This year’s Global Pet Expo, a convention hosted by the American Pet Products Association and the Pet Industry Distributors Association, highlighted some new product trends that are driving the pet food market this year.
A Switch from Grain-Free to Grain-Friendly Diets
The grain-free pet food trend, which was growing in popularity over the past few years, has faced a setback as an increased number of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) cases in certain dog breeds have been linked to ingredients found in grain-free diets.
The pet food industry is now focused on “grain-friendly” diets featuring healthy and wholesome grains such as barley, oatmeal, and brown rice.
Pet Foods that Target a Specific Health Issue
Solutions-based pet foods that are designed for a particular life stage or health condition are continuing to gain in popularity. Some of the most popular address issues like obesity and skin, coat, and joint health.
Foods that Address “Rotational Feeding”
Rotational feeding is a growing trend among pet owners who like to feed their animals different formats of the same dietary formula. Examples of this include wet, dry, and treat options that address a particular concern or contain the same combination of animal proteins.
It used to be that pet foods containing animal by-products like organs, bone, and cartilage were frowned on. Today’s quality pet food manufacturers are returning to “whole-animal nutrition” by adding some of these ingredients to their high-end diets.
Lickable Food and Treats
Pet owners are increasingly turning to pet foods and treats that have a very soft mousse or gel texture. They can be served out of containers or tubes and include meaty broths and frozen, ice cream-like treats.