionist?

In honor of the WSAVA, they have tried to update the “What to Look For in a Brand” section with guidelines for veterinarians to help them make the right decisions and, more importantly, how to ask the right questions. Unfortunately there is still evidence of generous support from WSAVA sponsors.

For example, the first question – “Do you employ a nutritionist?” – should be deleted entirely. For the purposes of this discussion, I will focus on specifying the correct qualifications. What many people (including WSAVA) don’t know is that there are only 96 American College of Veterinary Nutrition certified veterinarians. Of these 96, 83% work in science, in veterinary practices or as consultants. That means 16 work for pet food companies.

If you take a closer look at these 16 specialist veterinarians who work for pet food companies, only two work in “discovery” (i.e. research and development) and one is global vice president of research and development. The rest works in marketing, communication or regulation (one person). Crazy, right? I wonder if WSAVA knew that when you asked the question?

The reality is that the mere question of whether the company employs a nutritionist can lead people down the wrong path in decision-making, as that nutritionist may never actually be involved in the formulation or evaluation of the product. Here, truth by omission can be used to mislead people into wrongly following the guidelines. If someone is board certified or has a Ph.D. in animal nutrition, the company can still say, “We have a full-time certified animal nutritionist on the staff.” The same goes for a board-certified nutritionist for scientific matters, veterinary communications, consumer relations, academic and professional matters and regulation.

There is nothing wrong with where these people work in the company; however, this is not the intention of the question (s) and is also not transparent. It means that none of these board certified individuals touches the formulations in the marketplace or their employment validates any or all of their formulations.

What WSAVA did right

In short, the WSAVA section “Who formulates the diet?” Addresses what was completely missing in the 2013 recommendations and what they couldn’t improve in this update (do you employ a nutritionist?). In this section, WSAVA addresses the question that really matters: who formulated your meal and what are its references? They recognize the need to not only have references, but the importance of having the right experience. Anyone can create a pet food formulation; however, not everyone can scale the interactions of ingredients, processing losses, the effects of shelf life, and most importantly, bioavailability.

In the “What to look for on the label?” Section, WSAVA does a good job of pointing out important aspects of the pet food label and is largely correct. Unfortunately, I think WSAVA can raise the standard for the question “How many calories are in a cup?” Feature. For professionals among us, we know that the modified Atwater calculation in dogs and cats to determine metabolizable energy (ME, in kcal / kg) has never really been validated. In fact, this method has been shown to fail to predict actual kcal / kg, leading to overfeeding of dogs and cats (contributing to the obesity epidemic). So this reinforces what I said in my previous article about the need to provide actual digestibility values ​​for each individual food item. In this way, the calorie content of food is determined via the tested ME compared to the calculated ME.

Last but not least, I am pleased to see that the WSAVA is starting to speak of a “typical nutrient analysis” for a food. A typical nutrient analysis is an actual analysis of the finished end product versus a predicted analysis (i.e. via formulation software) that most pet food companies offer. The fact is that the final formulations of most of the pet foods on the market have never been tested to prove their nutritional adequacy.

Again, I believe this is an opportunity for WSAVA to raise the bar and ask if a typical nutrient analysis is available for ALL foods a pet food company produces and if the analysis is accessible. I don’t think a vet has the time to question every food that comes through the door; they just want easy access (published online) to the information the company SHOULD have in order to properly market the food (along with digestibility data).

Still a loophole in quality control

In the section “How does the quality control for ingredients and finished products work?” WSAVA once again had the opportunity to set the right yardstick. For those of us who are experienced in the industry, we know that what nutrients a food is formulated for and what ends up at the end of the extruder are two different things. When asked, “Does the diet meet the profile based on analysis with a nutrient database?” Says nothing about the actual nutrients in the diet – just what is predicted. What the vet and everyone wants to know is the typical nutrient analysis.

I have a hard time understanding why WSAVA phrased the question this way for the quality control section but correctly phrased it in the contact information section (that the company should be able to provide a typical analysis).

Eventually, WSAVA missed the opportunity to set the standard for quality control. For those who read my last article, we talked about how companies can say they follow all procedures when in reality they don’t. The classic example will always be the “recommended” brand that had a global vitamin D recall that made and killed animals for not following its own standard operating procedures.

For this reason, WSAVA should instead ask, “Do you have any third-party food safety certification to verify that the processes are in place and being followed?” Many companies are already third-party certified, in the process of being, or have recently received certification. Examples are Red Barn, Instinct, and Wellpet.

In a nutshell: which brands will rise?

I am pleased that the WSAVA has finally taken a step in the right direction by updating its guidelines for the selection of pet food. If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense to update the tool from the previous version, “Recommendations for Choosing a Pet Food” if one of your main sponsors has violated any of the key food safety criteria (e.g. Hill’s FDA warning letter).

The irony of this update is that the brands that many veterinarians are happy to recommend are NOT meeting these new guidelines, or in other words not complying with WSAVA guidelines because they don’t have typical veterinary nutritional analysis available. So the question is: which brands will meet these standards and which will continue to do the bare minimum?

Source * www.petfoodindustry.com – * Source link

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New pet food launches recover, focus on health

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new pet food launches recover, focus on health

I recently wrote about the post-COVID-19 pet food market could be ripe for innovation, in part because new product development has lagged in 2020 amid all the disruption caused by the pandemic. The delay appeared to be manifested in data from Mintel on new pet food launches, which showed a decrease of about 67% from 2019 to 2020.

The data was presented in a webinar by Max Davis, Business Unit Manager for the filling and closing systems of Waldner North America; I’ve seen the same diagram elsewhere. However, the 2020 data point of 169 pet food launches compared to 510 in 2019 can be misleading; that earlier number likely did not hold for all of 2020.

According to recent Mintel data released by TreeTop, an ingredient supplier, in its report, Pet Food Market Trends July 2021, the segmentation of the data after a 12 month period from June 2020 to May 2021 paints a different picture: In During that period, new pet food launches rebounded to reach 569, an increase of nearly 5% over the previous twelve month period June 2019 to May 2020 from 543 launches – a decrease from the previous twelve month period June 2018 of 562 through May 2019 Market launches, but only by about 3%.

My guess is that the 169 number shown by Davis and others for 2020 was mostly from the beginning of the year through May; Obviously, with the pandemic and lockdowns, new product development lagged and pet food companies focused on making their existing products and shipping them to pets and their owners. Regardless of any discrepancies in numbers or reporting periods, it is encouraging to see that new pet food launches will resume later in 2020 and into the first half of 2021, which supports the idea that pet food was and is indeed ripe for innovation .

Pet owners, new pet foods and treats are the focus of health / wellness

More importantly, the new Mintel data in the TreeTop report (who worked with Michael Sellitto, Associate Editor of the Mintel Global New Products Database) provided a helpful overview of some of the key ingredients in recent pet food launches that pet owners are looking for.

For example, 98 new pet food products had all-natural claims between June 2020 and May 2021, compared to 88 and 89 in the previous two 12-month periods. This may have been a response to the pandemic and how it led consumers to focus on the health and wellbeing of their own and their families, including furry members, as some people see “natural” foods and products for healthier people keep.

Accordingly, in a survey by Mintel / TreeTop in March 2021, health and wellness statements on pet food and treats aroused great interest among US pet owners. A healthy digestion was at the top of the list with 58% of the respondents, closely followed by muscles, joints and bones with 52%, skin / coat health with 49%, support of the immune system with 46% and heart / cardiovascular system with 40% . Other health and wellness claims selected by respondents included weight management, calming / anxiety relief, brain / cognitive support, vision support, and energy boost.

The influence of human food is back at play

As TreeTop supplies fruit ingredients to the pet food market, the report highlighted the leading fruits appearing in new pet foods from June 2018 to May 2021, according to the Mintel database. Lingonberry, blueberry, and apple took the top three spots on the list, far surpassing other fruits such as banana, carob, pomegranate, and others. Interestingly, the use of these top three fruits decreased quite a bit between June 2020 and May 2021.

Perhaps even more interesting, the use of certain flavors in new pet foods and treats has increased significantly since June 2018. Pumpkin / squash rose 500% in the three years from then to May 2021, and a similar flavor, sweet potato / kumara, increased 300%. Bacon / lard / pancetta / bacon & cheese, cheese, and blueberry and peanut butters all rose 200%. Unsurprisingly, these are all flavors and ingredients that have grown in popularity for human foods over the same period. If bacon / lard / pancetta / bacon & cheese isn’t a taste and trend influenced by human nutrition, I don’t know what!

Mintel’s data showed that this flavor accounted for only 1.9% of new pet food and treats launches over the three year period, while peanut butter (alone) accounted for 3.4%. The most popular flavors – no surprise here either – were chicken with 15.1% of new launches and beef with 7.3%. By comparison, another protein source, salmon, accounted for 3.1% of new product launches.

The percentages for protein sources are also pretty much in line with human diets, in my opinion, although the strong likes and needs of dogs and cats for such flavors and ingredients (or at least their owners’ perceptions) have likely also played a strong role in pet food’s taste selection Manufacturers for their new products.

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Source * www.petfoodindustry.com – * Source link

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US Millennials Adopted Pets at Highest Rate in Pandemic

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us millennials adopted pets at highest rate in pandemic

Adapted to a press release:

Quotient, a digital media and advertising technology company, released insights into the pet adoption boom last year and its impact on brands and retailers in the year ahead. In a survey of 1,000+ U.S. cat and dog owners aged 18 and over, 33% said they adopted a pet during the pandemic. To get a significant cross-section of the data, Quotient also pulled in internal social and sales data showing how consumer shopping habits for pet products had changed during the pandemic.

The survey shows that of the people who adopted pets during the pandemic, 52% were male and 48% were female. Additionally, the survey found that millennials were the most likely to adopt during the pandemic, with 43% contributing to the fur baby boom. While millennials mostly adopted pets for children / other family members who had wanted one, 32% of Generation Z adopted a pet to improve their mental health.

“With the introduction of furry companions during the pandemic, we saw interesting consumer buying trends for groceries, gifts, treats and more,” said Steven Boal, CEO of Quotient. “These animals have and will influence consumer purchasing behavior long after the pandemic. This gives retailers and brands an opportunity to understand the ongoing needs of their customers – and their pets – and provide them with value. ”

When pandemic restrictions in the US were eased, Quotient asked dog and cat owners which top 3 items they would like to spend the most money on on their pet in the next 12 months. It’s no surprise that food and medication / pet care are going to create the biggest hole in consumer wallets.

Pandemic affected human-pet relationships

The past year has been a time when many consumers stayed home and spent less, but that didn’t necessarily apply to pet owners. Almost a sixth of those surveyed usually feed their dogs and cats with gourmet and / or subscription catering services. Younger generations are even more willing to feed their pets premium strains. This supports Quotient’s internal data, which also showed that pets eat premium. Sales of non-dry dog ​​food – including wet and damp dog foods, which tend to be more expensive – has increased by 25% compared to pre-COVID.

While most pet owners expect necessities like food and health care to dominate their spending, 11% believe clothing and accessories will be the most expensive in the next 12 months. This is not surprising as 78% of respondents consider their pet to be their best friend or family member. Their love and affection lingers through the different seasons of gift giving, with nearly half of those surveyed planning to treat their pooch with a Christmas surprise. Almost as many plan to get a birthday present.

Gotcha Day, a day to celebrate the anniversary of the adoption of a pet, is another major milestone, and respondents celebrating the day plan to spend an average of $ 87 on a gift to mark the occasion.

With the increase in dog and cat adoption during the pandemic, consumer shopping habits will change for the foreseeable future. This gives retailers and CPGs a unique opportunity to identify their customers’ new shopping needs.

Source * www.petfoodindustry.com – * Source link

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Is Pet Obesity Driving Pet Food Growth In Mexico?

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is pet obesity driving pet food growth in mexico?

Obesity is an emerging and silent enemy that pet owners are typically unfamiliar with, especially in the developing pet food markets. According to a Triplethree International study of animal diseases in Mexico, in 2020 only 10% of dog owners said their dogs were overweight or obese.

However, actual obesity rates are likely to be higher than reported. According to Royal Canin’s Mexican Market website, at least 20% of dogs in developed markets are obese. This metric rules out the percentage of obese dogs that are even more difficult to measure and observe, especially in small and medium-sized breeds.

Surprisingly, the local veterinary community is not disclosing any information, data, or knowledge about the level of obesity in the Mexican pet population.

Relationship Between Pet Obesity and Pet Food Market Growth?

It’s not hard to see that pet obesity, in most cases, is due to excessive caloric intake for the pet’s energy needs. At the same time, it is important to understand the combination of factors that are driving growth in the pet food market. On the demand side, these factors are pet population, calorie penetration, and overfeeding.

As calorie penetration and pet populations increase in most Latin American markets, the industry may be ignoring the overfeeding effect.

Pet owners ignore the manufacturer’s feeding guidelines

Pet owners likely feed their pets according to the pet’s appetite rather than the manufacturer’s guidelines on pet food packaging labels. This often leads to overfeeding.

Triplethree International estimates that overfeeding of pet food accounts for between 1% and 1.5% of total pet food consumption in Mexico. That estimate is simply what is left of the growth rate after subtracting population growth and the increase in calorie penetration. In other words, if the market sold 1 million tons in a year, about 10 to 15 thousand tons of pet food would be due to overfeeding.

Overweight and obesity in Mexican dogs and cats may not be entirely critical today, but this problem could ultimately add to the cost of medical treatments, which could hinder or reshape the future development of Mexico’s pet food industry.

Iván Franco is the founder of Triplethree International and has contributed to hundreds of research projects for various consumer goods industries. He was named Global Consultant of the Year by Euromonitor International and is the author of the book 17 Market Strategies for Growth (in Spanish).

Source * www.petfoodindustry.com – * Source link

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