Trust is everything, especially in a pet product market that caters to pet parents who increasingly consider their furry, feathered, finned, and scaled animal companions as part of their families. This is why at Petfood Forum 2018—April 23-25 at the Kansas City Convention Center—there is an overarching focus on pet food transparency and building trust with consumers through discussions on the latest studies on pet food nutrition, ingredients, processing and safety.
Headlining a presentation on April 25 will be Packaged Facts (packagedfacts.com) research director David Sprinkle. The presentation will feature insights from Packaged Facts’ 2017 report “Pet Food in the U.S., 13th Edition” and the 2018 report “U.S. Pet Market Outlook, 2018-2019.” Included in the discussion will be results from Packaged Facts’ proprietary survey of U.S. pet owners about what transparency means to them and how pet food companies can be more transparent and earn their trust.
One way to earn consumer trust is to double down on clean label pet foods, which itself is an extension of consumers becoming more aware about clean labels and ingredient sourcing in human foods.
“The clean eating trend has been sweeping through the consumer goods markets over the past few years. The trend is essentially a simplified and modernized approach to healthy eating. Consumers are becoming more educated and aware about food and beverage and can connect the dots with relevant information about a product,” says Sprinkle.
Clean label products offer transparency about ingredients and processing and often a short list of ingredients that are familiar to the consumer. Packaged Facts reveals that many pet food brands can modernize and appeal to important consumers—namely Millennials and Gen Z pet owners—by adopting clean label approaches for pet food.
For example, brands can make ingredients simple and transparent to the consumer. In addition, packaging can be updated to convey a clean label image. Many natural brands are still sporting the earth tones and style of 1970’s natural food, and could benefit from a modernized look that attracts the young, clean label shopper. Some of the newer brands in the raw pet food category seem to employ clean label principles but many established natural pet brands could benefit from an image refresh that reflects the visual conventions of clean label products.