Consumer awareness is the driving force behind the newest trend in pet food manufacturing. As people are becoming more aware of what is going onto their plates and where their food is coming from, they have also begun to look at what they are feeding their pets.
The Freshpet president, Richard Thompson, is among the innovative minds who have begun to give a makeover to what we put into our pets dishes nightly. At a tour of his factory in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a tube of Chunky Chicken and Turkey Recipe rolls off the line and he cuts right into it to show the freshness and difference between that and traditional pet foods. Then, he pops it in his mouth. This goes a long way to show that the food being manufactured not only looks good and contains quality ingredients but it tastes good enough for humans to eat, which is exactly the mindset behind the trend driving the industry makeover.
Being dubbed the eat-like-your-owner trend, it is responsible for over 45 percent growth in premium food sales and entirely responsible for the success of brands like Purina Beneful. Beneful is the most recognized premium food brand and from the ground up it has focused on bringing nutrition and delicious foods to dogs of all ages. Take a look at the Beneful wet food line and it is clear to see the quality ingredients, they are easily recognizable meats, veggies and grains. Even more interesting during this technology phase-in is the specialty foods such as grain free, senior, active and others for unique dietary concerns. There has never been the quality level or options we are currently seeing in pet foods. A Daily Herald article further highlights the benefits and changes we are seeing in the industry, and predicts for it to continue to grow as pet owners catch on.
As both human and pet food become increasingly U.S. sourced with higher quality standards and new technologies introduced to packaging and processing, it will be interesting to see the outcome as far as quality of life and longevity are concerned.